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Protestbrief anlässlich des 3. Todestages der ermordeten Menschenrechtlerin Digna Ochoa

Toronto, October 29th, 2004

Lic. Vicente Fox Quesada
Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Palacio Nacional. Patio de Honor
1er. Piso, Col Centro,
C.P. 06067, México DF
Fax. 0052-55-5277 2376, 5515 5729

Dear President Fox:

October 19, 2004, marked the three-year anniversary of the tragic death of Digna Ochoa Y Plácido, a human rights activist and lawyer who was fatally shot three times to death in her office in Mexico City. A tersely worded note found next to her body warned other human rights defenders that they would suffer similar fate, signalling that Ms. Ochoa was murdered for her human rights work and that her death was intended to intimidate others.

We, as concerned peoples, unite as one international community to take the opportunity of this sobering occasion to express our ongoing concern regarding the culture of impunity and climate of fear under which many human rights and environmental activists throughout Mexico still operate.

We reject the conclusions of the Mexico City's Attorney General's office appointed Special Prosecutor Margarita Guerra that concludes the murder investigation of Ms. Ochoa Y Plácido as a suicide. We are also perplexed by the tone and substance of parts of the Special Prosecutor’s report, which appear intended to impugn the integrity and the dignity of the victim, while wholly discounting her contribution to the fight for human rights in Mexico.

In their failure to conduct effective investigations, the prosecution services in Mexico frequently seek to blame the victim for the crime rather than bring to justice those really responsible. Furthermore, the constant abuse of human rights towards Women, Indigenous and Black Communities in Mexico routinely go unpunished. The onus is on the Mexican government to overcome these practices of entrenched impunity and to transparently demonstrate the thoroughness of its investigation into Ms. Ochoa's death.

This pattern of intimidation and violence must end if Mexican environmental and human rights activists are ever to be free to do their important work. It is, for this reason, all the more imperative that your administration brings those responsible for Ms. Ochoa's death and Montiel and Cabrera's arrest and torture to justice.

These events cause us to be deeply concerned by the prospect that the case may never be solved, an outcome that compounds the tragedy of Ms. Ochoa's death for all who knew and admired her. Even worse, they perpetuate the perception in Mexico and around the world that your government is not serious about protecting human rights and the environment.

Mr. President, we appreciate the challenges that each of these cases pose to your administration, but it is urgent that your administration send a clear signal to those who gain and retain power and profits through force and intimidation of human rights and environmental defenders.

On the occasion of the three-year anniversary of Ms. Ochoa's death, we urge you to do all that you can to end the culture of impunity by demanding that Digna Ochoa Y Plácido’s case be reopened. An investigation by Mexican authorities is no longer a realistic proposition as they have failed to properly investigate and in fact to collect, analyze and store evidence in such a way as to preclude conclusive investigation, therefore an international inquiry is called for in order to bring the guilty to justice, and defend the rights of all Mexicans, in particular those courageous advocates who speak out in defence of people’s rights and the environment.


Organisationen und Personen, die diesen Brief unterzeichnen wollen, können einfach eine email mit dem Text „I/we endorse the letter to President Fox concerning the case of Digna Ochoa” oder aber den unterschriebenen Brief, in beiden Fällen mit der eigenen Adresse, an <justicia_para_digna_ochoa@yahoo.com> schicken. Eure Namen und Adressen werden dann in die Unterschriftenliste eingefügt.

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