January 2nd, 2007 – Civil Organizations in Oaxaca write: Slander Campaign Against the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (LIMEDDH), and its director, Yésica Sánchez Maya.
In a letter written by five inmates from the Tlacolula de Matamoros prison, addressed to Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, the accused say that they were “deceived by human rights organizations”, and accuse Yésica Sánchez Maya of “inciting violent acts and obliging them to support the APPO (Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca)”.
It is important to point out that these same inmates declared in a Dec. 31, 2006 press conference, that they were forced to sign the letter mentioned above by a group of lawyers headed by José Juárez in exchange for their release from prison.
The contents of this letter constitute a serious insult to the work being carried out by human rights organizations during the ongoing conflict in Oaxaca, and particularly against the Oaxacan branch of the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights, and its president Yésica Sánchez Maya. The accusations contained in the letter, aside from being false and hurtful, put at serious risk the work being done by civil society to defend human rights in Oaxaca, and create a climate of hostility and of threats, while attempting to legitimize violent acts carried out by the State against this important sector.
In light of the current political conflict that Oaxaca is going through, this letter is an ominous and perverse sign that adds to the confusion here, particularly of the people who’ve been most severely damaged by the crisis: those unfairly and arbitrarily detained during the serious events of the past November 25. In addition, the letter reflects a strategy to divide the popular social movement, of discrediting, slandering and intimidation of organizations that defend human rights—particularly taking into account the previous harassment and threats already documented during the Oaxacan conflict.
We reiterate that the role of LIMEDDH and other human rights organizations contributes to improving social and economic conditions, reducing social and political tensions, and creating a peaceful environment at a national as well as international level for the respect of human rights.
The respect of human rights in a democratic state depend, to a large degree, on effective and adequate protection of the same rights of those whom are defending the human rights of others.
For that reason, we declare the following:
a) We openly support the serious and responsible work of the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights, and we recognize the commitment and path of its president, Yésica Sánchez Maya.
b) We strongly reject this campaign of slander and dirty war launched against defenders of human rights in Oaxaca, a campaign marked by the intolerance, impunity, and authoritarianism that continues to exist in the state.
c) We urge the Mexican State to take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological security of defenders of human rights, and particularly of members of the Oaxacan branch of LIMEDDH. We also demand an immediate investigation—complete and impartial—of the acts mentioned above, in order to identify those responsible.
d) We demand that the Federal and State governments respect the rights and fundamental liberties, and establish measures that favor the protection of defenders of human rights—in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Pacts and Conventions on Human Rights that have been ratified by Mexico.
e) We call on national and international human rights organizations to continue to monitor closely these serious events in our state.
Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, January 2, 2007
Alternativas para la Equidad y la Diversidad AC, Centro de Apoyo al Movimiento Popular Oaxaqueño, AC, Centro para los Derechos de la Mujer Ñääxuiin AC, Centro de Desarrollo Comunitario Centéotl AC, Centro de Encuentros y Diálogos Interculturales AC, Centro Regional de Derechos Humanos Bartolomé Carrasco AC, Centro de Derechos Indígenas Flor y Canto AC, Centro de Derechos Humanos Ñu’uji Kandí AC, Centro de Estudios de la Mujer y la Familia AC, Centrarte AC, Coalición de Maestros y Promotores Indígenas de Oaxaca AC, Consorcio para el Diálogo Parlamentario y la Equidad Oaxaca AC, Colectivo Nueva Babel AC, CODICE AC Comité de Vigilancia Ciudadana, Comité Cerezo Oaxaca, CHAMIXEZACUI AC, Enlace Comunicación y Capacitación Oaxaca AC, ECCOS AC, Foro Oaxaqueño de la Niñez, Grupo de Apoyo a la Educación de la Mujer, Grupo Mesófilo AC, Ixquixochitl AC, Iniciativas para el Desarrollo de la Mujer Oaxaqueña, AC, Instituto de la Naturaleza y la Sociedad de Oaxaca, A.C., La Ventana AC, Organización de Agricultores Biológicos, AC, Ojo de Agua Comunicación, SC, Observatorio por los Derechos Humanos y la Democracia, PAIR A.C. Promotora de Servicios para el Desarrollo, SC, PROCAO AC, Pueblo Jaguar AC, Red Oaxaqueña de Derechos Humanos, AC, Servicios del Pueblo Mixe A.C., Servicios para una Educación Alternativa, AC, Sinergia para el Desarrollo Integral Sustentable, AC, Tequio Jurídico AC, Universidad de la Tierra en Oaxaca AC, Unión de Comunidades Indígenas de la Zona Norte del Istmo, AC, Unión de Organizaciones de la Sierra Juárez de Oaxaca, SC, Yeni Navan.
