La Jornada reports on refusal of Judge to meet with organizations about the murder of lawyer Arnulfo Cerón Soriano

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On September 24, the Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project posted on their Facebook page: “Yesterday we accompanied Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre, Red TDT and Fundar México in their displacement to the 10th District Court in the city of Chilpancingo, in pursuit of the case of the disappeared and later murdered defender, Arnulfo Cerón Soriano. The organizations could not be received by the judge.”

Arnulfo Cerón Soriano was a 47-year-old Indigenous Nahua lawyer and social activist with the Popular Mountain Front and Movement for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of the State of Guerrero (MOLPEG). He had previously worked as a lawyer with Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre in the mid-1990s.

On October 11, 2019, he was disappeared in the city of Tlapa in the state of Guerrero. Forty days later, on November 20, his body was found in a clandestine grave.

Now, on September 25, La Jornada reports:

State, national and international organizations that defend human rights, denounced that last Wednesday, Jacinto Figueroa Salmorán, who serves as the Tenth District Judge of the Twenty-First Circuit, based in Chilpancingo, refused to receive them.

In an interview Lena Weber, from Peace Brigades International in Mexico, stated that “NGOs in the country face a high risk situation and we monitor this security situation.”

She stated that her organization accompanies the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center, and they have “followed up on the case of the kidnapping, disappearance, and subsequent murder of Arnulfo Cerón,” an emblematic case, “which occurs in a context in which the defenders of the country’s human rights, are facing many problems.”

Ángel Ruíz, from FUNDAR, asserted that “we come with an international and national mission in the case of the disappearance of Arnulfo Cerón, last year; We believe that certain standards have to be taken into account in order to understand how issues of microcriminality operate”, however, he regretted that “in the end the meeting could not be held.”

Claudia Ignacio, from the TDT Network, from Mexico City, assured that there is concern “because the issue of the pandemic (of Covid-19) can be used to hinder access to justice for the family of Arnulfo Cerón, which is a very relevant topic. ”

Sandra Alarcón, on behalf of Tlachinollan, said: “We are concerned that they have not received us”, since “we had the interest” to “analyze (with the judge) the situation of the amparo that is to be resolved in the case of Arnulfo Cerón”, which could lead to “the release of Marco Antonio ‘N’, chief of staff of the current municipal government of Tlapa de Comonfort”, imprisoned for his probable participation in the disappearance and murder of the activist.

The full article (in Spanish) can be read at: They denounce the lack of interest of authorities in the case of a murdered activist.

PBI-Mexico notes: “PBI continues to monitor the case of the defender Arnulfo Cerón Soriano and the security situation of his family members and the defenders linked to the case. We recall the duty of the authorities to ensure the protection of human rights defenders, including the due investigation of their cases as part of the fight against impunity.”

PBI-Mexico has accompanied Tlachinollan since 2003.

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