Investigate the Alleged Abduction of Human Rights Activists

Target: Secretary Rosa Icela Rodriguez Velazquez, Security and Citizen Protection, Mexico

Goal: Protect environmental defenders in Mexico.

Murder and kidnappings of human rights defenders are common in Mexico. Recently, two prominent frontline activists disappeared en route under mysterious circumstances. They were riding in a white Honda pickup truck when a group followed them on cars and motorbikes. The abandoned pickup truck was later discovered on the highway, riddled with bullets. No blood stains were found. Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca, one of the missing persons, is a prominent lawyer of international repute. He founded the Asesoria y Defensa Legal del Sureste. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights Protection and is enlisted as protected by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations. The other activist, Antonio Diaz Valencia, is a teacher, who planned on candidacy at an upcoming indigenous assembly election.

Lagunez and Diaz were traveling from Aquila to Colima after attending an anti-mining community assembly. Family members accused the mining company Ternium of staging the abduction. The company issued a statement, explaining that it maintains the ‘highest standards of control in all its operations’ as a leading public manufacturer in Latin America. It categorically denied any violent involvement and refuted defaming speculations of having been associated with illegal activities. Before his disappearance, Lagunez was involved in legal actions to procure compensation to the residents of Aquila from Ternium Mexico.

These facts have been intimated to the National Search Commission and the National Human Rights Commission. The Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and journalists has been notified since Lagunez was enlisted as protected. Amnesty International Mexico expressed its concern and urged the authorities to conduct a diligent investigation.

Mining activities in Mexico pose a serious environmental concern. The truth must be brought to light as the missing frontline activists held key roles in a checkered scenario. Sign the petition below to bring the perpetrators of violence and conspiracy to justice.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Velazquez,

A lawyer of international repute and a community leader have gone missing from the neighborhood of Colima in an apparent abduction. Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca is enlisted as protected by the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The other citizen, Professor Antonio Diaz Valencia, is a well-known community leader.

The bullet-riddled vehicle has been found abandoned but without any blood stains. Relatives of the missing people have accused the involvement of the local mining company, Ternium Mexico.

The company has categorically denied all accusations and has expressed solidarity with the community. Several global human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have demanded a diligent investigation.

We ask you, Secretary Velazques to initiate the necessary steps and help bring the truth to light.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Public Domain


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