Please send appeals (by fax is most effective) to arrive as quickly as possible, in Spanish or your own language:
· Members of the recent Oaxaca Solidarity Network/Rights Action Emergency Human Rights Delegation can point out that they are concerned about the repeated testimonies of torture, forced confessions, and forced signing of the type of letters mentioned above.
· Express your concern for the safety of Yésica Sánchez Maya and others at LIMEDDH who have suffered a series of threats, harassment and spurious criminal charges.
· Call on the authorities to guarantee their safety, and to ensure that they receive protection in line with their own wishes.
· Call for a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation into the threats and attacks they have experienced, for the findings to be published and for those responsible to be brought to justice.
· Remind the authorities that they have a duty to carry out an independent and impartial investigation into the alleged fabrication of charges against them, with the results to be made public.
SEND APPEALS TO:
Lic. Felipe Calderon Hinojosa
Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Oficial de ”Los Pinos”, Casa Miguel Aleman
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec
Mexico D.F., C.P. 11850, MEXICO
Fax: 011 52 55 52772376
Salutation: Senor Presidente/Dear President Calderon
Minister of Public Security:
Lic. Genaro Garcia Luna
Secretario de Seguridad Publica, Secretaria de Seguridad Publica
Paseo de la Reforma No.364 , piso 16
Colonia Juarez, Delegacion Cuauhtemoc,
Mexico DF. C.P. 06600, Mexico
Fax: 011 52 55 5241 8393
Salutation: Dear Minister/Estimado Secretario
Minister of the Interior:
Lic. Francisco Ramirez Acuña
Secretario de Gobernacion, Secretaria de Gobernacion
Bucareli 99, 1er. piso, Col. Juarez, Delegacion Cuauhtemoc,
Mexico D.F., C.P.06600, MEXICO
Fax: 011 52 55 5093 3414
Salutation: Dear Minister/Estimado Secretario
Governor of Oaxaca:
Ulises Ruiz Ortiz
Gobernador del Estado de Oaxaca
Carretera Oaxaca – Puerto Angel, Km. 9.5
Santa Maria Coyotopec, C. P. 71254
Fax: 011 52 951 511 6879 (if someone answers, say “me da tono de fax, por favor”)
Salutation: Senor Gobernador/Dear Governor
President of the National Human Rights Commission:
Dr. Jose Luis Soberanes Fernandez
Presidente de la Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH)
Periferico Sur 3469, 5º piso
Col. San Jeronimo Lidice
Mexico D.F. 10200, MEXICO
Fax: 011 52 55 5681 7199
Salutation: Dear President / Estimado Presidente,
President of the Oaxaca State Human Rights Commission:
Dr. Jaime Perez Jimenez
Presidente de la Comision Estatal
Calle de los Derechos Humanos no. 210
Colonia America, C.P. 68050
Fax: 011 52 951 503 0220
Human rights organization in Oaxaca:
Red Oaxaquena de Derechos Humanos
Calle Crespo 524 Interior 4-E
Oaxaca, CP. 68000, MEXICO
Ambassador Carlos Alberto De Icaza Gonzalez
Embassy of Mexico
1911 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC 20006
Fax: 1 202 728 1698
Please send appeals immediately.