Fw: Fi 232/09 " Fear for safety" Mexico FIRMA E INVIA L'APPELLO IN ALLEGATO

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Sent: Monday, November 23, 2009 11:30 AM
Subject: Fi 232/09 " Fear for safety" Mexico FIRMA E INVIA L'APPELLO IN ALLEGATO


A female Mexican human rights defender, who is an outspoken critic of human rights violations by the army, was harassed by soldiers in her home in Culiacán, Sinaloa state, northern Mexico. Her colleague was shot and injured by an unidentified man in August.

In the early hours of 12 November, over 20 soldiers called on the home of Mercedes Murillo Monge, who is the president of the Sinaloan Civic Front (Frente Cívico Sinaloense, FCS), an organization working to defend human rights across Sinaloa state. When Mercedes Murillo went to open the door, at least five soldiers pointed their guns at her, while another 20 were standing along the length of the road. They claimed they needed to check her identity and address, and enquire about members of her family. However, Mercedes Murillo believes that this visit was a pretext to harass her, as the soldiers accepted a simple business card as valid identification. They also told her they had been sent there on the orders of their general.

As president of FCS, Mercedes Murillo has repeatedly spoken out about cases of abuses committed by Mexican soldiers. Her colleague Salomón Monárrez was shot three times on 31 August by a man wearing a balaclava. He was injured but is now recovering. Mercedes Murillo's brother, Ricardo Murillo Monge, also one a founder member of the FCS , was abducted and killed in September 2007. The investigations into both of these attacks have yielded no result. Protection measures have not been offered to the members of FCS.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Spanish or your own language:
  • Calling on the authorities to ensure that continuous and adequate protection measures for Mercedes Murillo and other members of staff at the  Sinaloan Civic Front are put in place immediately, in accordance with their wishes;
  • urging the authorities to carry out a prompt and independent investigation into the harassment of Mercedes Murillo by members of the army, with those responsible brought to justice.
  • reminding the authorities that the UN Declaration  on Human Rights Defenders recognizes the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders and their right to carry out their activities without obstacles or fear of reprisals.

Minister of Interior
Lic. Fernando F. Gómez-Mont Urueta
Secretario de Gobernación
Secretaría de Gobernación
Bucareli 99, 1er. piso,
Col. Juárez, Del. Cuauhtémoc,
México D.F., C.P.06600, MEXICO
Fax: +52 5550 93 34 14
E-mail:   secretario at segob.gob.mx
Salutation: Señor Secretario/Dear Minister

Attorney General of the Republic
Lic. Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza
Procuraduría General de la República
Av. Paseo de la Reforma nº 211-213, Piso 16
Col. Cuauhtémoc, Del. Cuauhtémoc
México D.F., C.P. 06500, MEXICO  
Fax: +52 5553 46 09 08
Salutation: Dear Attorney General/Señor Procurador General

Governor of Sinaloa
Lic. Jesús Alberto Aguilar Padilla
Gobernador del Estado de Sinaloa
Palacio de Gobierno
Av. Insurgentes, S/N 3er. Piso
Culiacán 80129,Sinaloa
Fax: +52 6677 14 78 70
E-mail: gobernador at sinaloa.gob.mx
Salutation: Dear Governor /Señor Gobernador
COPIES TO: Human Rights Organization - Frente Cívico Sinaloense, Angel Flores # 355 Pte. (interior) Col. Centro, Culiacán, Sinaloa. C. P. 80000, Mexico
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives of Mexico accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 232/09 (AMR 41/045/2009). Further information: www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR41/045/2009/en
MESSICO (Stati uniti messicani)
Via Lazzaro Spallanzani, 16 - 00161 Roma
Tel. 06441151  - Fax 064403876 




Human rights defenders in Mexico face threats, attacks, politically motivated criminal charges and imprisonment for leading protests or promoting respect for human rights. The government has agreed to provide protection measures ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to several human rights defenders, but some have reported that no effective protection has been provided. Substantial efforts have not been made to investigate cases of abuses against human rights defenders; impunity is the general rule in these cases, leaving open the possibility of further attacks.

In the last three years, violence linked to organized crime has spiralled in Mexico: the media has reported more than 14,000 drug cartel-related killings. President Calderón's administration has attempted to combat the drug cartels by deploying thousands of federal police and 50,000 military personnel in the worst affected areas. However this has not resulted in a reduction in violence. According to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), reports of abuses by the military, including unlawful killings, torture, arbitrary detentions and illegal house searches increased six-fold between 2006 and 2008. These cases are routinely investigated and tried by the military justice system, which does not guarantee an impartial and independent investigation, resulting in impunity for the vast majority of perpetrators. As a result victims and their relatives are denied an effective recourse to justice, and military officials are aware that they are extremely unlikely to be held to account.

Further information on UA 232/09 Index: AMR 41/060/2009  Issue Date: 20 November 2009

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