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Mexico: Fear for safety

, N° d'index: AMR 41/005/1999

Amnesty International is concerned for the the safety of members of the human rights organization Ciudadanos en Apoyo a los Derechos Humanos Asociación Civil (CADHAC) who have been under police surveillance since 24 February 1999.

PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 41/05/99
UA 39/99 Fear for safety 1 March 1999
MEXICO Consuelo Morales Elizondo (f), director of the human rights organisation
CADHAC
Liliana Cruz Castellanos (f) ]
María Emilia Espejo Mansillas (f)] CADHAC permanent staff
Marlene Martínez Garza (f) ]
Carolina Rico Hernández (f)]
Other members of CADHAC
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of members of the human rights
organisation Ciudadanos en Apoyo a los Derechos Humanos Asociación Civil
(CADHAC), Citizens for Human Rights, who have been under constant police
surveillance since 24 February 1999.
On 23 February CADHAC issued a public statement(see below) on reports of torture
at the Centro de Readaptación Social de Apodaca,(CERESO de Apodaca), Apodaca
Social Reintegration Centre,a prison in Monterrey, Nuevo León. Since 24
February,several men, some in uniforms of the Policía Judicial del Estado (PJE),
State Judicial Police, have been stationed outside CADHAC’s offices in Monterrey
in two vans, and have followed CADHAC members when they leave the offices.
Anonymous messages have been left on the answering machines in CADHAC’s offices
and at its membershomes, and their faxes and e-mails have apparently been
blocked.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
CADHAC is a small organisation, most of whose staff and volunteers are women,
which works particularly on prisoners’ rights. Since 1996 they have documented
and exposed the appalling prison conditions at the CERESO de Apodaca. In May
1998 the Vice-secretary of Security for Nuevo León publicly accused CADHAC
director Sister Consuelo Morales Elizondo of making unfounded allegations about
the ill-treatment of detainees in the CERESO de Apodaca, and threatened to sue
her.
On 22 February more than 40 CERESO Apodaca inmates started a hunger strike to
protest against torture and ill-treatment. Consuelo Morales and other members
were turned back when they tried to visit the prison at the request of the hunger
strikers’ relatives. On 23 February CADHAC issued a public statement about the
conditions at the prison as well the authorities’ refusal to allow them access.
On 1 November 1998 AI sent a letter to the authorities of Nuevo León, AMR 41/98.14,
requesting an investigation into the threats against CADHAC and into the human
rights violations inside the CERESO of Apodaca. For further action and information
please see Urgent Actions AMR 41/11/95 and AMR 41/64/97 as well as the documents
AMR 41/36/98,AMR 41/06/96.
Amnesty International believes that by preventing human rights defenders from
carrying out their legitimate work, the Mexican government is failing in its
international commitments. The United Nations Convention against Torture and
Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, ratified by Mexico
in 1986, states: “Each state party should ensure that any individual who alleges
he has been subjected to torture in any territory under its jurisdiction has
the right to complain to, and have his case promptly and impartially examined
by, its competent authorities. Steps shall be taken to ensure that the complainant
and witness are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a
consequence of his complaint or any evidence given”.
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The Vienna Declaration at the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights
(WCHR), adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights, including Mexico in
June 1993, which states: “non-governmental organisations should be free to carry
out their human rights activities, without interference, within the framework
of national law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send faxes/express/airmail letters in Spanish or your
own language:
- expressing concern at the intimidation and harassment of Consuelo Morales
Elizondo and other CADHAC members;
-urging the federal and state authorities to put an end to this intimidation
and harassment;
- calling for guarantees that human rights defenders in Mexico will be allowed
to carry out their legitimate activities free from interference;
- reminding the authorities of their commitment under the two treaties mentioned
above.
-If possible:
request a full and impartial investigation into the human rights violations,
including torture in the CERESO de Apodaca, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state
APPEALS TO:
Minister of the Interior
Lic. Francisco Labastida Ochoa
Secretario de Gobernación, Secretaría de Gobernación
Bucareli 99, 1er. piso, Col. Juárez C.P.06699, México DF, MEXICO
Fax: + 52 5 546 5350
Salutation:Sr. Secretarío/Dear Minister
Governor of Nuevo León
Lic. Fernando Canales Clariond,
Señor Gobernador de Nuevo León
Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Nuevo León, Monterrey, NL, MEXICO
Fax: + 52 8 343 9873
Salutation:Sr.Governador/Dear Governor
President of the Congress of Nuevo León
Lic. Gerardo Garza Sada
Señor Presidente del Congreso de Estado de Nuevo León
Matamoroz y Zaragoza, zona centro,
64000, Monterrey, NL, MEXICO
Salutation: Dear President of the Congress/Estimado Presidente del Congreso
COPIES TO:
President of the Human rights Committee of the Congress of Nuevo León
Dip. Lucilda Perez Salazar
Matamoroz y Zaragoza, zona centro
64000, Monterrey, NL, MEXICO
Salutation:Estimada Presidenta de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos del
Congreso/Dear President of the Human Rights Commision in Congress.
CADHAC
Padre Mier 617 PTE,64000 Monterrey, Nuevo León, MEXICO
and to diplomatic representatives of Mexico accredited to your country.
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PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or
your section office, if sending appeals after 12 April 1999.

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