Target: Jesus Murillo Karam, Federal Attorney General of Mexico
Goal: Ascertain the whereabouts of three people kidnapped by government forces and demand that they are treated humanely and fairly
Mexican military forces have recently detained three people—without any apparent cause—and have refused to reveal their whereabouts or even acknowledge that they are in custody. Sign the petition and pressure the Mexican government to be transparent about the detainees’ situation.
José de Jesús Martínez Chigo and Diana Laura Hernández Acostawere were stopped at a checkpoint in Nuevo Laredo by marines and forced into a military vehicle, and another driver was reportedly forced into the vehicle at the same time as José and Diana. One witness, a relative of José Martinez, followed the military vehicle to a provisional military compound and watched José and Diana be escorted inside. When the families of the pair went to the compound later in the day, the military denied the presence of any civilian detainees. Backed up by several eyewitness testimonies, the families have lodged a complaint with the Federal Attorney General’s Office.
In what Amnesty International has classified as “a separate incident,” Raúl David Álvarez Gutiérrez was detained at a military checkpoint south of Nuevo Laredo. According to witnesses, marines at the checkpoint “asked [Raúl] to come out of his car, and after a brief conversation they took him to a military lorry.” The family has tried to file a complaint with the Attorney General but have been unable to do so as all the witnesses to the incident are afraid to testify. Without witnesses, no formal complaint can be filed.
The military has ignored both the families’ and human rights organizations’ requests for information regarding the whereabouts of José, Diana, and Raúl. While this is an egregious human rights violation under any conditions, it is made even worse by the fact that Diana and Raúl are both only seventeen years old.
Tell the Mexican government that kidnapping—especially the kidnapping of children—is unacceptable. Sign the petition and demand an impartial investigation into the disappearances of José, Diana, and Raúl.
Dear Attorney General,
Imagine waking up one morning to find out that your child had been kidnapped. Now imagine that they had been taken by people who were supposed to protect them.
Now imagine that your child is only seventeen.
The families of José de Jesús Martínez Chigo, Diana Laura Hernández Acosta, and Raúl David Álvarez Gutiérrezwas do not have to imagine what this would be like; it is their reality. All three victims were stopped at military checkpoints and taken to military facilities. Their families have not heard anything regarding their well-being, their whereabouts, or any crimes they have been charged with. In fact, the military denies having them in custody at all, despite the fact that both abductions had several witnesses. Hernández and Álvarez are both children, only seventeen years old.
Detaining citizens without any apparent reason and without releasing information regarding their whereabouts or well-being is an atrocious violation of human rights. I urge you to launch a full, impartial investigation into the disappearances of José de Jesús Martínez Chigo, Diana Laura Hernández Acosta, and Raúl David Álvarez Gutiérrez; to inform their families of their whereabouts and state of health as soon as possible; and, if no charges can be brought against them, to release all three victims immediately. If Martinez, Hernández, and Álvarez are in fact being charged with crimes, it is imperative that they have access to both legal representation and their families, and that their location is revealed in order to avoid the possibility of maltreatment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: golpepolitico via Wikimedia Commons