Urgent Action: Indigenous Leader Killed, Community at Risk (Mexico: UA 27/17)

Urgent Action
February 2, 2017
On 1 February, Indigenous leader Juan Ontiveros Ramos was found dead in Chihuahua State, northern Mexico. Unknown men forcibly took from his home the day before and brutally beat other members of his family during the attack. Inhabitants of the Choréachi community remain at risk.
On 31 January, unidentified armed men broke into the family home of Juan Ontiveros Ramos in Guadalupe y Calvo municipality, beat him and other family members and forcibly took him away. Witnesses heard gunshots immediately after. On 1 February, Juan Ontiveros’ body was found elsewhere in the same municipality.
Juan Ontiveros Ramos was a leader of the Raramuri (Tarahumara) Indigenous People. He was in charge of the security issues of the Choréachi community (also known as Pino Gordo), located in Guadalupe y Calvo municipality, Chihuahua State. On several occasions, he had presented information to the Mexican government on the concerns and challenges faced by his people in relation to criminality, including organized crime in the region. To this effect, he participated on a high-level meeting with state and federal authorities on 20 January.
Amnesty International has information indicating that other members of the Raramuri people have been targeted after briefing authorities or making public statements about their security concerns. Some leaders and their families, as well as staff of NGOs working on the field, had fled the community in previous years following threats and attacks by armed people. Amnesty International believes that other community members, living in Choréachi or forcibly displaced elsewhere in Chihuahua State, are at risk.
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Calling on the authorities to carry out a full, prompt and impartial investigation into killing of Juan Ontiveros Ramos and to bring those responsible to justice;
  • Urging the them to immediately and effectively protect the remaining Indigenous authorities and their families, in strict accordance with their wishes;
  • Calling on them to guarantee the security of the Choréachi community, in accordance and in coordination with the Indigenous authorities;
  • Calling on them to take all necessary measures to ensure that forcibly displaced people can safely return to their community if they so desire it.
Contact these two officials by 16 March, 2017:
Minister of the interior
Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong    
Secretaría de Gobernación
Bucareli 99, Col. Juárez,     
Del. Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06600    
Ciudad de México, México    
Twitter: @osoriochong
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Minister / Sr. Secretario
PDF version: 
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