Photo: Just Coffee Cooperative via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Click here for PDF version of the call for justice (Spanish)
Pax Christi International joins the worldwide call for justice after the murder of human rights defender Simón Pedro Pérez López, who was killed last week in Mexico. He was a member of the civil society organisation La Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal , and accompanied for three decades by FRAYBA, a partner of Pax Christi International.
The statement, signed by local, national, and international human rights leaders and organisations, denounces the violent situation in many parts of Chiapas, while pointing to the responsibilities of the Mexican government.
Simón’s organisation has received constant threats and another member had already been murdered. These violent incidents are part of a broader problem with armed groups in the area. In the municipality of Pantelhó alone, 12 people have been killed this year and many others have fled.
The government of the region of Chiapas is fully aware of the violence, but there is a lack of governmental authority. Also, armed groups have relations with political parties and officials at all levels of government. The office of the public prosecutor of Chiapas is aware of the facts, but has so-far declined to proceed with investigations or to seek justice for victims of violence.
The Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas also denounces the situation and holds the government responsible. Through this call, they ask the governor of Chiapas and the president of Mexico to contain the violence and for a prompt criminal investigation into the murder of Simón to take place.