Criminalisation of Father Marcelo Perez Perez, Parish Priest of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas
Joint Declaration ACAT-France; Front Line Defenders; International Service for Peace – SiPaz; Ökumenisches Büro für Frieden und Gerechtigkeit e.V. (Munich, Germany); Protection International Mesoamérica; Taula per Mèxic (Barcelona); Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation, with the international observation of Peace Brigades International.
The undersigned organisations express their deep concern at the attempted criminalisation of Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez, parish priest of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, human rights defender of the peoples and communities of the state of Chiapas who, through faith, pilgrimages and conflict mediation, works peacefully to achieve peace in the state.
According to 26 civil society organisations, there is a request for an arrest warrant against human rights defender Marcelo Pérez Pérez, requested by the State Attorney General's Office on 21 June 2022 in front of the Control Court and Trial Court of the Judicial District of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez has previously been criminalised in 2014, and has also been the victim of threats, harassment, intimidation, and physical aggression, which have increased considerably since 2020. It is because of this dangerous situation brought on by his work in defence of human rights that Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez had precautionary measures issued for him in 2016 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which are currently still in force.
Several of the organisations signing this statement have previously expressed concern regarding the situation of risk that Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez faces. Despite the appeals made, neither a safe nor favourable environment has been procured to enable him to exercise his right to defend human rights.
The undersigned organisations reiterate the international obligation of the Mexican government to adopt immediate responses to criminalisation processes.
The organisations urge the Federal Government to protect and guarantee the personal liberty of Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez and call for the recognition of the legitimate work of Father Marcelo Perez Perez in the defence of human rights and for all pertinent actions to be taken to guarantee the exercise of his rights as well as his physical and emotional integrity.
Joint Declaration: ACAT-France; Front Line Defenders; International Service for Peace – SiPaz; Ökumenisches Büro für Frieden und Gerechtigkeit e.V. (Munich, Germany); Protection International Mesoamérica; Taula per Mèxic (Barcelona); Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation, with the international observation of Peace Brigades International.