Activists from Amnesty
International and the Sierra Club to lead demonstration
in front of the Denver Mexican Consulate to call for the
release of two Mexican anti‑logging
On May 2nd, 1999, members of the Mexican army's
40th Infantry Battalion arrested Rodolfo Montiel Flores
and Teodoro Cabrera Garcia in Pizotla, Guerrero. Rodolfo
and Teodoro were allegedly beaten and tortured by the
soldiers until they confessed to trumped up charges of
drug trafficking and illegal possession of weapons.
Both men are members of the
Campesino Ecologists of the Sierra de Petatlan and
Coyuca de Catalan, an environmental group that has been
fighting widespread and possibly illegal logging in the
Sierra Madre mountain range.
Since May 2, 1999,
environmentalists Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera
have remained in detention. During this time, they were
reportedly beaten and tortured until they confessed to
trump‑up charges of weapons possession and
only "crime," however, was to peacefully
organize and protest against the excessive logging in
the Sierra de Petatlan. Teodoro remains in poor health,
most likely as a consequence of the beatings he
Rodolfo and Teodoro, who are being
defended by the Human Rights Center Agustin Pro Juarez (PRODH),
face an imminent trial, which could start the first week
of April. Digna Ochoa y Placido, director of the PRODH's
legal team, has been repeatedly harassed including being
abducted and receiving death threats possibly because of
her work on this case. DEMANDS:
We demand that both men be released immediately.
We demand that the torture allegations be
investigated immediately and that those responsible be
brought to justice.
Any confessions extracted under torture should
not be submitted during the trial.
We ask that both men be granted necessary and
adequate medical attention.
We call on the Mexican government to adopt the
InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights'
recommendations to combat torture and end impunity. The
government should adhere to its commitment to the
resolution on Human Rights Defenders in the Americas
adopted by the Organization of American States.
We urge the government of Mexico to investigate
the allegations of illegal logging taking place in the
Sierra dePetatlan and Coyuca de Catalan.
The actions of the soldiers are
part of a pattern of human rights abuses in Guerrero. In
June 1995, state judicial police massacred 17 unarmed
peasants near the village of Aguas Blancas. More
recently, Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action
on March 20, 2000, expressing fear for the safety of
another member of Rodolfo's organization, Maximino
Marcial Jaimes. On March 13, 2000, individuals linked to 'paramilitary
groups' or 'armed civilians' with ties to wealthy local
landowners reportedly abducted Maximino, who has not
been heard from since.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: For copies of
the latest Amnesty Int'l Urgent Actions on Rodolfo,
Teodoro, and Maximino; AI's latest country report on
Mexico; the AI/Sierra Club report:
"Environmentalists Under Fire: 10 Urgent Cases of
Human Rights Abuses"; the AI/SC campaign video on
defending environmental defenders; or for more info on
the demonstration at the Mexican consulate, contact
Natasha at Amnesty International of Colorado, (720)
406-0360 or email@example.com (Sam Parry:firstname.lastname@example.org)