Mexico: Re-Opening of Tlachinollan Ayutla Office in Ayutla de los Libres

Re: Re-Opening of Tlachinollan Ayutla Office in Ayutla de los Libres

To: José Francisco Blake Mora, Secretary of Interior

From: Cara Gibbons, Director, LRWC

Date: 2011-06-15

On behalf of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), we write to inquire into the status of Mexico’s compliance with the provisional measures ordered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) in the case of Fernández and Others. In April 2009, the IACtHR ordered the Mexican state to put in place protective measure necessary to ensure the integrity and security of 107 human rights defenders belonging to the Center for Human Rights of the Montana Tlachinollan (Tlachinollan), the Me’phaa Indigenous Peoples’ Organization (OPIM), and the Organization for the Future of the Mixtec Peoples (OFPM).

LRWC has followed these cases and understand that in carrying out the protective measures, Mexico has provided security equipment; however, we have also been informed that several other very significant security needs have not been attended to. These include, but are not limited to, re-connecting the four satellite phones provided, which have not worked for eight months. Moreover, we have been informed about the lack of substantial advances in the investigations initiated into the threats and hostilities made against these human rights defenders.


In particular, we would like to express our concern about that lack of implementation of the protective measures ordered by the IACtHR continues to impair the capacity of Tlachinollan to continue its work. As you know, since March 2009, the office in Ayutla de los Libres has been closed due to the threats against defenders in the area. Two years after the IACtHR order, Tlachinollan has announced its plans to re-open the Ayutla de los Libres office on June 16, 2011, and has informed us that it has communicated such to the pertinent parties.

LRWC urges the government of Mexico to comply with the IACtHR order and ensure that adequate and effective protective measures are put in place immediately.

Lastly, LRWC repeats our request that the Mexican Government comply with its responsibilities to protect the security of the persons named in the IACtHR order. As the Inter-American Court has already established, the 107 named human rights defenders who carry out their work in Ayutla de los Libres face a situation of grave risk and urgency. We sadly note that the closing of the office in Ayutla was preceded by the disappearance, torture, and executions of indigenous defenders Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rosas, whose murders remain in impunity.

Without more for the moment, we send our warm regards and look forward to your response.