In a Resolution dated 25 March 2017, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) made a statement about the application for provisional measures for the Choreachi community in the Sierra Tarahumara in Chihuahua state. In it, they ordered the Mexican State to adopt urgent protection measures for the Choreachi community.
In a joint statement, the organizations stated that “the resolution of the Inter-American Court arrives at an important moment for Chihuahua, in which it is urgent, necessary and imperative for the three levels of government to coordinate (especially the state and federal government) so that there can be true security in the region, so that no more human lives will be lost, and so that the community can be protected.”
In the same statement, the organizations mentioned the recent deaths of defenders in the region, including that of Juan Ontiveros Ramos, who was killed on 31 January 2017.
Juan was a commissioner for the Choreachi police and only a few days prior to his death had traveled to Chihuahua City to participate in a meeting with authorities about the security situation and the land and environmental conflict in the community.
During the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017, PBI and Isela Gonzalez Diaz, director of the Sierra Madre Alliance (ASMAC) expressed their concern for the human rights situation in the Sierra Tarahumara.
Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur for the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, stated during the session that the situation for environmental defenders has worsened, and in the end of mission report following his official visit to Mexico in January 2017 he expressed concern for “the situation faced by human rights defenders that protect the rights of the indigenous Raramuri people, especially with regard to risks that come from organized crime and the lack of protection by authorities."
On April 9, 2017, civil society organizations from Chihuahua made a statement about the violence in the Sierra Tarahumara and expressed their concerns.
They demanded that “the life of the people of the Sierra Tarahumara should be protected, and their security should as well as the full respect for their human rights should be guaranteed.”