Urgent Interventions

Mexico: Threats / harassment


MEX 004 / 0005 / OBS 033
Threats / harassment
4th May 2000

The Observatory for the protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the FIDH and the OMCT, requests your urgent intervention in connection with the following situation in Mexico.

Brief description of the situation

The Observatory has been informed of events which imperil the life of Professor Raúl Gatica Bautista, leader of the Consejo Indígena Popular de Oaxaca (CIPO) « Ricardo Flórez Magón », and the serious obstacles put in the way of the activities of Sra. Aurelia Pérez Cano, member of the human rights commission of the Broad Front for the Construction of the National Liberation Movement - FAC-MLN, (a legally recognized organization).

According to reports from the LIMEDH, the Mexican League for the Protection of Human Rights, member of the OMCT and the FIDH, on April 16th 2000 in Oaxaca six armed individuals led by Armando Arguelles, an official of the state judicial service, insulted Prof. Raúl Gatica Bautista and his 17-year old son, Inti Gatica, threatened them with death and beat them with their weapons. Several municipal policemen of San Isidro Monjes, municipality of Xoxocotlàn prevented them from continuing the assault and apparently identified the principal aggressor. Profesor Raúl Gatica Bautista duly filed a complaint with the Prosecution Service of the State Judicial Police.

The reports recall that Prof. Raúl Gatica Bautista had denounced at the state and national level the systematic violation of human rights in the region, which is apparently the reason for his arrest on April 17th 1998. He was released four months later but was constantly watched ever since by police agents who tried, moreover, to show that he was connected to armed groups.

The LIMEDH also reported that on April 22nd 2000 the director of the Centro de Readaptacion Social - CERESO No. 3 -, of Yajalon in the Chiapas, lawyer Oscar Méndez Flores, arbitrarily opposed the visit which Sra. Aurelia Pérez of Cano, of the FAC-MLN Human Rights Commission had intended to make to the prisoners as a folllow up of cases of human rights violations which they had denounced.

The Observatory reiterates its grave concern over the injury done to Prof. Raúl Gatica Bautista and his son as well as the obstacles which the authorities place, as in the case of Sra. Aurelia Pérez Cano, to the free pursuit of their activities by the defenders.

Action requested

Write to the Mexican authorities urging them to:

i. guarantee the respect of the physical and psychological integrity of Prof. Raul Gatica Bautista and his family as well as other members of human rights organizations;

ii. carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the facts mentioned above in order to bring to trial those responsible and apply to them the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions provided by law;

iii. ensure the implementation of the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the General Assembly of the UN on December 9th 1998, in particular with reference to the right of every person " individually or in association with others to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels." (art. 1) as well as the duty of every State "to ensure the protection by the competent authorities
of everyone, individually or 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 her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration."

iv. in general bring their actions into conformity with the provisions of the Universal Dseclaration of Human Rights, and the international Pacts and Conventions rativied by Mexico.


In the case of Sr. Raúl Gatica Bautista :

Lic. Jose Murat Casab, Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Oaxaca, Palacio de Gobierno, 68000 Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico. Fax. (+ 52 951) 550 77 o (+ 52 951) 637 37 - E-mail :

Lic. Jorge Eduardo Franco Jimenez, Procurador General de Justicia del Estado de Oaxaca. Fax: (+ 52 951) 155 19

Dr. Evencio Nicolas Martinez, Presidente de la Comision de Derechos Humanos del Estado de Oaxaca, Calle de los Derechos Humanos 210, Col. America, CP. 68050, Oaxaca, Mexico. Fax : (+ 52 951) 351 85 o (+ 52 951) 351 58 E-mail:

In the case of Sra. Aurelia Pérez Cano;

Lic. Roberto Albores Guillen, Gobernador del Estado de Chiapas, Palacio de Gobierno, Av. Central y primero Ote, Col. Centro, 29009, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas
Fax : (+ 52 961) 2 09 17 o (+ 52 961) 2 56 18

Lic. Cuauhtemoc Lopez Sanchez, Presidente de la Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos, Col. El Retiro, 29040, Tuxtla Gutierrez Chiapas. Fax : (+ 52 961) 2 55 06

Lic. Juan Antonio Castillejos Castellanos, Director de Prevención y Readaptación Social, 1ª Norte Oriente Nº. 453, Col. Centro, 29009, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas

Geneva - Paris, 4th May, 2000

Kindly inform the Observatory of any action undertaken quoting the code
number of this appeal in your reply.
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