The Comité Cerezo México, Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz (Serapaz), the Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Bartolomé de las Casas” AC, the Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Francisco de Vitoria OP” AC, the Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales, AC (ProDESC), the Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz in Colombia, Associazione Centro di Accoglienza e diPromozione Culturale "E. Balducci" ‐ Udine – Italia y Protection International (Bélgica), which can be reached at Volcán Kirishima L. 6 Mz. 4, Colonia El Mirador III Secc.Delegación Tlalpan. CP 14449, telephone number 55 5655 9465 and e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , request your urgent intervention in the face of:
Surveillance, tracking and harassment of Alejandro Cerezo Contreras, member of the Comité Cerezo México and Vice President of Acción Urgente para Defensores de Derechos Humanos AC.
According to data provided by Alejandro Cerezo Contreras, human rights defender, member of the Comité Cerezo México and Vice President of Acción Urgente para Defensores de los Derechos Humanos AC., accompanied by the International Peace Brigades and beneficiary of the precautionary measures of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
On April 13, after the Forum on the Criminalization of the Social Protest: New Challenges for Human Rights Defenders, organized in the School of Humanities of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), by the Comité Cerezo México, with the participation of the representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Alberto Brunori and the Executive Director of Amnesty International in Mexico, Alberto Herrera, at 15:15 pm Alejandro Cerezo Contreras was on his way to the School of Economy, UNAM. As he was speaking to a professor, he realized he was being filmed by a video camera by someone approximately 50 meters away. Alejandro picked up his cell phone, and at that moment, the individual turned around and walked the other way. Alejandro called Francisco Cerezo, the coordinator of the Comité Cerezo México, to notify him of the incident; Francisco was nearby in the company of members of the Peace Brigades International (PBI).
At 3:35 pm, Alejandro left the spot, and walked towards the School of Humanities. He called the Relator for Freedom of Expression and Attention to Human Rights Defenders of the Mexico City Human Rights Commission (CDHDF) to tell them what had happened.
At 17:00 Alejandro and Francisco Cerezo Contreras, in the company of two members of the Peace Brigades International (PBI), left the School of Humanities so that Francisco could meet with Antonio Rueda Cabrera, Assistant Director of Attention to Defenders of the Unit for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Gobernación) to deal with matters related to the partial compliance with IACHR precautionary measures.Alejandro Cerezo Contreras noticed that the same person who had filmed him in the parking lot of the School of Economy was in the parking lot across from the School of Humanities, approximately 50 meters away, in the company of another individual. He notified Francisco and the members of the PBI who were with him. The individuals pretended to leave, but continued to observe themfrom behind a van, approximately 70 meters away. Alejandro, Francisco and the PBI members left the spot and called the CDHDF once again to report the incident.
At 12:00 noon, Alejandro Cerezo Contreras left a meeting held in the office of Article 19, located at Medellin No 33, Colonia Roma, Delegación Cuauhtemoc. Two blocks ahead, he noticed that an individual was following him on Eje 2 poniente (Monterrey Street). Alejandro stopped in the middle of the block (near Uruapan Street) and observed the individual, who stopped across from a cafeteria and pretended to be looking inside. He was approximately 1.70 meters tall, with light brown skin, a robust build with a paunch, black beard, round pockmarked face, medium‐sized dents on his forehead, and a prominent nose. He was dressed in a white shirt with a red stripe, jeans, and was carrying a black bag with a single handle. Alejandro crossed the street and turned the corner onto Durango Street. He waited a minute to ascertain whether the person was following him. The individual appeared and upon seeing that Alejandro had stopped, continued walking and stopped on the corner of Durango and Insurgentes Sur.
