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Juan Ontiveros Ramos


Juan Ontiveros Ramos was an environmental and indigenous rights defender of the Rarámuri people, of which he was also a traditional authority in the community of Choreáchi. The human rights defender was dedicated to combating illegal logging and land grabbing for illicit crop harvesting on the ancestral lands of the Rarámuri people, in the Sierra Tarahumara. Juan Ontiveros Ramos had also been appointed by his community to oversee their security.

Human rights defenders (HRDs) and journalists in Mexico are subject to intimidation, legal harassment, arbitrary detention, death threats, acts of physical aggression, enforced disappearances and killings as a result of their activities in defence of human rights and the exercise of freedom of expression and journalism.

Disappearances are endemic in Mexico, often happening with collusion from the state. HRDs working on the issue face serious risk, up to and including death. HRDs working in the defence of territory, particularly indigenous territory, face a similar level of risk. They are criminalised, imprisoned, defamed, and often killed. Journalists working on any of these issues, or issues related to the drugs trade and the government's complicity in this, also run the risk of losing their lives.