IACHR DEEPLY CONCERNED OVER VIOLENCE IN OAXACA
Washington, D.C., July 20, 2007 – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is deeply concerned over the violence occurring in recent days in the State of Oaxaca, Mexico, in connection with the traditional “Guelaguetza Popular” festivities, and deplores the resulting injury to persons. The Commission was informed that individuals were detained, presumably by police, and that they included minors whose whereabouts are unknown.
The Commission reminds states of their obligation to ensure the security of the population and to guarantee the rule of law with full respect for human rights. It urges the authorities to adopt all necessary measures to resolve the grave threat to the security of citizens in Oaxaca, in full observance of their international human rights obligations.
In particular, the Commission calls for an investigation of the events; the earliest possible determination of the whereabouts of all persons detained; and the guarantee of full respect for their human rights and guarantees.
The Commission has followed closely the conflict in Oaxaca over a number of months, receiving reports in various hearings and in meetings on its visits to Mexico, both from civil society organizations and from Mexican Government authorities. The Commission notes that approximately 10 months ago a similar situation arose, leading to a statement by the Commission reaffirming the obligation of states to maintain public order while fully respecting human rights.
The Commission deplores the fact that violence has occurred once more and renews its appeal to the state to promote dialogue to resolve the conflict in a context of a democratic society, with full respect for human rights.