PBI-Mexico accompanied Comité Cerezo report documents the extrajudicial killing of 14 human rights defenders in 2020

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On January 13, the Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project posted: “We share the report made by the Comité Cerezo México.”

PBI-Mexico then highlights a key finding of the report: “14 human rights defenders were extrajudicially executed in 2020.”

One of those listed in the Comité Cerezo report is Oscar Ontiveros Martinez who was killed in May of last year in the state of Guerrero.

Rasa Informa has reported: “Ontiveros relatives hold Canadian mining executives led by Media Luna manager Alfredo Phillips responsible.”

And MiningWatch Canada has previously noted: “Labour activist Oscar Ontiveros Martínez was reported to have been murdered on May 12 by community police linked to organized crime, that operate around Torex Gold’s mine in Guerrero.”

It adds: “Ontiveros Martínez’ assassination has been connected with his involvement in a 2017 strike involving about 600 workers who sought to change unions, a struggle that has led to at least three murders and one disappearance to date.”

Proceso summary of the Cerezo report

The Mexican news magazine Proceso further reports: “For political reasons, 14 human rights defenders were extrajudicially executed in 2020, the second year of the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.”

“The foregoing is clear from a report by the Cerezo Mexico Committee, which highlights that Oaxaca tops the list of defenders executed extrajudicially, with six cases, followed by Guerrero and Baja California, with two each, and Chiapas, Chihuahua, Morelos and Veracruz, with a case in each state.”

“According to the report, of the 14 extrajudicial executions, four activists defended the right to a healthy environment; two, respectively, the right to territory, a dignified life and human rights, and with one case are the defenders of the right to protest, labor rights, freedom of expression and justice.”

“Of the cases, 65% of the victims (eight) of extrajudicial execution were human rights defenders who belonged to an indigenous people, 36% (five cases) were mestizo [persons of combined European and Indigenous ancestry] and in one case they were unable to determine whether or not they belonged to an indigenous people.”

“The Cerezo Committee clarified that as a human rights organization it did not document homicides committed by individuals, it only included extrajudicial executions perpetrated against human rights defenders.”

The article further notes: “These executions were carried out for political reasons, that is, as a form of punishment for the defense activity or exercise of any human right that the defenders carried out, and the perpetrators were State agents under the modality of commission or acquiescence.”

The PDF of the 15-page Comité Cerezo report can be read in full here.

Photo: On August 21, 2019, PBI-Mexico posted: “Yesterday we had the honour of accompanying the presentation of the report Defend Human Rights in Mexico: The End of Impunity? Each year, the Comité Cerezo together with the Urgent Action for Human Rights Defenders (ACUDDEH) make an annual report on the situation of human rights defenders in Mexico. We applaud this research and analysis.”

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