March 28, 2017
  
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PBI Mexico > Where We Work > Oaxaca > Other human rights defenders in Oaxaca 

Other human rights defenders in Oaxaca

At the present moment, PBI’s team in Oaxaca officially accompanies four human rights organisations. However, PBI also follows the security situation of the following organisations very closely, and has provided support to many of them on occasions.

The following organisations have received the accompaniment of PBI in Oaxaca State in the past:

Accompaniment to the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Advice for Indigenous Peoples (Cedhapi), 2009-2012

The Oaxaca PBI team has provided accompaniment to members of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Advice for Indigenous Peoples (Cedhapi) from 2009 until 2012 and continues to closely monitor the work of the organization. Founded in 2001, Cedhapi has a mandate to protect the fundamental rights of indigenous people and is dedicated to legal defense and public reporting in cases of serious violations of human rights in the Mixteca region of Oaxaca.

The human rights defenders of Cedhapi have requested PBI accompaniment due to the death threats they received following their legal defense work in the case of the massacre of Santo Domingo Ixcatlán. In April of 2008, Gustavo Castañeda Martínez, Melesio Martínez Robles and Inocencio Medina Bernadbé were assassinated by a group of armed men, with supposed connections to the local authorities. Since then, the armed group has continued to harass the population of Santo Domingo Ixcatlán. Due to this situation, since May 2008 177 members of the community have obtained precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Cedhapi has also applied for precautionary measures for the people of Zimatlán de Lázaro Cárdenas and the missing people of Pochutla, together with Barca-DH. To address this situation of insecurity, on 4 August 2010, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights granted precautionary measures to guarantee the life and physical integrity of the members of the community of Zimatlán de Lázaro Cárdenas. On 29 November 2011, the Commission issued precautionary measures for the ten missing men from Pochutla.

Accompaniment to the 25th of November Liberation Committee in 2009 and 2010

The 25th of November Liberation Committee (Comité de Liberación 25 de Noviembre) emerged in 2006 as an independent initiative by human rights defenders in response to the human rights violations carried out by the security forces and the State and Federal Governments during the social protests of 2006 and 2007 in Oaxaca. The Committee’s name refers to the detention and imprisonment of 139 people, the torture of many more, and the raids of homes that took place on 25 November 2006.

PBI provided accompaniment to the organization from December 2009 until December 2010, when the Committee dissolved in order to become Código-DH, which is currently accompanied by PBI. The Committee first requested international accompaniment because of the worrying threats and attacks suffered by its members due to their work in consultation and legal defence to the victims of human rights violations, as well as their actions in the promotion of access to justice and the fight against the impunity surrounding the crimes attributed to public officials in Oaxaca.

For more information on the 25th of November Liberation Committee, please see:

Accompaniment to Flor y Canto in 2010

In 2010 the Center for Indigenous Rights Flor y Canto (Centro de Derechos Indígenas Flor y Canto A.C) organized a Civil Observation Mission, with the aim of documenting the grave problems of the scarcity of water, and the contamination of rivers, streams, wells and crop fields, as well as the over-exploitation of water by transnational companies. According to reports, these problems in the region have provoked the violation of the Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental rights of the campesino and indigenous communities in the districts of Ocotlán de Morelos and Zimatlán de Álvarez. PBI provided a short-term accompaniment to Flor y Canto and to the Coordination of the United Peoples for the Defence of the Water (Coordinadora de Pueblos Unidos por la Defensa del Agua) in this Civil Observation Mission, called “Water is life, we defend its existence”, in August 2010.

Accompaniment to Radio Calenda in 2007

At the request of the Mexican Commission for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights and the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, the PBI Mexico team provided international accompaniment to members of Radio Calenda during the 2007 electoral period. From when they first began their broadcasting work, the Radio Calenda team were victims of harassment and death threats. Due to this situation, in February 2007 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights granted precautionary measures to the members of Radio Calenda.

Accompaniment to the Oaxacan Human Rights Network in 2007

On the 14 July 2007, after the attempted eviction undertaken by the State government to end the protests by state school teachers in the main square in Oaxaca, the Oaxacan Human Rights Network (Red Oaxaqueña de Derechos Humanos, RODH) requested that PBI visit the city. PBI's objective was to review the human rights situation and the security conditions for civil organisations. In September 2007, PBI accompanied a civil observation mission which aimed to observe the human rights situation in the state of Oaxaca and document violations. PBI accompanied different members of the RODH during their observation activities as a mechanism to guarantee their security.

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