Estimada Señora Procuradora
Arely Gómez González
Attorney General of Mexico
Manuel Velasco Coello
Governor of Chiapas State, Mexico
Dear Attorney General Gómez González and Governor Velasco Coello:
We are extremely concerned about the shootings, murder and threats to indigenous human rights defenders who are members the National Front for Socialism (FNLS) in Chiapas State and Mexico City. FNLS is a grassroots movement working to denounce and publicly condemn violations of human rights perpetrated by the Mexican government, specifically those related to enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, arbitrary detentions and political prisoners.
On November 7 at 7:20am, an armed plain-clothes man inside a black vehicle shouted, “This is for spreading gossip,” as he shot human rights defenders Matías Flores in the stomach, Jesús Hernández Reyes in the leg and Rubicél Hernández García in the chest. The three men were part of the Mexico City Commission of the FNLS that denounced the extra-judicial killing of Hector Sántiz López on September 29, and that highlighted the dangerous situation faced by the Campesino Organization Emiliano Zapata for the National Front for Socialism (OCEZ-FNLS) and the Ejido El Carrizal, a communal land where several OCEZ-FNLS families reside in Chiapas.
Since 2013, the paramilitary group Los Petules based in Chiapas, has been sending death threats to OCEZ-FNLS community leader Ramiro Sántiz López in El Carrizal. On January 17, 2015, Ramiro's grandson was detained and tortured. On September 26, his son-in-law, Emilio Morales Díaz, was shot in the face while walking home at midday. On September 29, his son, indigenous human rights defender Héctor Sántiz López, was shot dead while on his way to another community with 150 other members of the OCEZ-FNLS. Since September 29, Los Petules has established a blockade close to El Carrizal, in an apparent attempt to identify Ramiro Sántiz López and his closest relatives.
Members of OCEZ-FNLS have attempted to file complaints of the attacks. However, the public prosecutor has failed to receive any of the complaints. On one occasion OCEZ-FNLS members saw their aggressor of the November 7 attack at the office of the public prosecutor. Since the establishment of the blockade and because of the lack of support by local authorities, it has become more difficult for members of the OCEZ-FNLS to seek justice.
Because of our grave concern for the security of FNLS members in Chiapas, as well as their supporters in Mexico City, such as the Comité Cerezo Mexico, we strongly urge that you
- take all measures necessary to guarantee the security and safety of Ramiro Sántiz López, his relatives and members of the OCEZ-FNLS;
- take all measures necessary to guarantee the security and safety of all members of the Mexico City Commission of the FNLS and representatives of the Comité Cerezo Mexico, including adequate medical treatment for Rubicél Hernández, Matías Flores and Jesús Hernández;
- carry out an immediate, exhaustive, and impartial investigation into the killing of Hector Sántiz López and the attempted killing of Emilio Morales Díaz, Rubicél Hernández, Matías Flores and Jesús Hernández, publish the results of the investigation and bring those responsible to justice.
Brian J. Stefan-Szittai Christine Stonebraker-Martínez