MONTERREY, MX ACTION ALERT: Ask Mexican Federal government to take over investigation of Santiago Rafael's murder




26 July 2007
MONTERREY, MX ACTION ALERT: Ask Mexican Federal government to take over
investigation of Santiago Rafael's murder

[Note: Last spring, CPT sent a team to accompany members of the Farm Labor
Organizing Committee (FLOC) after Santiago Rafael was assassinated. See]


On Wednesday, Santiago Rafael Cruz would have turned thirty-years old. FLOC
and its supporters, friends, and allies are committed to make sure his death
is not in vain. FLOC has renamed its Monterrey office, Santiago Rafael
Cruz Justice Center in his honor. Santiago Rafael's mother Epifania Cruz
and his brother Gustavo Rafael came to the reopening of the FLOC office on
June 30, along with U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. (For more information,
see the FLOC website at


The Nuevo Leon state government has proven incompetent and evasive in
pursuing the case of Santiago's vicious assassination on 9 April 2007 in the
FLOC office. Despite some 100,000 letters and messages from all over the
world sent to the Governor of Nuevo Leon, authorities have shown no interest
in pursuing possible political and economic motives resulting from FLOC's
efforts to clean up the corruption in recruiting farm workers going to the

Following the order by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to
provide protection for FLOC staff, FLOC has been involved in a series of
meetings with Mexican federal and Nuevo Leon state authorities concerning
protective measures. In the first meeting with the Nuevo Leon government,
Nuevo Leon authorities said they were short staffed because half of their
detectives had been arrested for ties to drug trafficking. In the second
meeting, the day a progress report was due to the Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights, the Nuevo Leon authorities announced that the authorities
were holding a press conference at the same time announcing that a suspect,
Jaime Martinez, had "confessed" to the murder. However, the government was
unable to provide any convincing evidence. Shortly afterwards, the
suspect's mother filed a human rights complaint, saying that the
"confession" was a result of torture.

In the third meeting, the Nuevo Leon government appeared almost absurd in
avoiding even simple questions, evading direct questions by the FLOC
attorney over sixty times. The next day, Rogelio Cerda, Secretary General
of the State of Nuevo Leon, stated categorically to U.S. Congresswoman
Kaptur that there was "no political motive" in Santiago's murder, even
though the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had found sufficient
evidence to warrant a protective order. A few days later, Cerda himself
resigned under accusations of ties to drug cartels.(1)

How can FLOC staff feel safe with so many unanswered questions, the absence
of a serious investigation, and blatant attempts to sweep the vicious murder
of Santiago under the rug? How can all of our allies and friends around the
world who believe in human rights and justice be convinced if we ourselves
are not convinced? Whom is the Nuevo Leon state government really trying to


FLOC asks our supporters to write Mexican President Felipe Calderon

Felipe Calder=F3n Hinojosa Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Oficial de "Los Pinos", Casa Miguel Alem=E1n Col. San Miguel
Chapultepec M=E9xico D.F. 11850 M=E9xico Telephone from the U.S.: (011-52)
27-89-11-00 Fax from the U.S.: (011-52) (55) 52-77-23-76, 52-77-23-76 Email:

With copies to:

Jos=E9 Natividad Gonz=E1lez Par=E1s Gobernador de Nuevo Le=F3n Zaragoza y 5
de Mayo, Colonia Centro Monterrey N.L. 64000 M=E9xico Telephone from the
U.S.: (011-52)
(81) 2020-1226 or 2020-1509 Fax from the U.S.: (011-52) (81) 2020-1087 or
2020-1085 Email:

Santiago Canton Executive Secretary Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights 1889 F St., NW Washington, D.C., USA 20006. Telephone: (202) 458-6002
Fax: (202) 458-3992 E-mail:

Ambassador Antonio Garza, Jr. U.S. Embassy Paseo de la Reforma 305 Colonia
Cuahtemoc Mexico, D.F. 06500 Telephone from the U.S.: (011-52) (55)
5080-2000 Fax from the U.S.: (011-52) (55) 5525-5040 Email:

Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO Attn: Michael Hale 1221 Broadway
Street Toledo, OH 43609 Telephone: 419-243-3456 Fax: (419) 243-5655x4 Email:

In your message (see sample letter below):


1. Four months after the assassination of Santiago Rafael, the government of