Washington, March 18, 2010
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expresses its deep concern over new threats and harassment directed against leaders and members of the Organization of the Me'phaa Indigenous People (OPIM) in the state of Guerrero, Mexico.
According to the information the Commission has received, on March 6, 2010, the headquarters of the OPIM was kept under surveillance all day, beginning around 4 a.m., and that night a piece of paper arrived that contained a death threat and referred to various of the organization's activities in the defense of human rights. Several of the people threatened have been proposed by the IACHR as witnesses in two cases of Mexico that are before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Both cases involve the rape and torture of Me'phaa indigenous women by agents of the Mexican Army in the state of Guerrero.
The threats against the men and women who belong to the OPIM have been taking place for years. The IACHR granted precautionary measures on January 14, 2005, to protect the lives of OPIM members. Given that the precautionary measures were not implemented, the Commission asked the Inter-American Court for provisional measures, which were granted in April 2009. However, the information received indicates that these measures have not been implemented effectively. On March 16, the Commission informed the Court about the situation of risk in which these persons find themselves.
Peace Brigades International accompany the members of the Organization of the Indigenous Me'Phaa People (OPIM), since February 2005.
Application filed by the IACHR to the Inter-American Court in Case 12.580, Ines Fernandez Ortega v. Mexico
Application filed by the IACHR to the Inter-American Court in Case 12.579, Valentina Rosendo Cantú v. Mexico