alarm raised over cruel attacks on women activists in mexico
A group of UN independent human rights experts on Wednesday expressed outrage over fatal attacks on women activists searching for forcibly disappeared family members and loved ones, urging the Government of Mexico to probe and prosecute the perpetrators.
The statement was issued in the wake of two recent incidents, including a May 2 attack on human rights defender Teresa Magueyal who was searching for her son, José Luis Apaseo Magueyal. She was shot dead while riding her bicycle in Celaya.
The female activist was part of a group involving families of victims and was the sixth volunteer to be killed since 2021, according to media reports. In a separate incident, Araceli Rodríguez Nava was attacked in Chilpancingo on March 4. She was also searching for her disappeared son.
According to the “outraged” UN experts, both activists were beneficiaries of the federal protection mechanism for rights defenders and journalists. Although the incidents remain under investigation, information about its effectiveness has been insufficient.
Alleged Crimes Linked To Presence Of Corruption
Issuing their statement on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, experts called on Mexican authorities to ensure activists can operate freely and safely in the country. Many of the rights defenders being attacked are women and older persons.
The UN experts said the cases of forced disappearances and attacks on activists searching for the missing individuals are linked to the presence of organized crime groups, kidnapping networks, human trafficking and corruption.
Furthermore, operating in an environment of constant fear and insecurity has an intimidating effect on human rights defenders and relatives of the victims. The Mexican government must promptly investigate and prosecute any person behind the alleged violations, they added.
The human rights experts highlighted the “extremely worrying” situation where impunity for crimes against activists continues despite complaints being raised. Protection for the victims is either not provided or not effective, they stressed.