RAUL HERNANDEZ – Mexican Indigenous Human Rights defender

Raul Hernandez is a member of the Me’phaa Indigenous People’s Organization (OPIM) which promotes the human right of the Me’phaa people in Guerrero State in Mexico.

On April 17, 2008 he and four other OPIM members were arrested at a military checkpoint in Ayutla de los Libres, Guerrero for the murder of Alejandro Feliciano Garcia that was alleged to have taken place on January 1st, 2008.

In October 2008, a federal judge ordered the four other men released due to a lack of evidence against them. They were not released, as the Federal Attorney General decided to appeal the case. Unsuccessful, the men were then released in March 2008.

They are still proceeding in the criminal case against Mr. Raul Hernandez on the basis that two alleged witnesses had testified to his presence when Garcia was shot.

December 2009, LRWC’s Mexico Monitor, Cara Gibbons, visited Raul Hernandez in prison and met with local authorities and human rights defenders.

LRWC believes that the case against Raul Hernandez was brought in retaliation for his legitaimate activites promoting human rights in his community and exposing human rights abuses commiteed by local authorities.

LRWC respectfully urges the government of Mexico to act in accordance with the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international and regional pacts and covenants ratified by Mexico, and to ensure the implementation of the Declaration of Human Rights Defenders

LRWC calls on the Mexican authorities to authorities to immediately release Raúl Hernández and take measures to ensure that, Raúl Hernández, his family and all members of OPIM receive adequate protection measures.


Over two years after his arrest, Raul Hernandez is still in jail. He is held with 42 other prisoners, sleeping on a cot. He manages to weave some items to sell in the jail so that he can buy meat and eggs. He is visited by his wife and daughter, when they can afford to make the trip there. He is also visited by activists who are interested in his case, which has garnered him the respect of the other inmates, but the antipathy of the prison guards.

(source: http://www.wradio.com.mx/nota.aspx?id=1019374 )


Letter written April 29, 2010 by Cara E. I. Gibbons