The human rights defender Norma Andrade was shot in Ciudad Juarez on Friday, December 2 and is currently hospitalized. The National Human Rights Commission [Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, CNDH], Amnesty International and the National Network All Rights for All [Red Nacional Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos, Red TdT] have requested that the Mexican government provide all necessary security measures for the protection of the defender and her family.
The Commission asked the state government of Chihuahua to grant precautionary measures to the human rights defender, sent an official letter to the State and instructed them to ensure the security and the physical integrity of the victim and her family.
In addition, the CNDH stated that "there is no justification for restricting the work of human rights defenders." The CNDH calls for compliance with "the Mexican State's obligation to create conditions to ensure the safety, liberty and the dignity of Mexicans" based on the recent constitutional reform on human rights.
Amnesty International also condemned the attack and made and urgent appeal to authorities to ensure the safety of Norma Andrade and her family members. AI also asked for efficient and impartial investigations of the case, due to the special risk the human rights defender and her family have faced as they have been threatened several times.
The Red TDT, which is made up of 75 human rights organizations throughout the Republic of Mexico, shared the same concern and added that "over the past few years we have demanded the Mexican State design and implement effective protection for defenders when we report specific attacks on the people defending and promoting human rights, and through working groups convened for this purpose." These events, according to the Network, are further evidence of the need for a comprehensive plan for the protection of HRDs.
Norma Andrade is co-founder of the human rights organization "Our Daughters Return Home", [Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa] which calls for justice in cases of women and girls murdered or disappeared in Juarez and she is also mother of Lilia Alejandra García Andrade, killed in Ciudad Juarez in 2001. The organization participated in the case known as "Cotton Field" [Campo Algodonero] brought before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I/A Court H.R.) and resulted in the Cotton Field ruling against the Mexican State. This case involves the murder of several young women found in Cotton Field, Ciudad Juarez in 2001.
Amnesty International: Amnesty International condemns the attack against activist Norma Andrade (in Spanish), December 3, 2011
CNDH (press release in Spanish): Ask to protect victims in Chihuahua, CGCP/302/11, Mexico, D. F., on December 3, 2011
Blog Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa (in Spanish)
I/A Court H.R.,: Case of González et al. (“Cotton Field”) v. Mexico
On the initiative of civil society for a Protection Mechanisms for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, visit the National Center for Social Communication Microsite [Centro Nacional de Comunicación Social, AC, CENCOS]