PBI-Mexico calls on Mexican State to guarantee and respect the work of human rights defenders

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On February 16, PBI-Mexico tweeted: “During the early hours of Tuesday, February 15, a police operation evacuated the Altepemelcalli facilities, in Cuanalá, Puebla. The ‘House of the Peoples’ has meant a space for the communities to defend their collective rights.”

Their Twitter thread also noted:

The United Peoples of the Cholulteca Region and the Volcanes and members of @fpdtampt [the People’s Front in Defense of Water and Land – Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala] turned Altepemelcalli into a space to exercise their rights as indigenous communities and against the dispossession of water and the scarcity that exists in the region.

In Altepelmecalli, defenders met to reflect and articulate on the defence of their rights as indigenous communities to water to territory, to a healthy environment, to self-determination. In their own words, “to life”.

Currently and frequently there have been various incidents against communities and members of @fpdtampt both in Morelos and Puebla. There is an increased risk against community defenders due to: criminalization, direct threats, homicides.

Days before, the @fpdtampt condemned the murder of [water defender] Francisco Vázquez [in Morelos]: “Framed in the context of violence, attacks and violations of human rights faced by those who defend their rights to water and land against the PIM [Morelos Integral Project that includes a gas pipeline, aqueduct and thermoelectric plant].

The eviction from Altepemelcalli is part of this same context of risk that communities and their members see increasing due to the defamation and criminalization to which they are subjected due to the peaceful defense of their collective rights.

These acts occur a few days from commemorating 3 years since the murder of community defender and popular communicator Samir Flores in 2019 in Morelos, who had spoken out in favor of the rights of peoples and against the Project Comprehensive Morelos.

For all of the above, we express our concern about the climate of constant risk that exists for community defenders in the center of the country and for the members of @fpdtampt.

We call on the Mexican State to guarantee and respect the defense work of articulated communities in favor of their rights and to guarantee their integrity and life as defenders of their human rights and collectives.

PBI-Mexico has accompanied the People’s Front in Defense of Water and Land – Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala (FPDTA-MPT) since early 2020.

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