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Letter to Calderon, after 7 years of unjust imprisonment

Monday 25 August 2008, by Comité Cerezo México

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On August 13, the brothers, Alejandro, Héctor and Antonio Cerezo Contreras, along with Pablo Alvarado Flores, were unjustly arrested, tortured and imprisoned. The four were unjustly accused of being responsible for detonating three explosive devices in three branch banks in Mexico City, August 8, 2001.

It is important to note that in 2005, the judge exonerated Alejandro Cerezo of any crime and he was released on March 1 of that year after spending 4 years in maximum security prisons. Pablo Alvarado served his unjust 5-year sentence and was released in August of 2006. This was not the case with Héctor and Antonio Cerezo. In spite of the fact that it was proven during the trial that they did not commit the crimes that led to their arrest, their sentence of 7 years and 6 months was ratified, and they are unjustly held in prison this very day.

7 years have passed since the unjust arrest of the Cerezo Contreras brothers, 7 years of finding no one responsible for their physical and psychological torture, 7 years of impunity, 7 years of injustice, 7 years of trying to link the Comité Cerezo Mexico with armed groups in order to de-legitimize their work in defense of human rights in Mexico.

We make a concerned call on you to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Francisco, Emiliana, and Alejandro Cerezo Contreras and all the other members of the human rights organization, Comité Cerezo México, and end the harassment against us. We remind you that since the emergence of this human rights organization, its members have been harassed through continuous death threats by e-mail and telephone and that there has even been physical aggression against one of the members.

In our opinion, the human rights situation in Mexico is outrageous. We remind you that the Mexican State has signed international treaties in this field, which in many cases such as our own have not been adhered to, in violation of international law.

7 years after the unjust imprisonment of the brothers, Héctor and Antonio Cerezo Contreras, which have been 7 years of continuous harassment against the Comité Cerezo México, we demand that the Mexican State:

. Bring its actions into compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the international agreements and conventions ratified by Mexico concerning the protection of human rights defenders.

. Respect the human rights defense work of the Comité Cerezo México.

At the same time, we condemn the constitutional reform in criminal justice passed at the end of January, 2008, which criminalizes the work of individuals and organizations demanding justice and better conditions of life in Mexico.

Stop the criminalization of social activists!
Stop the harassment against the Comité Cerezo México!
Freedom for political prisoners and prisoners of conscience!

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