Document - Mexico: Further information: Risk increases for community activist's family

Further Information on UA: 16/10 Index: AMR 41/015/2010 MEXICO Date: 3 March 2010



Margarita Martínez, the wife of community activist Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz, was abducted, beaten and threatened on 25 February. She and Adolfo Guzmán had previously received death threats after filing a complaint against police.

Margarita Martínezsays she was on the way to collect her son from school in the Chiapas town of San Cristóbal de las Casas when she was abducted by a group of at least two men. A plastic bag was put over her head and she was forced into a car. She was hit in the face with a blunt instrument and was poked in the ribs with what may have been a gun. Her abductors told her, "You won’t be able to work any more" (ya no vas a poder trabajar). They also threatened her with death and told her to drop the complaint that she and her husband had filed in November after state judicial police officers (Policía Ministerial) raided their home in Comitán without showing a warrant and intimidated their family. The abductors released Margarita Martínez near her new home in San Cristobal. Before letting her go they told her, "This is a little present from the Mayor of Comitán" (este es un regalito del presidente municipal de Comitán). Margarita Martínez and her family had recently moved to San Cristóbal as she and her family did not feel safe in Comitán.

In December and January, Adolfo Guzmán and his family received anonymous death threats on three occasions. The family reported the threats to the authorities and as a result, the Chiapas State Prosecutor’s Office offered protection in the form of patrols by state and municipal police. However, Adolfo Guzmán and his family refused this protection as they feared that the officials assigned would not be independent and could be connected with the source of the threats, placing them in greater danger.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Spanish or your own language:

  • calling on the authorities to provide immediate and effective protection for Adolfo Guzmán, Margarita Martínez and their children, in accordance with their wishes, so they can pursue their complaint against the police;

  • urging them to order a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the abduction, beating and threats received by Margarita Martínez, publish the results and bring those responsible.


Minister of the Interior

Lic. Fernando Francisco Gómez-Mont

Secretaría de Gobernación

Bucareli 99, 1er. piso,

Col. Juárez, Del. Cuauhtémoc,

México D.F., C.P.06600, MEXICO

Fax: +52 55 5093 3414


Salutation: Señor Secretario/

Dear Minister

Governor of Chiapas

Lic. Juan José Sabines Guerrero

Gobernador del Estado de Chiapas

Palacio de Gobierno,

1º piso, Col. Centro, C.P. 29000, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, MEXICO

Fax: +52 961 618 8050, ext.: 21122


Salutation: Dear Governor/

Señor Gobernador

Chiapas Attorney General

Mtro. Raciel López Salazar

Procurador General de Justicia del Estado de Chiapas

Libramiento no. 2010, Col. El Bosque, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, MEXICO, CP 29049

Fax: +52 961 6165724

Salutation: Dear Attorney General/ Señor Procurador

COPIES TO: Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, AC, Email:

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives of Mexico accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date



Adolfo Guzmán works for the community organization Enlace Comunicación y Capacitación (Communication and Training Link), which provides human rights and sustainable economic development training for rural and Indigenous communities. Margarita Martínez has been an activist with several local civil society organizations, and had recently volunteered in Enlace Comunicación y Capacitación, delivering training.

Margarita Martínez and Adolfo Guzmán's home was raided by state police on 8 November. About 20 state judicial police officers (Policía Ministerial) came in without showing a warrant, intimidated Adolfo Guzmán and pointed a gun at Margarita Martínez. The police said they were looking for "someone," without saying who this was. The search had apparently been ordered by state authorities, who were looking for the people who had organized recent protests outside public buildings, and blocked roads. The protests were led by local farmers and sellers demanding a space to sell their produce.

Further Information on UA: 16/10 Index: AMR 41/015/2010 Issue Date: 3 March 2010

How you can help