Urge Mexico’s new Attorney General to bring justice for the Women of Atenco

Last year, Mexico’s Attorney General’s office had identified 34 police officers as suspects in the rape, assault and brutal treatment of dozens of women in San Salvador Atenco in 2006. Five years later, none of the accused has been charged with the crime.

President Felipe Calderón recently appointed a new Attorney General in Mexico. She can be the one to get to the bottom of this case. She can help the women of Atenco finally find the justice they have sought for five long years.

Marisela Morales is Mexico’s first-ever female Attorney General. Her credentials show her as being tough against organized crime and she is uniquely positioned to shake things up and set a new tone by standing against impunity.

Continue reading

Urgent Action – Indigenous leader and wife shot dead (Mexico)

25 May 2010
Further information on UA 110/10 (10 May 2010) – Fear for safety (PDF)

MEXICO – Community of San Juan Copala

On 20 May, indigenous leader, Timoteo Alejandro Ramírez, and his wife, Cleriberta Castro Aguilar, were shot dead in their home in Yosoyuxi community, part of the “autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala” in the Triqui indigenous area of Oaxaca state, Mexico.

On 20 May, at least two men entered the home of Timoteo Alejandro Ramírez , aged 46, and Cleriberta Castro Aguilar, aged 36, and shot them in the head, leaving their five children unharmed in another room. Timoteo Ramírez was one of the principle leaders of the “autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala” and of the Independent Movement for Triqui Unity and Struggle (Movimiento de Unificación y Lucha Triqui Independiente, MULTI), the faction of Triqui indigenous peoples which has supported the creation of the autonomous municipality.

Continue reading

International Women’s Day: Take action for Women of Atenco

By Marylou Noble, Group 48 Central America Regional Action Network Coordinator

March 8th is International Women’s Day. I want to bring to your attention the case of women who were arrested as a result of their demonstration in defense of flower sellers in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico State, Mexico in 2006. Although this event occurred many years ago, the case has not been resolved.

While local flower sellers had reached an agreement with municipal authorities to sell flowers in the main market square of San Salvador Atenco, they were confronted on May 3, 2006 with state and municipal authorities whose purpose was to prevent them from selling their flowers. During the flower sellers’ ensuing protest, two people were killed and many more injured. During continuing protests on the following day, hundreds of individuals were arrested, including at least 45 women. While being transported to prison, many of the women were beaten, raped, and otherwise sexually assaulted by police officers. Although more than two dozen of the women complained of being sexually assaulted, the prison’s medical staff only attended to their most obvious head wounds while conducting no forensic exams.

Continue reading

Mexican authorities replied to letters from members of Group 48

Back in November, Central American RAN Coordinator Marylou Noble brought copies of letters to the Group 48 meeting that were addressed to the Mexican authorities in regards to the treatment of migrants in north-eastern Mexico. The meeting attendees gladly signed the letters and Marylou put them into the mail. About a month later, several members of Group 48 received letters of reply from the Mexican authorities. This is really rare. It is so rare that group’s founder, Jane Kristof commented this is only the third time she received a reply from government authorities in over 30 years of volunteering for Amnesty International.

Continue reading

Urgent Action – Zamora Gómez family (Mexico)

28 July 2009

UA 202/09 – Torture

MEXICO – José Natividad Zamora Gómez (m), aged 25
Andrés Zamora Gómez (m), aged 27
Jorge Hernández Jardón (m), aged 24

Soldiers broke into the home of the Zamora Gómez family in Morelos state, central Mexico, and tortured three people. The soldiers searched the house and found no weapons or drugs, but went back to watch the house. The family are at risk of further serious human rights violations.

At 12:30am on 24 July, a group of 15 soldiers wearing balaclavas and carrying firearms kicked the front door and broke into the home of the Zamora Gómez family, in Jiutepec municipality. The soldiers did not have a warrant to enter the house. The soldiers grabbed and tied José Natividad Zamora Gómez (aged 25), his brother Andrés Zamora Gómez (aged 27) and his brother-in-law Jorge Hernández Jardón (aged 24) and started hitting them, asking questions about “weapons and drugs” and what they knew about a local criminal gang. They forced the mother of the two brothers, along with their wives and their four small children, into a room and questioned them as well.

The soldiers put a pillow case over Andrés Zamora’s head and then doused him with water while they continued hitting and interrogating him. Andrés Zamora could not speak and could hardly breathe. They then took him out of the house and threw him out onto the street. The soldiers also searched the house, saying they were looking for drugs and weapons. They found nothing, and left at 2am. When asked why they were doing this, one officer said they were “only doing their job” (solo hacían su trabajo) and that they would be coming back for more questioning.

Continue reading