PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 41/010/2002
26 February 2002
Further information on UA 21/01 (AMR 41/005/2001, 26 January 2001) - Fear for
MEXICORaúl Gatica (m) indigenous rights defender
Members of the Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca “Ricardo Flores Magón”
New names:Reyna Pérez Hernández (f) human rights defender
Reyna Pérez Hernández, a member of the Centro de Apoyo al Movimiento Popular
Oaxaqueño, Support Centre for the Oaxaca Popular Movement and member of the
Consejo Indigena Popular de Oaxaca “Ricardo Flores Magón” (CIPO-RFM), “Ricardo
Flores Magón” Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca, has reportedly received
a death threat at her home in Oaxaca. Amnesty is concerned for her safety and
that of her colleagues at CIPO-RFM who were mentioned in the death threat.
According to reports, on 19 February, Reyna Pérez arrived home to find that
her house had been broken into and vandalised. There was a note left for her
in which the following death threats were issued: “we have been watching you,
this is only a warning”.....one way or another we are going to get you” “te
emos estado checando te cres muy madre la primera vez nadamas te isimos una
advertencia....de una o de otra manera te vamos a poner en la madre.”
The death threat also mentioned the CIPO-RFM: “we want the CIPO, but if we
get you then we make sure they get it as well and if you want a kidnapping
lets see how they get you out” “Queremos al CIPO tu eres el pero te rompemos
tu madre y ya checamos que el CIPO son unos vividores chinguen a su madre y
si tu quieres un secuestro, a ver que tal se la sacan.”
Raúl Gatica, head of the CIPO-RFM recently received death threats prior to
Reyna Pérez. According to reports he received a letter from the municipal
authorities stating that when they next saw him they would bury him alive.
He was previously threatened in January 2001 by the Municipal President of
Tenetze de Zaragoza, of the state governing party, Institutional Revolutionary
Party, (PRI) Partido Revolucionario Institucional. This followed the illegal
detention by the municipal authorities of 46 members and sympathizers of
CIPO-RFM who were tortured in order to force them to sign a community agreement.
Amnesty International wrote to the authorities expressing concern at the case,
calling for the allegations of torture to be investigated and those responsible
to be brought to justice. (See UA 21/01, AMR 41/005/2001, 26 January 2001 and
UA 132/98, AMR 41/23/1998, 24 April 1998).
Human rights defenders and community activists are frequently the target of
threats and harassment in Oaxaca State. Those responsible are usually never
brought to justice.
Although the Law of Indigenous Customs, Ley de Usos y Costumbres was passed
in Oaxaca state in 1998, indigenous people are often denied their rights in
practice, fueling conflict within communities. At the local level of government,
the ruling PRI is reported to play an important role in protecting those
responsible for human rights violations, allowing perpetrators of to continue
committing human rights violations with impunity.