Interviews is a publication of PBI Mexico that highlights situations that increase risks to the physical or psychological integrity of Mexican human rights defenders, or that damage the legitimacy of their work. The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions of PBI Mexico.
Juan Carlos Gutiérrez: “The challenge is to have, by the end of December, a fully working Mechanism with a trusteeship and established and professionalized Units”, Num. 29, November 2013
“Violation that is not documented, violation that does not exist”, Num. 27, September 2011
The Cerezo Committee is an organization dedicated to the defense of the human rights of political prisoners in Mexico. It was founded after the arrest, torture and imprisonment of the brothers Alejandro, Hector and Antonio Cerezo Contreras and Pablo Alvaredo Flores; all detained in a high security prison in 2001. Viento de Libertad is a project of the Cerezo Committee with the aim of documenting cases cases of political prisoners, extrajudicial executions and ”disappeared” prisoners in Mexico.
"The Mexican State should stop criminalising humanitarian assistance", Num. 22, November 2010
Father José Alejandro Solalinde Guerra is the coordinator of the south-eastern zone for the Pastoral Dimension for Human Mobility and director of the Hermanos en el Camino Migrant Shelter in Ciudad Ixtepec, (Oaxaca). The shelter provides humanitarian assistance for migrants, as well as legal support for those victims of kidnapping or robbery. In May this year, the National Migration Institute accused the priest and the Honduran Jeimy Celenia Moncada, before the National Attorney General's Office of the trafficking of minors. Father Solalinde believes that the INM was attempting to undermine his moral authority. PBI interviewed him in September 2010.
"Acts of aggression against the community of Zimatlán de Lázaro Cárdenas", No. 21, September 2010
Since March 2010, the indigenous community of Zimatlán de Lázaro Cárdenas, Mixteca region (Oaxaca), has suffered acts of aggression from an armed group based in the neighbouring community of San Sebastián Nopalera. The attacks arise from a land-based conflict between the two communities. In response to the serious security situation, on August 2010 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights granted precautionary measures to guarantee the life and physical integrity of the members of the community of Zimatlán. PBI interviewed Rufino Benítez, lawyer and acting president of the ´Centre for Human Rights and Legal Advice for Indigenous People'. This organisation provides legal support to the inhabitants of Zimatlán.
“There remains a lot of ground left for us to cover”, Num. 26, May 2011
On the April, 30 2008, the community of Santo Domingo Ixcatlán, located in the Mixteca region (Oaxaca), was shaken by the news of a triple homicide. María de la Luz Martínez states that “we’ve been fighting so that the (other) 12 arrest warrants are carried out, but no one else has been detained yet. There haven’t been enough advancements to acquire justice”.
“Towards a governmental protection mechanism for at-risk human rights defenders and journalists”, Num. 25, February 2011
In early February 2011, PBI interviewed Agnieszka Raczynska, executive secretary of the National Human Rights Network “All Rights for All” (Red TDT). It is comprised of 70 pluralist, non-partisan, non-governmental groups from 23 Mexican states, all working in human rights education, defence and promotion. For almost three years, the Red TDT – together with other organisations – has encouraged the process of establishing protection mechanisms. The Red TDT currently forms part of a group of civil society organisations which seek dialogue with the government, aiming to influence the mechanism's design.
“Water is life, let's defend its existence”, Num. 24, January 2011
In August 2010, PBI accompanied the Flor y Canto Centre for Indigenous Rights and the Coordination of the United Peoples for the Defence of the Water in their Civil Observation Mission “Water is life, let's defend its existence”. PBI subsequently interviewed Yanet Ambrosio Ambrosio, Legal Coordinator, and Cinthia Méndez Mota, Operative Team Coordinator, of Flor y Canto.
