About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

News From Ciudad Juarez

This just in from the Conference of Latin American Historians mailing list:

ARMED MEN VIOLATE THE SECRECY OF THE ONLY SAFE REFUGE FOR WOMEN IN SITUATIONS OF EXTREME VIOLENCE IN CIUDAD JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA

The following Human rights groups: Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres, Mesa de Mujeres de Ciudad Juárez y SIN VIOLENCIA A.C;

DENOUNCE the following:

On 9 June, 14 heavily armed men broke into a secret safe house in Ciudad Juárez, the only one of its kind in the state of Chihuahua for women under situations of extreme violence. The refuge, Sin Violencia, A.C., was founded by the late Esther Chávez Cano. The leader of the squad was a public servant from the judiciary branch, named Román García, who refused to identify himself and only presented the women with a legal document signed by First Judge in Family Matters for the Bravos Judicial District, Guadalupe Manuel de Santiago Aguayo, who authorized the use of public force to break and enter the premises, as part of a procedure concerning family matters, "consistent with the immediate turnover of the minor Lesly Itzel Muñoz González."

The legal order did not state an address to carry out said judicial procedure, nor was it directed at Sin Violencia, a legally-registered Civil Association. Given the anomaly of the circumstances, the staff opposed the violent entry of the armed men into the refuge, and demanded that the judiciary officer present them with a search warrant, which he did not have.

The all-female staff explained that this was the only high-security REFUGE of its kind in Chihuahua and that some of the victims were wives or romantic partners of police officers, sicarios, or criminals linked to organized crime, so that for obvious security reasons they could not grant the men access to the premises. They explained that protocol banned entry to all men (not to mentioned armed men).

The women of Sin Violencia were threatened with 2-3 years of prison, and one of the armed men said, textually, "I urge you to cooperate, or I will be forced to act," at which point he gestured with his weapon. They then asked the executive coordinator to hand over her identification. One of the officers took her ID and said that he now had more information about the person refusing them entry, and said, "You're going to regret this, you'll be in trouble, it's better if you cooperate or we will break the locks and knock the doors down." Faced with the perceived threat of losing their lives in the hands of armed men who seemed willing to do anything; fearing the loss of their liberty and the further trauma that could be caused to the victims of violence who were inside, under their responsibility, and; threatened as they were by a group of armed men in a city of total impunity that is Ciudad Juárez currently, they felt forced to allow the armed men entry.

Once inside, the men acted violently, overturning furniture and looking under the beds of the victims, who went into a state of collective psychosis with their young children -- having considered the refuge to be a safe haven up until that moment.

The men did not find the minor in question, as the staff of Sin Violencia had forewarned the judicial officer in charge.

WE DEMAND:

The immediate dismissal from office of the judicial public servant and the police officers who participated in this action, as well as the required security to allow for the continuity of our human rights work.

Send your letters to:
Lic. Rodolfo Acosta Muñoz
Magistrado Presidente del Supremo Tribunal de Justicia
Del Estado de Chihuahua
Tel ( 52 614 ) 1 800 700

Lic. José Reyes Baeza
Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chihuahua
Palacio de Gobierno
Calle Aldama # 901 Col Centro C.P. 31000
Tel ( 52 614) 4 29 33 00 ext 11123

Send a copy to: Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres correo electrónico: acción@cedehm.org.mx

1 comment:

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