25th October urgent action request - ACTIVIST LEADER AND WIFE KILLED IN MEXICO
UA 320/12 25 October 2012 URGENT ACTION AMR 41/070/2012
ACTIVIST LEADER AND WIFE KILLED IN MEXICO
Ismael Solorio Urrutia (m), Manuela Solís Contreras (f), members of El Barzón
An environmental activist leader and his wife have been killed in Chihuahua state, northern Mexico. This event follows a pattern of death threats and there are fears for the security of other members of the family and other leaders of the activists’ organization.
On 22 October, the dead body of activist Ismael Solorio Urrutia was found with a shot to the head, and his wife Manuela Solís Contreras with a shot to the chest. They had been on their way to a medical appointment in Chihuahua City. Both were members of El Barzón, a smallholder farmers’ movement in Chihuahua. Chihuahua State suffers from a shortage of water; Ismael Solorio Urrutia had been campaigning to improve access to water.
Amnesty International has been informed that there had been a repeated pattern of threats. In September, Ismael Solorio Urrutia and other members of the organization received death threats from an unknown man. Formal complaints about these threats were filed with the Chihuahua Estate Interior Minister (Secretario de Gobierno del Estado de Chihuahua). The threats continued, and on 13 October, Ismael Solorio Urrutia and his son were attacked and beaten by someone who allegedly worked for a mining company indirectly involved in the dispute over water access. On 15 October, members of El Barzón asked to meet with the Secretary of Government of Chihuahua State, to request his intervention to prevent further attacks and hold to account those responsible for the death threats. The authorities denied the request and measures were not implemented.
El Barzón has been campaigning against the establishment of a mining company in the communal farm (Ejido) Benito Juárez, municipality of Buenaventura, Chihuahua state. Currently, the El Barzón activists are participating in protests (plantón) in front of the offices of the state authorities in Chihuahua City, demanding the Governor takes action to ensure justice.
Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
* Calling on the federal and state authorities to guarantee the safety of Ismael Solorio Urrutia’s family and leader members of the movement El Barzón, Chihuahua;
* Demanding the authorities carry out a swift, full and impartial investigation into the killing of Ismael Solorio Urrutia and his wife Manuela Solís Contreras, and bring those responsible to justice;
* Urging the authorities to investigate the pattern of threats received by Ismael Solorio Urrutia and members of the movement El Barzón, Chihuahua.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 6 DECEMBER 2012 TO: (Time difference = GMT - 6 hrs / BST - 7 hrs)
PLEASE SEND COPIES OF YOUR APPEAL TO
His Excellency Mr Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza, Embassy of Mexico, 16 St George Street, Hanover Square, London W1S 1FD
PLEASE CHECK WITH THE INDIVIDUALS AT RISK PROGRAMME AT AIUK BEFORE SENDING APPEALS AFTER 6 DECEMBER 2012
Individuals at Risk Programme, Amnesty International UK, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA, 0207 033 1572, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals At Risk Programme
Amnesty International UK
Human Rights Action Centre
17-25 New Inn Yard
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