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Mexico, 4/11/2016

Sra. Fiscal
Arely Gomez Gonzalez
Attorney General of Mexico

Sr. Governador
Manuel Velasco Coello
Governor of Chiapas State, Mexico


Dear Attorney General Gómez González and Governor Velasco Coello:

 We are deeply concerned for the safety of Fidencio Gómez Sántiz, an indigenous member of the National Front for Socialism (FNLS).  He was last seen on March 5, accompanied by his wife and son at the Jet Ja transport terminal near the local market of Ocosingo, Chiapas State. After leaving his wife and son, who were travelling to a relative’s house, Fidencio Gómez Sántiz started back to his home in the municipality of Altamirano. Approximately five minutes later, he did not answer when his son called to make sure his father had taken public transport home. He has not been seen since.

 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. In November 2015, FNLS organized a round of activities in Mexico City to denounce the situation faced by indigenous human rights defenders in Chiapas. During the campaign, assassination attempts were made against Matías Flores, Jesús Hernández Reyes and Rubicél Hernández Garcia. This followed the killing of indigenous human rights defender Héctor Sántiz López in September 2015 (cf out letter of November 26, 2015.)

 The Cerezo Committee, a prominent local human rights organization, believes that the disappearance of Fidencio Gómez Sántiz may have been an enforced disappearance carried out with the participation or acquiescence of agents of the Mexican government security forces. This opinion is based on several previous acts of intimidation against members of FNLS in Chiapas by agents of state security, and the general pattern of forced disappearances in Mexico. After his visit to Mexico in October 2015, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that there are “at least 26,000 missing persons, many of whom are believed to have been forcibly disappeared since 2007.”

 In view of this information, we strongly urge that you

  • take all necessary measures to locate Fidencio Gómez Sántiz and ensure his security as well as that of his family and members of FNLS;
  • carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the disappearance of Fidencio Gómez Sántiz, publish the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;
  • guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.




 Brian J. Stefan Szittai        and        Christine Stonebraker-Martínez