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Mexico: Fear for safety

, Index number: AMR 41/033/2009

Margarita Martín de las Nieves, Santiago Ponce Lola and Modesta Laureano Petra, all active members of an indigenous rights organisation, were attacked by a gunman on 24 June 2009 while travelling in a pickup truck from the municipality of Ayutla de los Libres to their home in the community of La Cortina, both in Guerrero state. The three escaped unhurt.

PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 41/033/2009
26 June 2009
UA 173/09 Fear for safety
MEXICO Margarita Martín De Las Nieves (f)
Santiago Ponce Lola (m), her husband's brother
Modesta Laureano Petra (f), her sister-in-law
The three people named above, who are active members of an indigenous rights organisation, were attacked
by a gunman on 24 June.
Margarita Martín de las Nieves, Santiago Ponce Lola and Modesta Laureano Petra were travelling in a pickup
truck from the municipality of Ayutla de los Libres to their home in the community of La Cortina, both in
Guerrero state, when they saw a man crouching beside the road, pointing a shotgun at them. They said he was
dressed in black, with his face covered by a black bandanna. When they accelerated to avoid the man, he
fired twice at them but missed. He ran after them and tried to fire again, but his gun jammed. The three
escaped unhurt.
Earlier that day, Margarita Martín de las Nieves and Guadalupe Castro, whose husbands, human rights
defenders Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rosas were abducted, tortured and killed in February 2009,
had met with a state police official to arrange protection measures. The police official agreed to provide,
starting that day, periodic patrols outside their homes and escorts when they travelled away from their
communities. However, despite this commitment and the fact that at the meeting a specific request had
been made for a police escort to accompany the women on their way home, the police never turned up. After
the attack, they tried to call the police many times, on the number they had been given at the meeting that
morning to call if they were in immediate danger, but there was never an answer. They also tried to use the
satellite phone they had been given by the federal government for their protection, but it did not work.
The three women are active members of the Organization for the Future of the Mixteco People, Organización
para el Futuro del Pueblo Mixteco OPFM.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
In response to the killing of human rights defenders Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rosas, both leading
members of the OPFM, and the threats, harassment and intimidation suffered by their relatives and other
members of Indigenous human rights organizations working in the area, the Inter-American Court of Human
Rights issued provisional measures on 9 April 2009. The Court ordered the Mexican government to provide
effective protection measures for the two widows and 105 other human rights defenders in Guerrero state. In
the last few months Amnesty International has documented that the situation of human rights defenders in
the state of Guerrero is deteriorating.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Spanish or your own
language:
- urging the authorities to implement and strengthen the protection measures for Margarita Martin and
Guadalupe Castro that have already been agreed with federal and state authorities;
- urging them to implement effective protection measures for all other human rights defenders for whom the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights has requested protection;
- calling on them to investigate and punish the failure to provide protection measures for Margarita Martin, in
spite of specific agreements made on 24 June;
- calling on them to investigate the attempt on the lives of Margarita Martin, Santiago Ponce Lola and
Modesta Laureano, and bring those responsible to justice.
APPEALS TO:
Minister of the Interior
Lic. Fernando Francisco Gómez-Mont Urueta
Secretario de Gobernación
Secretaría de Gobernación
Abraham González No.48, Col. Juárez, Del. Cuauhtémoc, C. P. 06600, México, D. F., MÉXICO
Fax: (+52 55) 5093 3414/15/16 (to confirm receipt /17)
E-mail: secretario@segob.gob.mx / contacto@segob.gob.mx
Salutation: Señor Secretario / Dear Minister
Governor of Guerrero
Lic. Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo
Gobernador del Estado de Guerrero
Palacio de Gobierno, Boulevard René Juárez Cisneros No. 62
Edificio B, Ciudad de los Servicios, CP 39075
Chilpancingo, Guerrero, MÉXICO
Tel/Fax: (52 747) 4719801 / 9802
Email: gobernador@guerrero.gob.mx
Salutation: Señor Gobernador/ Dear Governor
Attorney General of Guerrero
Lic. Eduardo Murueta Urrutia,
Procurador del Estado de Guerrero
Boulevard René Juarez Cisneros, esquina calle Juan Jiménez Sánchez,
Col. El Potrerito, C.P. 39098, Chilpancingo, Guerrero, MÉXICO
FAX (Switchboard): +52 747 494 29 99
Email: pgj@guerrero.gob.mx
Salutation: Señor Procurador / Dear Attorney
COPIES TO:
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Emb. Patricia Espinosa Cantellano
Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores
Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores
Av. Plaza Juárez n° 20, Col. Centro, Del. Cuauhtémoc
México D.F., C.P. 06010, MÉXICO
Fax: (+52 55) 3686 6028
Email: pespinosa@sre.gob.mx
Salutation: Señora Secretaria / Dear Minister
Human Rights organization
Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña “Tlachinollan” AC.
Calle Mina no. 77, Col. Centro, Tlapa de Comonfort, C.P. 41304
Guerrero, MEXICO
and to diplomatic representatives of Mexico accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if
sending appeals after 7 August 2009.

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