UA: 193/13 Index: AMR 41/043/2013 Mexico Date: 25 July 2013

URGENT ACTION HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER KILLED, FAMILY AT RISK A human rights defender has been abducted and killed in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. His family and at least one of his colleagues are at risk. The body of human rights defender Herón Sixto López was found on 20 July near the community of San Sebastián Tecomaxtlahuaca, Oaxaca State. He had been shot at least six times. Herón Sixto López had been reported missing on 15 July, when he was last seen at his office in the Guidance and Advice Centre for Indigenous Peoples (Centro de Orientación y Asesoría a Pueblos Indígenas, COAPI). A formal complaint has been filed at the Oaxaca state Prosecutor’s Office (Ministerio Público) in Juxtlahuaca

Herón Sixto López worked defending Indigenous People's rights in local communities. One of his activities was to represent local Mixteco Indigenous People in land rights disputes. He had received anonymous phone calls in the last few months of his life. In one of them he was apparently told that they were going to have him disappeared. Since he was killed, the family have reported incidents which indicate they too may be at risk. On 21 July, after the burial of Herón Sixto López, they saw a car following them..

The circumstances surrounding Herón Sixto López’s killing have yet to be established but is essential that possible links to his human rights work are fully investigated.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:  Urging the authorities to provide effective protection to Herón Sixto López’s family and other members of the COAPI;  Urging them to order a full, prompt and impartial investigation into the abduction and killing of Herón Sixto López and acts of intimidation against his family, and bring those responsible to justice;  Reminding them of their duty to guarantee that human rights defenders can carry out their work without fear of reprisals, as established in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 5 SEPTEMBER 2013 TO: Governor of Oaxaca State Lic. Gabino Cué Monteagudo Plaza de la Constitución, Centro Histórico, C.P. 68000, Oaxaca de Juárez, México Fax: +52 95 1501 8100, and dial ext. 40068 (ask "tono de fax, por favor") Email:

Salutation: Dear Governor Minister of the Interior Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong Secretario de Gobernación Bucareli 99, col. Juárez, C.P. 6600, México D.F., México, Fax: +52 55 5093 3414 (keep trying) Email:

Salutation: Dear Minister And copies to: Local NGO Centro de Derechos Humanos y Asesoría a Pueblos Índigenas A.C. Email:

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COAPI was founded in 2001 to defend, advise and promote the rights of local Mixtec Indigenous people, some of whom are in dispute with landowners about their land rights

Human rights defenders and journalists in Mexico face threats, intimidation and attack in reprisal for their work. Investigations almost never result in the perpetrators facing justice, and this creates a climate of impunity and insecurity. There have been an increasing number of threats and attacks on journalists and human rights defenders in Oaxaca in recent years

The Law for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists was unanimously approved by both houses of Mexico's parliament, and signed by the president, in 2012. The process for implementing the law is ongoing, including the direct participation of representatives of civil society. However, the mechanism has yet to function effectively for all those who have sought protection. Operational protocols, binding commitments of federal and state-level institutions to comply with protection orders, resources and high-level political support are all urgently needed to guarantee its effectiveness. It is vital that the authorities do not assume that their responsibilities are restricted to establishing a protection mechanism.

Name: Herón Sixto López’s (m) family and members of COAPI Gender m/f: both

UA: 192/13 Index: AMR 41/043/2013 Issue Date: 25 July 2013

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