AI: Women Human Rights Defenders Threatened

  • Two women activists, both members of a human rights organization in Oaxaca State, southern Mexico, are being threatened and harassed.

Human rights defender Alba Cruz Ramos received a threatening text message on 30 April. It was similar to threats she had received before: it called her “mum” (mami) and it said that there was still unfinished business, the senders intended not to repeat the threat but to act on it. Alba Cruz Ramos, a lawyer coordinator at human rights organization Human Rights Integral Defense Committee (Comité de Defensa Integral de Derechos Humanos Gobixha AC, CODIGO-DH), has been receiving protection measures since 2007 from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos) to provide protection against threats for her human rights work.

Another human rights defender working with CODIGO-DH, Susana Ramírez, was arrested and released after 34 hours in custody. She was not ill-treated, but CODIGO-DH believe her arrest was in reprisal for her human rights work. She had been covering a protest in Oaxaca City for her work in the communications department of CODIGO-DH when protesters clashed with members of the municipal police. She told the police that she was not taking part in the protest but documenting it, however she was detained along with 28 other people. Susana Ramírez was held incommunicado for several hours; and was only allowed to talk to her lawyer and family after 14 hours.

Please write immediately in Spanish, English or your own language:

  • Urging the authorities to guarantee the safety of Alba Cruz Ramos and all members of CODIGO-DH so that they are able to carry out their work without fear of reprisals or illegal detention;
  • Urging them to order a full, prompt and impartial investigation into the threatening message received by Alba Cruz on 30 April and bring those responsible to justice;
  • Reminding the authorities of their duty to guarantee that human rights defenders can carry out their work without fear of reprisals, as established in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.