"Opposition to La Parota hydroelectric dam project", Num. 23, December 2010
CECOP is a resistance movement uniting peasant farmers, who oppose the La Parota Hydrolectric Dam Project. The movement was launched in 2003, when CECOP members blocked the roads leading to site of the proposed dam's contention walls. CECOP members questioned three workers from the Federal Electricity Commission, demanding more information on the project. PBI interviewed CECOP spokesman Felipe Flores Hernández.
Entrevista20 Freedom of Expression
The Special Rapporteur for the Freedom of Expression from the Inter American Commission for Human Rights, Dr. Catalina Botero Marino, and the Special Rapporteur from the United Nations for Freedom of Expression Dr. Frank La Rue visited Mexico from August 9th to 24th. In this context, PBI interviewed two journalists who work in the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca: Juan Angulo Osorio and Pedro Matias. Juan Angulo Osorio is the Director of the newspaper ‘El Sur de Acapulco’. Having written an article, ‘The lines of investigation: The Counterinsurgency’, which analysed the assassination of PRD Congressman Armando Chavarria Barrera, the State Attorney General of Guerrero ordered his detention and interrogation. Pedro Matias is a well-known Oaxacan journalist who writes for the local daily ‘Noticias’, as well as the national magazine ‘Proceso’. Having been kidnapped and subjected to physical aggressions in 2008, Pedro went to live in Germany. However, he recently returned to Oaxaca where he continues his work as a journalist.
"Threats and harassment against Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno and his family", Num. 19, July 2010
After being held in prison for 16 months, accused of the murder of Indymedia cameraman Bradley Roland Will, Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno was released on 18 February 2010. However, Mr. Martínez Moreno and his family continue to suffer threats and harassment. They have been granted precautionary measures by the Mexican National Human Rights Commission, and have requested precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
"Ines Fernandez Before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights"
In Lima, Peru, on Thursday 15 April 2010, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights held a public hearing of the claims made by indigenous Me’phaa woman, Inés Fernández Ortega, against the Mexican State. Mrs. Fernández alleges that she suffered torture and sexual assault at the hands of military personnel in 2002. Her lawyers from Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre argued that Inés Fernández’s experience highlights the recurring issues in Mexico, such as the lack of access to justice for women victims of violence; violations caused by the increasing absence of civilian monitoring of the Armed Forces; and the persecution facing those who organise to defend the rights of indigenous peoples. The State repeatedly refused to acknowledge that members of the Armed Forces had raped Inés Fernández, although in the course of the hearing, it did recognise that it had conducted an inadequate investigation into the matter. A PBI Mexico representative attended the hearing in Peru, and conducted this interview with Inés Fernández's lawyers from Tlachinollan afterwards.
"The Radilla Case Before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights", Num. 16, April 2010
On Tuesday 15 December 2009, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights published its first judgement condemning the Mexican State in relation to a person detained and disappeared during the Dirty War (...) PBI interviewed Humberto Guerrero, legal director of the Mexican Commission for the Defence and Promotion of Human Rights (Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, CMDPDH). The Commission acts as the Radilla family’s legal representative in the case.
"The Radilla judgement is a legal obligation for Mexico", Num. 15, February 2010
On Tuesday 15 December 2009, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights published its first judgement condemning the Mexican State in relation to a person detained and disappeared during the Dirty War. This was the case of Rosendo Radilla Pacheco. Mr Radilla was forcibly disappeared after being detained at a military checkpoint in Atoyac de Álvarez, in the state of Guerrero, in August 1974. The Court established the Mexican State's responsibility for the violation of Rosendo Radilla’s rights to life, liberty and personal integrity. José Antonio Guevara, Human Rights Officer at Mexico´s Ministry of Interior explains to PBI how the Mexican government will comply with this judgement.
Entrevista 14: Tita Radilla comments on the IACHR judgement on his father’s case
On Tuesday 15 December 2009, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights published its first judgement condemning the Mexican State in relation to a person detained and disappeared during the Dirty War. This was the case of Rosendo Radilla Pacheco. Since 2003, PBI has accompanied Mr Radilla’s daughter, Tita Radilla, because of the threats she has suffered as a result of her work against impunity and in defense of fundamental rights.
