Lydia Cacho Ribiero, President of the CIAM

Re: Lydia Cacho Ribiero, President of the Centro Integral de Atención a las Mujeres (“CIAM”); and other staff members of CIAM

To: Governor of Quintana Roo and Attorney Generals

From: Monique Pongracic-Speier, Mexico Monitor, LRWC

Date: 2005-07-25

LRWC is distressed to learn of repeated threats against Lydia Cacho Ribiero in relation to her advocacy work to protect the rights of girls and women in México.

LRWC is informed that between April 25 and July 1, 2005, Mr. Ribiero received at least 42 threatening telephone calls at the CIAM office in Cancún. Information suggests that the calls are all attributable to a former officer of the Polícia Judicial del Estado of Coahuila, whose wife and children are being sheltered by CIAM, and who is allegedly responsible for a series of threats made against Ms. Ribieo and CIAM staff earlier this year and in November 2004.

In a number of the more recent calls to Ms. Ribiero, the caller is reported to have said, “Esto es para Lydia Cacho que sepa que pronto estaré en Cancún, cuando menos se lo espere . . . . La PRG no puede hacerme nada . . . quienes se meten conmigo sufren hasta la muerte.”

LRWC notes that on March 10, 2005 Agentes Federales de Investigación told Ms. Ribiero that the former police officer at issue had fled México, so she and CIAM staff had no reason to fear for their lives. However, eyewitnesses claim to have seen the former officer in Nuevo Leon and Coahuilla in March. The recent series of threatening telephone calls were also apparently made from locations in these states. More startling, the former officer reportedly visited a women’s shelter in the city of Saltillo, Coahuilla on June 30th and harassed the manager, demanding that she tell Lydia Cacho Ribiero to stop speaking out about his case and return his wife and children to him.

LRWC is informed that the man at issue is under investigation by the Agentes Federales de Investigación for alleged links to organized crime. Despite this and his death threats against Ms. Ribiero, LRWC understands that no arrest warrant nor charges have been issued against him.

LRWC calls upon you to increase protection for Ms. Ribiero (we are aware that she is currently receiving protection from three Agentes Federales de Investigación), and to immediately institute protective measures for other CIAM staff, commensurate with their wishes. We also implore you to:

  • act decisively to restrain the former police officer from continuing his harassment of Ms. Ribiero and others;
  • prosecute him for his criminal threats and other criminal activities; and
  • commence an investigation into how the former officer has been allowed to remain at liberty and levy threats against Ms. Ribiero and CIAM staff over a prolonged period of time.

LRWC respectfully reminds the addressees that the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women calls upon all states to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and punish acts of violence against women, in accordance with national law. Moreover, the American Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which México has ratified, mandates the equal protection of the law for all. LRWC calls upon you to heed the principles and guarantees expressed in these international instruments through action.

In conclusion, kindly advise LRWC of the steps that you are taking in response to the matters raised in this letter. Your early written response is appreciated.