We denounce two years of impunity in the case of human rights defenders Margarita Guadalupe Martínez and Adolfo Guzmán

Two years have passed since members of the Chiapas state attorney general’s office (PGJE), specifically the District Office of the Border Mountain zone (FDFS), unlawfully entered our home in Comitán, Chiapas, committed abuse of authority and tortured the four members of our family. A formal complaint was made regarding these injustices at the Special Office for Protection and Attention to Human Rights NGOs (FEPAONGDDH), yet in spite of the time that has elapsed, neither the Special Office nor the Chiapas state government has done anything to shed light on what happened and they continue dragging their feet in order to cover up government officials and prevent the truth from coming to light.

Since legal proceedings of this case began, we have received death threats six times, Margarita Martínez has been kidnapped and tortured twice, first on February 25, 2010 (36 hours before the legal re-enactment of what occurred), then on November 24, 2011. Formal public complaints were filed on each occasion.

Following the kidnapping of Margarita on February 25, 2010, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (ICHR) called on the Mexican army to protect our family and decreed protection measures for us, consisting of police guards to be assigned by the Chiapas state government, from a “special corps” from the Secretary of Public Security and Citizen Protection (SSyPC). We were forced to accept these measures in light of the imminent risk and vulnerability we faced.

Yet protection measures have not helped our case nor have they produced a less stressful situation. In fact, Margarita’s kidnapping in November, 2010 happened while being accompanied by a police guard and in October of this year we received an anonymous death threat at our home, supposedly protected by the SSyPC,.

We believe that the ineffectual actions of the judicial branch of the state of Chiapas and its complicity with the parties we have sued have to do with the following circumstances:

First, regarding the delays in obtaining a verdict: FEPAONGDDH divided the case into three separate events, supposedly to carry out a better investigation, i.e. 1) illegal entry with abuse of authority, torture (which authorities have dropped); 2) threats, a charge aggravated by the fact that it was a death threat; 3) Kidnapping, torture and rape. Charges stemming from these three events were filed with FEPAONGDDH, but only the first has been formally admitted and prosecuted, and even then the accusation of torture was omitted.

Second, dealing with the reclassifying of crimes, a procedure we have questioned: FEPAONGDDH alleges that due to a lack of proof, the charge of torture cannot be prosecuted, in spite of the fact that a UN-certified psychologist on torture carried out an evaluation in accordance to the standards outlined in the Istanbul Protocol, and found that all members of our family had been tortured.

Third: the protection measures requested by the ICHR and implemented by the government of Chiapas have hardly ensured security, since, as noted before, two very serious crimes were committed even while our family was receiving police protection.

The Attorney General of Chiapas, Raciel López Salazar, and the Governor of the State, Juan Sabines Guerrero, have not contributed to clearing up these matters, in spite of the request by the ICHR, thus clearly showing a lack of justice and accountability in prosecuting efficiently and objectively the crimes committed by state officials under their authority.

Given the above, we hereby lodge a protest against the state’s breach of duty to carry out a prompt and impartial investigation. Two years have passed and the facts have yet to be investigated fully nor has a verdict been handed down against the accused parties. This points to a clear dereliction of duty of the Mexican government, and particularly the government of Chiapas, and underscores the total lack of guarantees for human rights defenders.

We therefore demand the following from the governments of Chiapas and Mexico:

  • Full implementation of the ICHR’s protection measures (decree 52-10) in a efficient and professional manner.
  • Guarantees for the lives and physical and emotional wellbeing of all members of our family.
  • Public officials implicated in the serious accusations that have been filed (illegal entry, abuse of authority, death threats, torture, kidnapping and rape) should be suspended from duty until the matter is legally resolved, insofar as those involved have used their government posts to avoid prosecution.
  • Those officials responsible for the crimes committed should be prosecuted and sentenced for the violations of human rights that occurred.

Stop the harassment of Human Rights Defenders

Stop the torture of Human Rights Defenders

Never again a Mexico without Human Rights


Margarita Guadalupe Martínez Martínez

Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz