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Meztli Omixochitl Sarabia Reyna

HRD & Member
Popular Union of Street Vendors October 28

Meztli Omixochitl Sarabia Reyna was a labour rights defender, member of the Unión Popular de Vendedores Ambulantes 28 de Octubre – UPVA (Popular Union of Street Vendors October 28) and daughter of human rights defender Ruben Sarabia “Simitrio”, leader and co-founder of the same organization. UPVA is an organisation based in Puebla defending the rights of street merchants and labour rights, and organises social protests on the issues. The organisation has faced repression since its founding and its members have been subject to constant attacks, death threats, stigmatization and judicial harassment.

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.