WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
26 Jan 2009 | News

WOLA and LAWG Urge Justice for Members of the Mexican Indigenous Group OPIM

This week five detained members of the Mexican indigenous group OPIM (la Organización del Pueblo Indígena Me’phaa) submitted an “amparo”to a federal judge to seek an injunction against the formal writ of imprisonment unjustly placed against them for the murder of Alejandro Feliciano García.  These five human rights defenders remain imprisoned despite the fact that three months ago the Eighth Judge of the Acapulco District determined that there was insuficient evidence connecting Manuel Cruz, Orlando Manzanares, Natalio Ortega y Romualdo Santiago to the crime and ordered that they be released. While no evidence exists to support their culpability, the Attorney General requested a revision of this decision, resulting in the continued and unjust detention of the OPIM members.

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Latin America Working Group (LAWG) have followed this case for the last year and have sent various letters to Guerrero authorities regarding the unjust detention of the members of the OPIM.   On January 26th, WOLA and LAWG again sent a public letter to State Governor Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo, expressing their concern about the continued detention of these five human rights defenders and the revision of the court’s decision to release them.

In light of the recent challenge to the amparo granted the detainees, WOLA and LAWG renew their call to the federal, state and judicial authorities to support an impartial and lawful resolution regarding the detention of the OPIM members.  WOLA and LAWG also continue demanding that the state of Guerrero guarantee the physical safety and well-being of these individuals as is guaranteed by the National Commission for Human Rights.  Finally, WOLA and LAWG hope that the authorities will cancel the remaining arrest warrants against the other ten members of the OPIM that are falsely accused of the same homicide.


Maureen Meyer, Associate for Mexico and Central America

Jennifer Johnson, Senior Associate on Mexico