Mexico: MANUEL GOMEZ HERNANDEZ –human rights defender

Manuel Gómez Hernandez, male, human rights defender has been threatened, allegedly by a judge from the municipality of Zinacantán, in an apparent attempt to stop him carrying out his legitimate and peaceful activities as a human rights defender. Amnesty International fears that he may be in danger.

Manuel Gómez Hernandez, a member of the Tsotsil indigenous group, works for the human rights organization Centro de derechos humanos Fray Bartolome de las Casas in the town of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas state. His work involves advising people who come to the organization seeking help on human rights concerns.

According to reports, at about 9pm on July 17th, 2006, Manuel Gómez Hernandez was at his house in San Cristóbal de las Casas, when he received a telephone call from a man who warned him not to get involved with the problems of the Zinacantan, as it is a family issue and any outside involvement will result in dire consequences. Before hanging up the telephone, the caller allegedly told Manuel Gómez Hernandez that his name was “Germán” and that he was a judge in the municipality of Zinacantán.

This threat may be linked to Manuel Gómez Hernandez’s work for the Centro de derechos humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas on a case in Zinacantán. In the past he has been intimidated and physically attacked as a result of his human rights work.


Letter by Monique Pongracic-Speier sent on July 27, 2006