"Justice for the indigenous women of Mexico: Valentina Rosendo Cantú, case No. 12,579 before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights", Num. 13, January 2010
On 16 February 2002, Valentina Rosendo Cantú, then aged 17, was victim of sexual assault, torture and deprivation of liberty, allegedly committed by Mexican soldiers. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights accepted the case.
PBI has provided accompaniment to Valentina Rosendo Cantú and her daughter as a result of the attacks and threats the two have suffered.
"New arrest warrant against David Valtierra, co-founder of the community radio station Radio Ñomndaa", Num. 11, December 2011
New arrest warrant against David Valtierra, co-founder of the community radio station Radio Ñomndaa, The Word of the Water, in Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero
"Raul Hernández, prisoner of conscience", Num. 12, December 2009
Interview with Raúl Hernández Abundio, declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. This interview was carried out in the Ayutla CERESO on 12 November 2009, a year and a half after Raúl was first gaoled.
"Civil Monitor: indigenous youth shot at military checpoint", Num. 5, July 2009
Indigenous Man killed at Military Checkpoint, Huamuxtitlán, Guerrero. On July 7th, lawyers from the Civil Monitor traveled to Huamuxtitlán to follow up on the case. PBI accompanied them and interviewed Rommel Chacan, lawyer from the Civil Monitor.
"Oaxaca: Justice for Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno", Num. 4, May 2009
Justice for Juan Manuel. On October 16th, 2008 Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno was detained by the National Attorney General's Office, and accused of participating in the murder of U.S. reporter Bradley Rolland Will, killed on October 27 2006. The Comité de Liberación 25 de Noviembre defends the innocence of Martínez Moreno, and has taken on his legal defense.
"Militarization in the Sierra de Petatlán", Num. 5, July 2009
On June 9th, 500 soldiers arrived and besieged two communities of about 40 inhabitants in the Sierra de Petatlán, Guerrero. Because of the serious nature of the situation, members of NGOs, the Coddehum and reporters traveled to the area to document the situation.
"Indigenous rights and wind farms in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, Oaxaca", Num. 3, March 2009
Indigenous Rights and Wind Farms in the Tehuantepec Isthmus. The case of San Mateo del Mar, a community affected by the construction of a wind farm, is a vivid example of the agrarian conflicts and demands for legal recognition of agrarian rights that continue to be problematic in many indigenous communities.
"Demand for Justice for the Disappeared from the Dirty War", Num. 6, July 2009
Demand for justice before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on behalf
of the disappeared from the Dirty War in Mexico. Tita and Rosendo Radilla
Martínez testify on July 7th
"The Cerezo Committee receives Héctor and Antonio Cerezo, freed on the 16th of February 2009", Num. 2, march 2009
The Cerezo Committee receives Hector and Antonio, freed February 16, 2009. Brigadas Internacionales de Paz began accompanying Emiliana, Francisco and Alejandro Cerezo Contreras, members of the Cerezo Committee in February 2002 following the detention of their brothers Alejandro, Hector and Antonio in August 2001. As a result of the activities they carried out to demand their freedom, Francisco and Emiliana Cerezo Contreras were victims of several episodes of harassment and threats.
"Oaxaca: justicia para Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno", No. 4, mayo 2009
Justicia para Juan Manuel. El 16 de octubre de 2008 fue detenido Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno, acusado por la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) como autor material del asesinato del periodista estadounidense Bradley Rolland Will, que ocurrió el 27 de octubre de 2006. El Comité de Liberación 25 de Noviembre defiende la inocencia de Martínez Moreno y ha asumido su defensa legal.
"CCTI: Observation Mission in Guerrero", No. 1, January 2009
On December 15, 2008 the Collective Against Torture and Impunity (CCTI) called out to civil society organizations to organize an observation mission in order to investigate the case of Javier Torres Cruz and to meet with Máximo Mojica Delgado.