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New criminal investigation of Kenia Inés Hernandez Montalván makes 9 total cases against the WHRD

Status: 
Under Investigation
About the situation

On 18 March 2022, the National Judiciary notified woman human rights defender Kenia Inés Hernandez Montalván of the existence of a new investigation for "attacks on communication roads" in the state of Guerrero. A judge will announce the details of the indictment on 5 April 2022, when it will be determined whether the woman human rights defender will be formally charged as a result of her peaceful resistance against development models that harm indigenous and peasant communities in the state of Guerrero.

About Kenia Inés Hernandez Montalván

Kenia MontalvanIndigenous defender Kenia Inés Hernandez Montalván has been imprisoned for one year and five months, since her arbitrary arrest on 6 June 2020. Since then she has been subjected to a criminalisation campaign orchestrated against her, in retaliation for her peaceful and legitimate work in the defence of land and indigenous peoples rights. There are 9 criminal cases open against her in 4 different Mexican states including Morelos, Guerrero, Guanajuato and the State of Mexico. Kenia Inés Hernandez Montalván faces prosecution and official harassment while detained in the maximum security prison Centro Federal de Readaptación Social Femenil (CEFERESO) No. 16, in the municipality of Coatlán, Morelos State.

24 March 2022
New criminal investigation of Kenia Inés Hernandez Montalván makes 9 total cases against the WHRD

On 18 March 2022, the National Judiciary notified woman human rights defender Kenia Inés Hernandez Montalván of the existence of a new investigation for "attacks on communication roads" in the state of Guerrero. A judge will announce the details of the indictment on 5 April 2022, when it will be determined whether the woman human rights defender will be formally charged as a result of her peaceful resistance against development models that harm indigenous and peasant communities in the state of Guerrero.

Indigenous defender Kenia Inés Hernandez Montalván has been imprisoned for one year and five months, since her arbitrary arrest on 6 June 2020. Since then she has been subjected to a criminalisation campaign orchestrated against her, in retaliation for her peaceful and legitimate work in the defence of land and indigenous peoples rights. There are 9 criminal cases open against her in 4 different Mexican states including Morelos, Guerrero, Guanajuato and the State of Mexico. Kenia Inés Hernandez Montalván faces prosecution and official harassment while detained in the maximum security prison Centro Federal de Readaptación Social Femenil (CEFERESO) No. 16, in the municipality of Coatlán, Morelos State.

Front Line Defenders is particularly concerned about the new charges brought against the woman human rights defender, as offence of "attacks on communication roads" regulated under the “Law of Roads”, which was recently amended in February 2022. The amendment would allow the WHRD to be charged retroactively, for her alleged participation in events in 2019.

Kenia Inés Hernández Montalván, has been a beneficiary of the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists since September 2019. Other members of the social movement Zapata Vive collective that she leads and with which she defends land rights, have been subject to persistent threats and judicial harrasmen tsince February 2019.

Front Line Defenders reiterates that Kenia Inés Hernandez Montalván is being targeted by the Mexican authorities as a result of her legitimate work in defence of the land rights of indigenous peoples collective rights and interprets the criminalisation campaign against her as part of an extensive strategy to intimidate and discourage others from engaging in the defence of rights in the country.

Front Line Defenders reiterates its call on the Mexican authorities to release Kenia Inés Hernandez Montalván and to drop the unfounded charges and cease the baseless investigations against her.