WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
24 May 2012 | News

Mexican Human Rights Defender Receives Death Threat

Recently, Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, a lawyer at the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center in Guerrero, Mexico, received an anonymous threat related to his work with the organization. The threat alluded to cases which Tlachinollan has worked on, as well as the organization’s condemnations of abuses by police and military forces. Specifically, the threat referred to the cases of Inés Fernández and Valentian Rosendo, two indigenous women who were raped by members of the army, and the case of two students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero that were killed at the hands of security forces during a demonstration. The threat stated:

“Vidulfo. You little *sshole lawyer defender of vandals and guerrillas stop f*cking around, shut up or we will send you back home in pieces. We are not playing, stop talking sh*t or you will die. Do you think you are a big deal? You little sh*t lawyer, stop defaming the authorities, you already owe us many times over, you get involved in everything, La Parota, the so-called raped women, and now with the Ayotzinapa vandals. Shut up or start getting your flowers together because we are following you now, we know what you do and where you go. You are going to die you are going to die you are going to die ha ha ha. Yours, The Law”

On May 23, Tlachinollan filed a formal complaint with the Attorney General’s Office of the state of Guerrero. In a statement signed by numerous Mexican and international organizations, Tlachinollan states that “The threat represents a direct reprisal for the work that we have carried out in defense of the human rights of the population of Guerrero over the last 18 years.” It is also worth highlighting that in spite of the fact that the Mexican government has approved a protection mechanism for human rights defenders, this mechanism has not yet been implemented and the government has failed to provide effective security measures in the meantime. In this sense, the threat against Mr. Rosales Sierra reflects the context in which human rights defenders carry out their work throughout Mexico.

For many years WOLA has worked closely with Tlachinollan, which received our Human Rights Award in 2009, and we have provided support for the cases on which they work. We are deeply concerned by the threat against Mr. Rosales Sierra, and we call on the Mexican authorities to provide security measures for the members of Tlachinollan. We also call for an immediate, exhaustive, and effective investigation of this threat so that human rights defenders can carry out their work without fear of reprisals.

Click here to read Tlachinollan’s statement.

Click here to see the letter sent by WOLA, LAWG, and the RFK Center to Mexico’s Minister of the Interior.

Click here to see the Urgent Action issued by Amnesty International on the case.