AI Index: AMR 41/073/2007
14 December 2007
Further Information on UA 245/06 (AMR 41/043/2006, 11 September 2006) and follow-up (AMR 41/033/2007, 5 July 2007) Fear for safety/death threats
Francisco Cerezo Contreras (m)
Emiliana Cerezo Contreras (f),
Alejandro Cerezo Contreras (m)
Members of the Cerezo Contreras family
Members of the human rights organisation Comité Cerezo
New name: Melanie del Cármen Salgado López (f)
Melanie del Cármen Salgado López, an activist with human rights organisation Comité Cerezo, has been attacked by an unknown individual and threatened as she was walking home on 12 December. Melanie Salgado had been previously threatened by email and her home had been broken into and searched.
On 12 December, Melanie Salgado, accompanied by Francisco Cerezo, went to the office of the Mexico City Attorney General's Office (Procuraduria General de Justicia del Distrito Federal, PGJDF) in order to ask for the official investigation into email death threats and a break-in at her flat in May 2006 not to be closed. In the evening, as she was walking home an unidentified man pushed her, then pulled her hair and pushed her face hard against the wall telling her "don't play the fucking idiot" (no le juegues a la pendeja).
In May 2006, Melanie Salgado's home was broken into and searched and she received several email death threats in relation to her activism with the Comité Cerezo. Between 11 and 12 December 2007, Melanie Salgado also received several unintelligible voice messages on her mobile phone from a disguised voice. The same voice message was left from several different phone numbers. These numbers appeared to be out of service when checked.
Other members of Comité Cerezo, particularly Francisco and Alejandro Cerezo, have also received email threats since September 2007. The threats were reported to the authorities, but Amnesty International is not aware of any advances in investigations.
Francisco and Emiliana Cerezo Contreras founded Comité Cerezo when their three brothers, Alejandro, Hector and Antonio Cerezo Contreras were arrested, with two other men, on 13 August 2001 in connection with explosions in a bank. They were reportedly tortured, and were convicted of organized crime offences. On 28 February 2005, Alejandro Cerezo won his appeal and was released for lack of evidence. On 13 August 2006, one of the two others arrested and convicted with the Cerezo brothers, Pablo Alvarado Flores, was released after completing his sentence. Antonio and Hector Cerezo Contreras remain in prison. Comité Cerezo campaigns for their release, and the release of other prisoners in Mexico. The organization have faced threats and intimidation on a number of ocassions. Those responsible have not be brought to justice.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Spanish or your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of the Melanie del Cármen Salgado López and other members of the Comité Cerezo;
- calling for protection measures to be implemented to ensure the safety, in accordance with her wishes;
- urging the authorities to carry out a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation into the attack and threats against Melanie del Cármen Salgado López on 12 December, with the results of the investigation made public and those responsible to be brought to justice;
- urging the authorities to guarantee the safety of all members of the Cerezo Contreras family and the Comité Cerezo;
- reminding the authorities that human rights defenders have a right to carry out their activities without any restrictions or fear of reprisals, as set out in the UN Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Institutions to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Attorney General of the Federal District
Mtro. Rodolfo Félix Cárdenas
Procurador General del Distrito Federal
Gabriel Hernández 56, Col. Doctores, C.P. 06720, México D.F., MÉXICO.
Fax: +52 55 53 45 55 29
Salutation: Dear Attorney General/ Señor Procurador
Attorney General of the Republic
Lic. Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza, Procurador General de la Republica,
Procuraduría General de la República, Paseo de la Reforma nº 211-213, Piso 16,
Col. Cuauhtémoc, Del. Cuauhtémoc, México D.F., C.P. 06500, MEXICO
Fax: +52 55 53 46 09 08
Salutation: Dear Attorney General/ Señor Procurador General
Minister of the Interior
Lic. Francisco Javier Ramírez Acuña
Secretario de Gobernación, Secretaría de Gobernación
Bucareli 99, 1er. piso, Col. Juárez, Del. Cuauhtémoc, México D.F., C.P.06600, MEXICO
Fax: +52 55 5093 3414
Salutation: Dear Minister/ Señor Secretario
President of Mexico City Human Rights Commission
Mtro. Emilio Álvarez Icaza Longoria
Presidente de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Distrito Federal
Av. Chapultepec No. 49, Col. Centro C.P. 06040 Delegación Cuauhtémoc México DF., MEXICO.
Fax: +52 55 578 2578
Salutation: Dear President/Señor Presidente
Volcán Kirishima 6, Col. Mirador III, CP 14449. Tlalpan. México DF
and to diplomatic representatives of Mexico accredited to your country.
114 53 STOCKHOLM
FAX 08-663 24 20
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 25 January 2008.
Source: Amnesty International, International Secretariat,
1 Easton Street, WC1X 8DJ, London, United Kingdom