Target: José E. Calzada Rovirosa, Governor of Quéretaro state, Mexico
Goal: Investigate the disappearance of Héctor Rangel Ortiz and the subsequent intimidation of his sister, Brenda Rangel Ortiz
According to a recent report by the Mexican government, 16,000 people reported missing since 2006 remain missing. Héctor Rangel Ortiz is one of them, but his sister’s tireless efforts to investigate his disappearance have been thwarted by discouragement from authorities and harassment from unknown sources. Sign the petition and urge the governor of Quéretaro state to investigate both Héctor Rangel’s disappearance and the actions taken against his sister.
Héctor Rangel disappeared in 2009 and very little investigation was made at the time. His relatives, including his sister Brenda, “carried out their own inquiries at great personal risk,” Amnesty International reports. In 2013, the case was taken on by the Specialized Search Unit for Disappeared People (Unidad Especializada de Búsqueda de Personas Desaparecidas), but still no real progress has been made.
Most recently, Brenda Rangel has been facing harassment and threats for advocating her brother’s case. The day after she announced a demonstration to protest the refusal of officials to organize a meeting with the governor, her tires were slashed and she was told by government forces “that security forces were being sent ‘who would give her a beating.'” When Brenda Rangel did manage to meet with the governor a few days later, Amnesty reports, he “promised” to urge further investigation into Héctor Rangel’s case but did nothing to address the harassment directed at Brenda Rangel.
While finding out what happened to Héctor Rangel and bringing his attackers to justice is crucial, Mexico cannot neglect the safety and well-being of Héctor’s advocates in the process. Sign the petition and urge that authorities, in addition to investigating the disappearance of Héctor Rangel, launch a full investigation into the harassment faced by his sister, ensure her protection, and bring those responsible to justice.
I am writing to urge a thorough and impartial investigation into the disappearance of Héctor Rangel Ortiz, who was last seen in Monclova in November 2009. I also demand that his sister, Brenda Rangel Ortiz, be protected from further harassment in relation with her advocacy for her brother’s case, and that any harassment against her be investigated and the results of that investigation made public.
The investigation into Héctor Rangel’s case has been frustratingly slow for his relatives, who believe that authorities are not doing all in their power to locate Héctor or determine what happened to him. It is this frustration that has led to Héctor’s sister Brenda becoming an advocate for his case, a position that has come at great personal risk to herself. On the eve of a demonstration urging authorities to put more effort into investigating Héctor’s case, three of the tires on Brenda’s car were slashed. At the demonstration itself, government forces told her that security forces “who would give her a beating” were on their way, although this did not come to pass.
I urge you, in accordance with international law, to ensure that the utmost effort is being made in the search for Héctor Rangel’s whereabouts. But I also urge you, perhaps even more vehemently, to ensure that Brenda Rangel and other relatives advocating for Héctor’s case are protected from threats, harassment, and intimidation. I implore you to investigate the harassment they have already suffered, and finally, I demand that those responsible be brought to justice, no matter who they may be or what positions they may hold.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Alex Covarrubias via Wikimedia Commons