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Mexico: Fear for safety: Hilda Navarrete

, N° d'index: AMR 41/038/1998

There are fears for the safety of Hilda Navarrete, a member of a human rights group, after soldiers disrupted a meeting of a church group she was attending.

PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 41/38/98
UA 273/98 Fear for safety 20 October 1998
MEXICOHilda Navarrete - human rights defender
Members of a church group.
On 17 October 1998, members of the Mexican Army disrupted a meeting being held
by a church group in the Parish of Coyuca de Benítez, Guerrero state. The
soldiers, who were heavily armed, patrolled around the house, which belongs
to a local school teacher, for two hours, spying on and intimidating those
within. Subsequently the soldiers positioned themselves outside the door in
a threatening manner.
In view of recent escalating violence in the state of Guerrero, Amnesty
International is concerned for the safety of those present at the meeting.
The organization is particularly concerned for Hilda Navarrete, a member of
the human rights group 'La voz de los sin voz' (The voice of the voiceless),
which works for the defence of human rights in the region. Hilda Navarette
fears that she is being intimidated to discourage her from continuing her human
rights work.
On 22 September 1998, an anonymous phone call was made to the house of the
school teacher in Coyuca de Benítez by someone asking to speak to Hilda Navarete.
The person calling was informed that Hilda Navarete could only be contacted
at the time of the church meeting.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Threats against human rights defenders in the state of Guerrero are occurring
against a background of mounting violence. This dates back to the Aguas Blancas
massacre on 28 June 1995, in which 17 peasants were killed in an ambush staged by
Guerrero state police and government officials (see UA 159/95, AMR 41/15/95, 5 July
1995, and follow-ups AMR 41/16/95, 26 July and AMR 41/18/95, 17 August).
More recently, the events which took place in the community of El Charco, in
the state of Guerrero on 7 June 1998(see UA 173/98 AMR 41/29/98, 9 June 1998
and follow-up AMR 41/35/98 4 August 1998, and NS 113/98, AMR 41/29/98 12 June
1998) have increased Amnesty International's concerns at the activities of
the military in the region.
Hilda Navarette and 'La voz de los sin voz' have been active in campaigning
of behalf of those detained following the incidents at El Charco. During a
recent Amnesty International mission to Mexico, Hilda Navarette accompanied
members of the delegation, when they were denied access to see detainees at
the Centro de Readaptacion Social (CERESO), Centre for Social Readaptation,
in Acapulco, Guerrero State.
Amnesty International has also reported threats against other human rights
organisations, namely the Organización Campesina Sierra del Sur (OCSS),
Southern Sierra Peasant Organisation (see UA 159/95, AMR 41/15/95, 5 July 1995,
and follow-ups AMR 41/16/95, 26 July 1995 and AMR 41/18/95, 17 August 1995;
UA 173/98, AMR 41/29/98, 9 June 1998 and follow-up AMR 41/35/98, 4 August 1998;
UA 167/98, AMR 41/26/98, 29 May 1998; UA 204/98, AMR 41/32/98, 16 July 1998).
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in
Spanish or your own language:
- requesting that adequate measures be taken to guarantee the physical safety
of Hilda Navarette and all members of the church group;
2
- calling on the Governor of Guerrero, Lic Angel Eladio Aguirre Rivero, to
issue a directive to members of the security forces urging them to respect
the rights of human rights defenders and abide by the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights in particular Article 20 :"Everyone has the right to freedom
of peaceful assembly and expression”;
- supporting the work of human rights defenders, and to this end citing the
recommendation of the United Nations' Sub-Commission on Prevention of
Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, of 20 August 1998, which calls
for '...promoting the action of human rights defenders and guaranteeing their
safety';
- reminding the government of Mexico of its commitment to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, n particular Article 20 :"Everyone has the
right to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.”
APPEALS TO:
Governor of Guerrero State
Lic. Angel Eladio Aguirre Rivero
Gobernador del Estado de Guerrero
Palacio de Gobierno, Plaza Central, Primer Congreso de Anahuac
Chilpancingo 39000, Estado de Guerrero, MEXICO
Telegrams: Gobernador del Estado, Guerrero, México
Fax: + 52 747 2 8319
Salutation: Sr. Gobernador/ Dear Governor
Attorney General of Guerrero State
Lic. Servando Alanis Santos
Procurador del Estado de Guerrero
Carretera México-Acapulco Km. 6300
Chilpancingo 39000
Estado de Guerrero
MEXICO
Telegrams: Procurador del Estado, Guerrero, México
Fax: + 52 747 22328
Salutation: Sr. Procurador/ Dear State Attorney
Lic. Enrique Cervantes Aguirre
Secretario de la Defensa Nacional
Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional
Blvd. Manuel Vila Camacho y
Avda. Industria Militar
Col. Lomas de Sotelo
11640 México D.F.
MEXICO
Fax: (+52 5) 557 8963
Salutation: Señor Secretario/Dear Mr Secretary
COPIES TO:
La Voz de los Sin Voz
Hilda Navarrete Gorjon
Calle Venustiano Carranza numero 26,
Codigo Postal 40980,
Coyuca de Benitez,
Guerrero, MÉXICO
Congressional Human Rights Commission
Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Congreso,
Edificio del Congreso de la Nación,
Avenida del Congreso,
Edificio A, 2 nivel,
Mexico D.F., MEXICO
Fax: + 52 554 23247
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 1 December 1998.
""Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.”
Article 20 , Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Visit the Amnesty International UDHR campaign website on http://www.amnesty.excite.com

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