Front Line Defenders
Defending human rights in Mexico
On Tuesday 20 September, a delegation of Mexican human rights defenders will be in Bruxelles to speak about the human rights situation in the country and the high risks that HRDs face.
From August 2014 to December 2015, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued five official opinions to the Mexican government, relating to the cases of five HRDs. Damián Gallardo Martínez, Pedro Celestino Canché Herrera, Librado Jacinto Baños Rodríguez, Enrique Guerrero Aviña and Nestora Salgado García were arbitrarily arrested and detained for crimes they did not commit, each in a separate case. All of them were subjected to torture or ill-treatment while in detention.
Speakers: Yesica Sánchez and Emilie de Wolf (Deputy Director and Protection Coordinator at Consorcio Oaxaca); Yolanda Barranco Hernández (Damian Gallardo's wife); Manuel Guerrero Aviñón (Enrique Guerrero's brother); Miguel Martín Zumalacárregui (director OMCT in Bruxelles).
Where: Maison de l’Amérique Latine (Bruxelles) Rue du Collège 27,
When: Tuesday 20 September, 17h45
Damián Gallardo Martínez is a teacher who has worked to defend the rights of indigenous communities and the right to education in the Mixe and Zapoteca regions of the Oaxaca Hills. He has campaigned for educational reform in Mexico and was a member of the Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca – APPO (Popular Assembly of the Towns of Oaxaca) in 2006.
Damián was originally arbitrarily detained on 18 May 2013. No warrant was presented. The human rights defender was subsequently held incommunicado for 30 hours and reportedly tortured until he signed a false confession. In November 2014, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an opinion holding the detention of Damián Gallardo Martínez to be arbitrary, and called for his immediate and unconditional release.
In nearly a decade of defending her community’s land and rivers from corporate destruction, Honduran woman Ms. Ana Mirian Romero has endured armed raids, physical assault, death threats, and personal defamation campaigns. On 10 June 2016, former President of Ireland, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and President of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, Mrs. Mary Robinson, presented Ana Mirian with the 2016 Front Line Defenders Award.