IACHR CONDEMNS THE MURDER OF DIGNA OCHOA IN MEXICO
The President of the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights, Dean Claudio Grossman, has expressed his
repudiation of the murder of attorney and human rights activist Digna
Ochoa in her office in Mexico City on Friday, October 19, 2001.
Her work had brought threats and attacks on
her on several occasions, leading the IACHR and the Inter-American
Court of Human Rights to grant attorney Ochoa and several other
persons working for the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez (PRODH) Human
Rights Center in Mexico precautionary and provisional measures.
Those protection mechanisms are contemplated in the American
Convention on Human Rights and in the Rules of Procedure of the IACHR,
respectively, in cases of extreme gravity and urgency to avoid
irreparable damage to persons.
of this kind are totally unacceptable and warrant the utter
repudiation of bodies protecting human rights and society as a whole.
Digna Ochoa was committed to forging a democratic society with
complete respect for the rights of the individual, so that her death
fills us with grief and a personal feeling of indignation.
I offer my heartfelt condolences to the relatives and friends
of Digna Ochoa and assure them that, as the Rapporteur responsible for
Mexico, I shall very closely monitor the Mexican authorities’
investigation of this extremely grave case.
IACHR issues a reminder that the member states of the OAS, at their
General Assembly in Costa Rica in June 2001, adopted resolution
AG/RES. 1818 (XXXI-O/01) which resolved, among inter
deplore acts that directly or indirectly prevent or hamper the work of
human rights defenders in the Americas.
urge member states to step up their efforts to adopt the necessary
measures, in keeping with their domestic law and with internationally
accepted principles and standards, to guarantee the life, personal
safety, and freedom of expression of human rights defenders.
instruct the Permanent Council to follow up on this resolution and to
report to the General Assembly at its thirty-second regular session on
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has reported the
extrajudicial execution of Digna Ochoa to the OAS Permanent Council.
Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Santiago A. Canton, also
expressed his total repudiation of the murder of the Mexican human
murder of Digna Ochoa is an affront to the inter-American community.
When defenders of human rights themselves become victims,
democratic society as a whole is under attack. We must not allow this
crime to go unpunished.
D.C., October 22, 2001