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Protect the life of indigenous rights defender Miguel Cruz

This petition had 163 supporters

In a broader context of political violence afflicting the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, a new threat has been made against one of the members of the Consejo Indígena Popular de Oaxaca – Ricardo Flores Magón, CIPO-RFM.

On 6th January, Miguel Cruz Moreno was approached by two military-looking men who engaged in a typical pointless dialogue that paramilitaries use to identificate someone and let him know that they're watching him. We are now afraid that new acts of intimidation or even attempts on Miguel’s life will follow.

As a long-time defender of indigenous rights in Oaxaca, Miguel Cruz Moreno has been the victim of state repression in the past. In 2004 he was arrested after protesting in defence of communal lands of the indigenous community San Isidro Aloapam. And after New York Indymedia journalist Brad Will was murdered by paramilitaries affiliated with then-governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz in October 2006, and Miguel came forward as a witness against the assassins, state police attempted to charge Miguel himself for the murder, despite clear evidence of his innocence. Now it seems that Miguel’s commitment to social justice has again upset people in power, who are once more trying to silence him.

Despite a change of government in the state of Oaxaca in 2010, political violence has not disappeared, and the new governor Gabino Cue Monteagudo has so far shown little will to address it or to promote justice. No serious investigations have been launched into the murders of social activists killed before the new government took office. In the meantime, new acts of violence that have taken place under the new government include the disappearance and murder of social activists. CIPO-RFM, Miguel’s organization, continues to be directly affected by the inaction of Cue’s government: nothing has been done to assure the safe return of political refugee Raul Gatica, exiled in Vancouver since 2005, or to free political prisoner Pablo Lopez Alavez, jailed in Oaxaca on trumped-up charges since August 2010, both members of CIPO-RFM.

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