Alejandro called Francisco Cerezo to tell him what happened, and walked towards the Durango Metrobus station. The individual following him stayed on the corner of Durango and Insurgentes sur.Alejandro pretended to go into the station, but waited behind a fence to see if the individual was following him. The individual appeared at the entrance to the Metrobus and, when he saw that Alejandro was at the entrance, kept on walking and stopped on the Metrobus platform.Alejandro called the PBI, whose office is located in a building at Medellin 33 and waited 5 minutes for their members to arrive. During this time, the individual continued to stand on the platform and, despite the fact that the train passed by, did not get on. Another individual, approximately 1.70 meters tall, with brown skin, a robust build, dressed in jeans, a blue or black shirt with yellow stripes, and a cap, stopped on the corner of Durango and tried to take a picture of Alejandro, but upon noting that Alejandro turned away to avoid the camera, began walking south on Insurgentes. When the members of the IPB arrived, Alejandro pointed out the individual on the platform and the one who was walking south.15 minutes later, the person on the platform took the bus heading north. The PBI members accompanied Alejandro to the SERAPAZ offices.
At 15: 50, Alejandro Cerezo Contreras left the Casa de la Solidaridad Sergio Méndez Arceo located on Patricio Saenz Street and turned onto Luz Saviñon. As he was waiting for Francisco Cerezo half a block away, he noticed that the individual who had filmed him on
Tuesday, April 13, was standing across the street on a sidewalk by a news stand. The individual stopped another person, spoke with him briefly, and shortly thereafter, both walked away on Luz Saviñon Street towards Division del Norte. Alejandro and Francisco stayed where they were for a few minutes. They watched as an individual sat down on the corner of Patricio Saenz and Luz Saviñon. As Alejandro and Francisco walked back to the Casa de la Solidaridad, the individual on the corner stopped and walked towards División del Norte Avenue and hid behind a bush, where he stayed. Alejandro y Francisco went into the Casa de la Solidaridad.
At approximately 17:45 Alejandro, Héctor and Francisco Cerezo Contreras left the Casa de la Solidaridad Sergio Méndez Arceo along with Miguel Álvarez Gandara, a member SERAPAZ and of the Mediation Commission between the federal government and the EPR. They went with him in his car to the CDHDF, and on the way, noticed that they were being followed by two individuals in a white Chevy with dark tinted windows. Miguel Álvarez left them on the corner of Coyoacán and Avenida Universidad. The Cerezo brothers walked along Avenida Universidad and noticed that the car continued to follow them slowly at a distance of approximately 70 meters. For this reason, they called the Relator for Freedom of Expression and Attention to Human Rights Defenders of the Mexico City Human Rights Commission (CDHDF). Gerardo Sauri Suárez came out and they informed him that the car was about 120 meters away from the entrance of the CDHDF; the Relator tried to approach the car, which moved backwards quickly. At that moment, the same individual who was seated at the corner of Patricio Saenz and Luz Saviñon got into the car. They made a U‐turn and headed north.
In view of the facts stated above, the undersigned organizations request that the Mexican government :
1.Immediately take all appropriate measures to guarantee the physical and psychological security and integrity of Alejandro Cerezo Contreras, his family members and associates, as well as the members of the Comité Cerezo México and the Acción Urgente para Defensores de Derechos Humanos AC (ACUDDEH);
2. Conduct an immediate, exhaustive and impartial investigation on the surveillance, tracking and harassment received, urging that the results of this investigation be made public andthat those responsible be brought to justice;
3. Assure the application of provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders,adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, particularlythe one that “recognizes the right and the responsibility of individuals, groups and associations to promote respect for and foster knowledge of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, (Art.1) and ensures theprotection [...]” by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or herlegitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.” (Art. 12.2);
4. and in general terms, act in compliance with the provisions of the International Pacts and Conventions ratified by Mexico.
We request that international human rights organizations:
* by virtue of their faculties, express their concern over the serious nature of the facts and urge the Mexican government to heed the requests.
From the following organizations:
Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz (SERAPAZ)
Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Bartolomé de las Casas” AC
Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Francisco de Vitoria OP” AC
Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales, AC (ProDESC)
Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz en Colombia (Colombia)
Associazione Centro di Accoglienza e di Promozione Culturale "E. Balducci" (Udine, Italia)
Protection International (Bélgica)
Francisco Cerezo Contreras, Coordinador del Comité Cerezo México