• Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Indigenous Human Rights Defenders at Risk (Mexico: UA 63.10)

February 21, 2019

Armed men abducted Mexican Indigenous human rights defenders, Obtilia Eugenio Manuel (pictured below) and Hilario Cornelio Castro on 12 February 2019. Their captors released them on 16 February amidst an increasing national and international outcry over their disappearance. They continue doing their human rights work and continue at risk, while their attackers are at large. Both HRDs are members of the Organization of Indigenous Mepha’a People (OPIM, Organización del Pueblo Indígena Mepha’a). Obtilia Eugenio is also an elected member of the Indigenous Municipal Council of Ayutla de los Libres, Guerrero state, in southern Mexico. The authorities must implement protection measures on their behalf, investigate the attack they suffered, and bring those responsible to justice.

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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Olga Sánchez Cordero Minister of Interior Calle Abraham González No. 48 Col. Juárez, Cuauhtémoc Ciudad de México, C.P. 06600, MÉXICO Twitter: @SEGOB_mx, @M_OlgaSCordero 
Ambassador Martha Bárcena Coqui Embassy of Mexico 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC. 20006 Phone: 202 728 1600 Email: [email protected] Twitter: @Martha_Barcena Facebook: @EmbamexEUA Instagram: @embamexeua Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Minister,  I write to you in relation to the attack against human rights defenders Obtilia Eugenio Manuel and Hilario Cornelio Castro, members of the Organization of Indigenous Mepha’a People (OPIM) who were held captive by armed men from 12 to 16 February, in Guerrero state. They will continue to be at risk until those responsible for the attack are brought to justice because they continue to carry on their human rights work. Obtilia Eugenio Manuel is a founder and leader of OPIM and a recognized human rights defender. She was recently elected to the Indigenous Municipal Council of Ayutla de los Libres, in Guerrero state. She has received serious threats in the past due to her human rights work and is recipient of provisional measures ordered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights since 2009. So far, the protection provided by the Mexican government has been ineffective. I urge you to immediately take all necessary measures to guarantee their life and safety, so they can continue their work in defence of human rights without fear of reprisals; and to deliver a prompt, impartial and effective investigation into their abduction. Yours sincerely, ADDITIONAL RESOURCES