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Attempted Murder of a Defender of Human Rights in Chiapas, Mexico

trans. Edinburgh-Chiapas Solidarity Group | 05.01.2006 18:01 | Repression | Zapatista | World

The Fray Bartholomew de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights in San Cristobal, Chiapas, Mexico, reports a serious attack on a human rights activist in the city. The man who was attacked is, among other activities, involved in “The Other Campaign”, initiated by the Zapatistas. The Fray Bartholomew Centre write:

On Sunday 20 November 2005 at about 9.30 pm, six males dressed in black aged between 20 and 25, with short hair, well dressed, athletic, indigenous looking and with a local San Cristobal accent, used knives to attack Gustavo Jimenez Perez in his own house in San Cristobal de Las Casas. Gustavo is a defender of human rights and a member of the Chiapas Civic Alliance.

According to Gustavo Jimenez’ statement, they knocked at his door and when he went to open it he was pushed inside his house and violently assaulted by six people all carrying knives and razors which they used to wound him on his face and neck.

As he was being attacked on the face and neck with kicks, karate style blows and knives, the men told Gustavo Jimenez, “We have come to kill you; let’s finish him off.” Then when he was lying on the floor he heard them saying, “Let’s go - he’s dead now.” Because of the way they attacked him, it is believed that they were directed to kill him and because of their mode of operation it appears that the men were from a trained group, with a command structure.

About ten o’clock that evening, Luis Gabriel Ramirez, also a member of the Civic Alliance who lives in the same house as the victim, returned home and found Gustavo, bleeding, beaten and semiconscious. The house was in disarray and there was blood all over the floor.

He noticed that some objects were missing - a colour TV, a video recorder, a recorder and a knapsack containing personal identification - the traffic documents from the car owned by Chiapas Civic Alliance and a bank statement amongst other items. Nevertheless the attackers left other items of greater value eg cash which would have been easily spotted.

Gustavo Jimenez is recovering thanks to his athletic physique and because he was able to avoid some of the blows. Nevertheless the violent marks show that they were aimed at vital body points.

On 22 November, after a press conference publicly denouncing these actions, Gustavo Jimenez and Gabriel Ramirez along with a lawyer from the Centre of Human Rights returned home. At about 2.20 pm they reached the house and opened their door and found a man inside, about 30 years of age with a menacing demeanour. Being wary of the presence of this stranger, Gabriel and the others fled from the house fearing that the man was armed and accompanied by others. Taking advantage of this situation, the intruder was able to get away while at the same time hurling threats.

Subsequently returning to the house and wary in case there were more intruders, they established that their belongings had been rifled through and some goods and property destroyed without apparently anything having been stolen. The intruder, apparently under the influence of drugs had come in by the back door destroying it, which implies that he had to jump down from the roofs of nearby houses. It is assumed that he is one of those who violently attacked Gustavo Jimenez on the night of 20 November.

In the opinion of this Centre of Human Rights, these violent actions have been carried out because of the public actions which Gustavo and Gabriel have taken part in, eg denouncing the anomalies in the way in which the Chiapas state government has treated the victims of Hurricane Stan and because of their activism in ‘The Other Campaign’, initiated by the EZLN.

Because of the above, The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights is urgently asking for people to write asking for:
: a serious, impartial investigation into these actions
: those responsible for the violence committed against Gustavo Jimenez Perez and Luis Gabriel Ramirez Cuevas to be punished.
: a measure of protection for Gustavo Jimenez Perez and Luis Gabriel Ramirez Cuevas

Send your letter asking for urgent action to be taken to the State Governor of Chiapas:

Lic. Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía
Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas
Palacio de gobierno, 1er Piso, C.P. 29000 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas,
Phone +52 (961) 61 2-90-47, 61 2-90-48, 61 2-10-93,
61 2-33-52 y 61 2-05-28
E mail:

You could also write to these other Chiapas State officials:

C.P. Rubén Velásquez López
Secretario de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas
Palacio de Gobierno, 2o. Piso, C.P. 29000 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas,
Phone +52 (961) 61 2-90-47,  61 2-90-48, 61 3-50-22,
61 3-14-47, 61 3-24-59
Fax +52 (961) 61 3-20-53
E mail:

Lic. Mariano Herrán Salvatti
Fiscal General de Justicia del Estado de Chiapas
Libramiento Norte Oriente s/n, 3er. Nivel
Infonavit "El Rosario" CP 30064
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, MEXICO
Phone +52 (961) 616-53-59, 616-53-65
616-53-74, 616-53-73, 616-57-24 Ext 300 – 303.
E mail:

Please send copies to the Fray Bartholomew Human Rights Centre at:

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas A.C
Brasil 14 Barrio de Mexicanos
CP 29240 San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, MEXICO
Fax: +52 (967) 6783551
E mail

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