José Santiago Gómez Álvarez

Source United Nations

Mexico City, January 22, 2019.- The Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-DH) has condemned the murders of human rights defenders, José Santiago Gómez Álvarez y Noé Jiménez Pablo, in Chiapas; and the journalist José Rafael Murúa Manríquez, in Baja California Sur. It should be mentioned that Noé Jiménez and Rafael Murúa were beneficiaries of the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, operated by the Ministry of the Interior.

In this regard, Jan Jarab, Representative of the UN-DH in Mexico, said that “Mexico urgently needs to reverse the trend in increased risk faced by those who practice journalism and the defense of human rights. Their activities must be protected and encouraged by the Mexican Government as a whole, since they are fundamental actors for a democratic and legal State. These facts show that violence against those who defend human rights or inform has deep roots and it is necessary to promote structural changes to stop it “.

The murders of the defenders José Santiago Gómez Álvarez and Noé Jiménez Pablo are added to that of the defender Sinar Corzo, also happened in January, in Chiapas. This results in at least: three defenders killed in 2019 and 13 murders of human rights defenders in 2018, which were registered in Mexico by UN-DH [1].

After 2018 UN-DH had knowledge of at least 12 murders of journalists [2], as in 2017 [3], the new year also begins tragically with the murder of Mr. Murúa Manríquez.

“It is worrisome that in all these cases the victims had previously denounced threats and harassment, pointing even to authorities responsible for these acts. These complaints must be thoroughly investigated, without neglecting the lines that indicate the possible involvement of public servants and thus contribute to fighting against impunity and preventing similar events from happening again, “added Mr. Jarab.

The Representative underlined that “the fact that both Mr. Murúa and Mr. Jiménez were beneficiaries of the Protection Mechanism must lead to a profound reflection on its effectiveness. The protection measures granted, as well as their implementation, effectiveness and monitoring, must be analyzed and evaluated. In addition, these crimes must be fully clarified, because we must not forget that the best measure of protection and non-repetition in cases of attacks against defenders and journalists is a prompt and effective investigation that achieves justice for the victims. ”

UN-DH calls on competent authorities to carry out prompt and effective investigations of attacks against defenders and journalist, free of prejudice and in line with due process and to adopt effective care and protection measures for family members and colleagues of the victims.

Finally, the UN-DH expresses its condolences and solidarity with the families, friends and colleagues of Noé Jiménez Pablo, José Santiago Gómez Álvarez and José Rafael Murúa Manríquez.


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Region:Americas

Country:Mexico

Department/Province/State:Chiapas

Sex1:Male

Date of Killing:18/01/2019

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:Movimiento Campesino Regional Independiente

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:ESC Rights

Sector Detail:Abuse of power/corruption, Land Rights, Peasant communities

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).