The lives of human rights defender Victor Andrés Cruz Chi and his family, from Colima, Mexico are under threat. They are being targeted for their work in support of the indigenous community of Zacualpan that has been resisting the presence of mining concessions on their land and for Victor's persistant willingness to confront state collusion in human rights violations taking place. The following is a translation in English the online urgent action being circulated by the Mexican National Network of Human Rights Organizations for the Rights of All (REDTDT its initials in Spanish).
These threats are ocurring mere days before Mexican legislative elections on June 7. This is part of a context of intensifying aggression and repression, which is playing out in different parts of the country. Like in many other cases, the threats against Victor Chi are suspected to be coming from state agents.
In September 2014, municipal police forcibly disappeared 43 students from the rural teachers’ college “Raul Isidro Burgos” in Ayotzinapa, on the same night that 6 others were murdered in Iguala, Guerrero. Investigative journalists working with the UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program and Proceso magazine have also found that federal police and army officers were tracking the students’ movements on September 26th, were present at the scene, and may be directly implicated in the murder and forced disappearance of the students. The current situation in the state of Guerrero is highly volatile.
Mexico is the top destination for Canadian mining investment outside of Canada, with nearly 200 Canadian mining companies operating in Mexico. This includes Goldcorp’s highly profitable ‘Los Filos’ open-pit gold mine, located a short distance from Iguala, Guerrero. Other companies, such as Minaurum Gold, Torex Gold, and Newstrike Capital have interests in the immediate vicinity. It is vitally important that Canadians be aware of the violent context in which these and other companies are operating and profiting, while land and environment defenders, workers, journalists and surrounding communities face deadly risks.
Thank you for taking the time to sign this petition and to pass it along. If you are distributing via twitter, please use the hashtags: #TerrorismoDeEstado #MéxicoResiste
Urgent Action: We express our concern and reject threats and harassment against Víctor Andrés Cruz Chi
This urgent action is addressed to below-mentioned Mexican authorities out of pressing concern for the life of human rights defender Victor Andrés Cruz Chi and his family, member of the environmental organization Bios Iguana A.C. in the state of Colima, Mexico. They are at serious risk, having been targets of a smear campaign, death threats, intervened communications, persecution, loss of work and various other forms of harassment.
Repeatedly, Victor has received death threats by phone, has been harassed by police officers at his home and his and his family’s electronic media and other means of communication have been intervened. A smear campaign in the mass media within the state of Colima has targeted him. Police, as well as supposed assassins and gang members, have been harassing his family and close friends.
Víctor Andrés Cruz Chi is part of the resistance against a mining project that is being imposed on the Indigenous community of Zacualpán. He is a social activist who has confronted the interests of a government that is constantly violating human rights for years. Despite repeat complaints and prior incidents in this case, the government of the state of Colima, far from avoiding human rights violations, has heightened threats against social activists further straining the situation in the preelectoral context.
The International and National Observation Mission in the case of Zacualpan, during its visit to Colima this past March, found and documented the repeat, serious aggressions against the organization Bios Iguana A.C., which it has faced since 2013. These include death threats, arbitrary detentions, defamation, intimidation and boycott as a result of their work. There is abundant evidence to demonstrate that it is the government of Colima who is directing these threats against human rights defenders from this group. As a result, we demand the immediate end to these threats against social activists in the state of Colima on the part of police forces and state intelligence. We demand a rapid and expedited investigation of the complaints that have been filed, and that those responsible for the violence perpetrated against human rights defender Victor Andrés Cruz Chi and his family be identified.
Enrique Peña Nieto
Presidente Constitucional de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong
Secretario de Gobernación
Lic. Luis Raúl González Pérez
Presidente de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos
Mario Anguiano Moreno
Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Colima
Víctor Manuel Gandarilla Carrasco
Delegado de la Secretaría de Gobernación en Colima
Rogelio Rueda Sánchez
Secretario General de Gobierno de Colima
Marcos Santana Montes
Procurador de Justicia del Estado de Colima
Roberto Chapula de la Mora
Presidente de la Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos de Colima
Translated from the original in Spanish here.