NOTE: A partner organization of CPT’s Chiapas, Mexico project (closed nine years ago) has requested that we share the following communiqué and appeal for action after recent death threats directed against workers in two other partner organizations.
On 24 November 2010, Ms Margarita Guadalupe Martínez Martínez, the wife of human rights defender Mr. Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz, again received death threats from unknown individuals after being intercepted on a public street in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas as she walked unaccompanied by her security guard.
Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz is a member of the organization Enlace, Comunicación, y Capacitación (“Connection, Communication and Training”), a grassroots organization based in Chiapas that works for sustainable development, human rights and gender equality for indigenous peoples and rural workers in central and southern Mexico.
Martínez and her family had previously received death threats on 1 March 2010 and 23 December 2009. The threats also made reference to human rights organization Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas A.C. -Frayba, an independent organization defending the rights of indigenous peoples in Chiapas.
On 24 November 2010, Margarita Martínez Martínez visited a café in the center of the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas after attending a meeting with a representative of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. Upon leaving the café she noticed that her security guard, a policeman who has been assigned to her as a precautionary measure upon recommendation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, was not waiting for her outside.
She proceeded to leave the café and walked one block away, where she was intercepted by two individuals. One was in a white Ranger van; the other, on foot, told her to walk two blocks where she would be met by another person who would give her further instructions. They threatened to kill her if she did not do as instructed.
Upon meeting the third individual, she was handed a piece of paper with a message written in letters cut from a newspaper saying (in Spanish), “Diego, the life of this family is in your hands, you will face charges, (expletive) defenders.”
She was ordered to bring the note to the offices of Frayba, whose Director is Diego Cadenas Gordillo, because “they are pieces of (expletive), they are just trying to destabilize the State, they justify their spending by saying it is to help the most needy access justice, what justice, not even the mother of justice, (expletive).”
After demanding that she deliver those and other threats to the staff at Frayba, the individual told her to walk a couple of blocks and then take a taxi to the municipal cemetery “to chat with your little dead friends because soon you will find yourself with them” before then taking the taxi to the market “without doing anything stupid because you're a dead person.”
Martínez was followed by the people in the white van to ensure that she carried out the full instructions, but once in the city center she managed to lose the vehicle in traffic. She went immediately to the offices of Frayba. The police officer responsible for her security reported that he never left the café where Martínez had been and that at no point had he seen her leave the premises.
On 23 November 2010, there was an electrical failure at Martínez's home following which her security cameras failed to work. Front Line, an organization for the protection of human rights defenders, believes that Margarita Martínez Martínez, her family and Frayba are being targeted because of their activities in defense of human rights, in particular the rights of indigenous peoples in Mexico. Front Line is deeply concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Martínez, her family and all those working with Frayba. Front Line views these incidents as part of an ongoing campaign of harassment, intimidation, stigmatization and threats in the context of a hostile and dangerous environment for human rights defenders in Mexico, especially in Chiapas.
Please take action on behalf of Mexican human rights defender Margarita Martínez Martínez.
Copy the enclosed letter (below) and send it to the addresses below.
Alternatively, you may go to www.redtdt.org.mx/d_acciones/d_visual.php?id_accion=114 to send a similar letter to the same recipients in Spanish through Mexico’s National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations.
Thank you for taking action on behalf of human rights defender Margarita Martínez Martínez.
On 24 November 2010, Ms Margarita Guadalupe Martínez Martínez, the wife of human rights defender Mr. Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz, again received death threats from unknown individuals after being intercepted on a public street in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas as she walked unaccompanied by her security guard. Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz is a member of the organization Enlace, Comunicación yCapacitación – Enlace CC (“Connection, Communication and Training”). Enlace CC is a civil organization based in Chiapas which works for sustainable development for indigenous peoples and rural workers in central and southern Mexico, incorporating human rights and gender equality as its guiding principles. An appeal was previously issued in relation to death threats against Margarita Martínez Martínez and her family on 1 March 2010 and 23 December 2009.
The threats also made reference to human rights organization Centro de DerechosHumanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas A.C. -Frayba, an independent organization working to promote and defend the rights of indigenous peoples in the State of
I urge the Mexican authorities to:
1. Carry out an immediate, impartial and thorough investigation into the death threats against Margarita Martínez Martínez, and the members of Frayba, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards; 2. Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Margarita Martínez Martínez, her family and all members of Frayba, particularly by ensuring that adequate and effective security measures are provided to protect human rights defenders at risk; 3. Ensure that all human rights defenders in Chiapas, carrying out their legitimate work in the defense of human rights, are able to operate free of restrictions and reprisals.
Dr. José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez
Unidad de Defensores
Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos
1889 F Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
Lic. Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa
Presidente de la República
Residencia Oficial de los Pinos
Casa Miguel Alemán
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec,
C.P. 11850, México DF
Tel: (52.55) 2789.1100 Fax: (52.55 ) 5277.2376
Lic. José Francisco Blake Mora
Secretario de Gobernación
Bucareli 99, 1er. Piso, Col. Juárez,
C.P. 06600 México D.F.
Fax: (52.55) 50933414
Lic. Juan José Sabines Guerrero
Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas
Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas
Av. Central y Primera Oriente, Colonia Centro, C.P. 29009
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México
Fax: +52 961 61 88088 ? + 52 961 6188056
Dr. Noé Castañón León
Secretario General de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas
Palacio de Gobierno, 2o. piso, Colonia Centro, C.P. 29000
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México
Conmutador: + 52 (961) 61 2-90-47, 61 8-74-60
Lic. Raciel López Salazar
Procuraduría General de Justicia de Chiapas
Libramiento Norte Y Rosa Del Oriente, No. 2010, Col. El Bosque
C.P. 29049 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas
Conmutador: 01 (961) 6-17-23-00. Teléfono: + 52 (961) 61 6-53-74, 616-53-76,
61 6-57-24, 61 6-34-50
Send a copy to: --
Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas A.C.
Calle Brasil #14, Barrio Mexicanos,
San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México
Código Postal: 29240
Tel +52 (967) 6787395, 6787396, 6783548
Fax +52 (967) 6783551