Mexico D.F., September 21, 2006.
Lic. Vicente Fox Quesada Lic. Carlos Abascal Carranza
Presidente de la República Secretario de Gobernación
Dr. José Luis Soberanes Fernández
Presidente de la CNDH
Unidad Para la Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Humanos de la Secretaría de Gobernación
Santiago Cantón Louise Arbour
Secretario Ejecutivo de la CIDH Alta Comisionado de la ONU
The Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (LIMEDDH) requests your urgent intervention in the face of acts of harassment against Alejandro, Francisco, and Emiliana Cerezo Contreras, their brothers Héctor and Antonio Cerezo Contreras, and members of Comité Cerezo.
On September 20, 2006, in the City of Puebla, State of Puebla, members of the Comité Cerezo, Alejandro Cerezo Contreras, Mr. Pablo Alvarado Flores, and Israel Sampedro Morales, the latter person being a member of the Comité Cerezo of Puebla, gave a presentation at the Casa Amarilla. They noted that they were observed and followed there by two people in a navy blue Pointer, license plate number LZB2406, of the State of Mexico.
On the following day, September 21, at 11:15 am they attended a Forum against Repression at the union hall of the University Workers of the Autonomous University of Puebla (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, SUNTUAP), located at 21 Oriente. Once again they saw people in the vehicle mentioned above, who stayed there until the end of the meeting at 3:00 pm. As of the time they left the meeting, they were followed by the same individuals for a long time.
Since August of 2001, the members of the Comité Cerezo have been the object of constant death threats, persecutions, and slander, which regrettably have not been adequately investigated by the corresponding authorities, leading to the perpetuation of hostilities and forming a systematic pattern of impunity.
We call to your attention the most recent events, such as the death threats received by e-mail on September 6, 2006. Formerly, in May of 2006, a person who was filming Francisco Cerezo Contreras was detained by students and handed over to university authorities; based on identification and objects that he carried, it is probable that he is an agent of the Federal Preventive Police and/or the Mexican Army; this incident coincided with threats received by e-mail. Likewise, in February of this year, Francisco Cerezo, was followed in Mexico City. Restrictions were also placed on communications with his brothers being held prisoner. Antonio Cerezo was punished by being placed in segregation for having covered the cartridge of a ball point pen with toilet paper and thread so that he could write with it. Hector Cerezo was also punished by being placed in isolation due to the fact that there was a photocopy in a letter that he received at the prison.
Likewise, on May 17, 2005, at 15:05, in Mexico City, Alejandro Cerezo Contreras (who was absolved and released after three and a half years of unjust prison), was the object of persecution and surveillance by individuals in a navy blue Focus, license plates 553TPM
On August 13, 2001, in Mexico City the Cerezo Contreras Brothers—Alejandro, Hector, and Antonio—students at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), were arrested and tortured along with the carpenter Sergio Galicia Máx and the indigenous man Pablo Alvarado Flores, accused of terrorism by the Attorney General of Mexico after several firecrackers were set off in banks. Héctor and Antonio Cerezo are still prisoners at the Federal Social Rehabilitation Center #1, maximum security prison “Altiplano”, formerly “La Palma”, sentenced to 7 and ½ years in prison. The National Human Rights Commission opened the complaint file 2001 /21 24-1 and on September 28, in accordance with file 017796, concluded that “This National Commission presumes the existence of human rights violations consisting of cruel treatment, especially after observing the wound sustained by Héctor Cerezo Contreras...” The attorney Digna Ochoa y Placido, who was handling the defense in this case, was assassinated on October 19, 2001.
Under these circumstances, and considering the background of threats and persecution of the members of the Comité Cerezo (see Urgent Action, by Amnesty International: AMR 41/003/2002/s - 11 de enero de 2002) and recalling that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued a document asking that the Mexican Government take precautionary measures. And in view of the legal situation of the case of the Cerezo Contreras brothers—Antonio, Héctor, and Alejandro—and the indigenous man Pablo Alvarado Flores, recalling that Alejandro Cerezo was released after being exonerated on March 3, 2004, and that Pablo Alvarado was released on August 13, 2006, all having been exonerated of various offenses, including terrorism, and having had their sentence reduced, yet persisting the offenses of organized crime and possession of arms, which were planted.
Limeddh consider that these acts of intimidation against the human rights defenders who are members of the Comité Cerezo, in addition to the all the other acts mentioned, should be considered as cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, that in and of themselves tend to annul their personality and threaten their psychological integrity and that pose an extremely serious threat that should be heeded. Limeddh submits that the facts referred to are actions that are contrary to the rights of life, personal integrity, the right to be treated equally under the law, personal liberty, the right to effective recourse, freedom of thought and expression, and the right to petition, protected by: 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23 y 35 de The Political Constitution of the United Mexican States; 3, 5, 9, 10, 19 de The Universal Declaration of Human Rights; 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13 y 21 de The American Convention on Human Rights, I, IV, VIII, XXV, XXIV of The American Declaration of Human Rights, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
In view of the previous considerations Limeddh requests:
i.- That all necessary measures be taken to put an end to the harassment and threats against Francisco, Alejandro, and Emiliana Cerezo and the members of the Cerezo Committee for Human Rights.
ii.- That the physical and psychological integrity of Hector and Antonio CEREZO now held in CEFERESO # be guaranteed..
iii. That urgent, concrete measures be taken to implement the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, also known as the Declaration on the Rights and Responsibilities of Individuals, Groups, and Institutions to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
iv.- That the application of the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998,be guaranteed, especially in reference to the protection of the rights of all people”...individually or collectively, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels” (Art.1), and also in reference to the obligation of the State to guarantee...the protection by the corresponding authorities to of all people, individually or collectively, in the face of any kind of violence, threat, reprisal, discrimination, de facto or de jure denial, pressure, or any other arbitrary action resulting from the legitimate exercise of the rights mentioned in the present Declaration 8 art. 12.2) in the Resolution on Human Rights Defenders in the Americas AG/RES. 1671 (XXIX-O/99), adopted by the Organization of American States on June 7 1999.
v.- That the Citizen President of the United Mexican States, based on Article 8 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, within his jurisdiction and responsibilities, investigate the facts described here and inform us of the actions that the government decides to take to resolve this situation.
vi.- That the international bodies for the protection of human rights, within their powers, express their concern for the gravity of the facts and urge the Mexican government to respond to the petitions.
A flame that burns for the rights of the people!
Adrián Ramírez López
PLEASE SEND YOUR RESPONSES WITH THE CODE AU- 019-2006-PUE-CEREZO
Send appeals as quickly as possible in Spanish, English, or your own language to the following e-mail addresses:
radio presidencia.gob.mx; presidencia gob.mx; vicentefox presidencia.gob.mx; cabascal segob.gob.mx; faguilerac segob.gob.mx; ofproc pgr.gob.mx; correo cndh.org.mx; respeleta segob.gob.mx; pmunoz segob.gob.mx; tb-petitions ohchr.org; cidhoea oas.org; comitecerezo nodo50.org
- expressing your concern for the safety of Alejandro, Francisco, and Emiliana Cerezo Contreras, and the other members of the Comité Cerezo;
- urging authorities to conduct an immediate, exhaustive, impartial investigation of the occurrences against the Comité Cerezo; asking that the results of this investigation be made public and that the responsible parties be brought to justice;
- urging authorities to guarantee the safety of Alejandro Cerezo Contreras, and the members of the Comité Cerezo.