Protect Human Rights Activists from Violence


Target: Eruviel Ávila Villegas, Governor of Mexico State

Goal: Provide protection to and investigate threats against environmental activists in Mexico State

Threatening phone calls recently received by human rights activists in Mexico state have prompted serious safety concerns. Sign the petition and urge Mexican authorities to provide the activists with protection and investigate the threats made against them.

This isn’t the first time that Vincente Moreno Dominguez, an activist campaigning for water rights in the Mexican town of Coyotepec, has been threatened. Dominguez was attacked and stabbed at his own front door in July 2013; his attacker told him the attack was “a little gift…so you stop being an idiot.” In the wake of the attack, authorities provided Dominguez with what Amnesty International describes as only “intermittent” protection.

The most recent threats faced by Dominguez and other water rights activists in Coyotepec have come in the form of threatening phone calls. Dominguez received a call from someone who told him, “You and ‘the Japanese’ are going to be done in”–the “Japanese” being the nickname of Sergio Velázquez Morales, another activist working with Dominguez. Later on the same day, activist Emeterio Nonato Reyna received a call from a man who told him “We have already left someone dead over there.”

Threats against the lives of peaceful activists are unacceptable and must be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In the meantime, the activists–and the work they do–must be protected. Urge the Mexican government to provide adequate protection to the activists in accordance with their wishes, and demand a full investigation into the threats made against them.


Dear Governor,

Peaceful activism is something to be cherished and protected, not violently threatened. However, water rights activists in Coyotepec have recently faced a new crop of opposition in the form of threatening phone calls. I urge you to protect the activists and safeguard the important work they do, and I demand a full investigation into the threats and any other criminal actions taken against them.

This is not the first time the Coyotepec activists have faced violent resistance. Last July, activist Vincente Moreno Dominguez was attacked and stabbed at his own front door, despite the fact that he was supposed to be under police protection at the time. Most recently, he received an anonymous phone call from caller who told him, “You and ‘the Japanese’ are going to be done in.” “The Japanese” is a nickname for another activist, Sergio Velázquez Morales, who has been denied official protection in the past on the grounds that he “was not considered a human rights defender,” Amnesty International reports. The fact that Morales is a colleague of Dominguez and has been threatened within the context of his activism ought to solidify his status as a human rights worker worth protecting.

The second threatening call was taken by activist Emeterio Nonato Reyna. The caller told him, “We have already left someone dead over there.” Indeed, at least one activist associated with water rights in Coyotepec, Alberto Cruz Luna, was murdered in July as a result of his work. How many more must die before the government steps in and does something?

It is the responsibility of government to protect both its citizens and its human rights workers. I urge you to provide protection to all threatened activists in Coyotepec, to thoroughly investigate the threats levied against them, and to bring those responsible to justice.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Öskr Rck via Wikimedia Commons

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