BHRC adds voice to calls for Mexican authorities to uphold international human rights standards in the case of Raul Hernandez

David Augusto Sotelo Rosas
Head of The State Attorney General’s Office for the
State of Guerrero
Boulevard René Juarez Cisneros, esquina calle Juan
Jiménez Sánchez, Col. Tepetongo, C.P. 39098,
Chilpancingo, Guerrero,
MÉXICO

SENT BY FAX
London, 6 July 2010

Dear Mr Rosas,
Re: Raúl Hernández, member of the Organisation of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM)

The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) is the international human rights arm of the Bar of England and Wales. It is an independent body primarily concerned with the protection of the rights of advocates and judges around the world. The Committee is also concerned with defending the rule of law and internationally recognised legal standards relating to human rights and the right to a fair trial.

The BHRC has been and continues to monitor the judicial process open against Raúl Hernández, member of the Organisation of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM). We understand that following the conclusion of the procedural hearings, it falls upon the institution of the State Attorney General’s Office to present its judgements.

The BHRC has received information that on 26 May 2010, the Mixed Judge of the Magistrates Court of Ayutla Alfredo Sánchez Sánchez, carried out a visual inspection of the crime scene in the ‘El Camalote’ Me’phaa community in order to verify the testimony of the main witness, Fidel Remigio Mendoza, who testified against the accused. This witness claimed that he had seen Raúl argue with Alejandro Feliciano García, who subsequently appeared dead close to the local church on the night of the 31 December 2007. The Judge found that the distance to the church was 210 meters and that the geographical barriers and the time in which the crime was committed meant that the witness could not have seen what he said he saw. During the preliminary proceedings of the case, various witnesses accusing the defendant contradicted each other’s statements whilst other, non-accusing witnesses were strikingly clear when referring to the whereabouts of Raúl Hernández during the time that the crime took place.

We have been informed that on 16 April 2010 the United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) issued a press release in which it declared that: “the UNHCHR calls on the judiciary of the state of Guerrero to analyse the case of Raúl Hernández in light of international human rights standards.” The BHRC reiterates this call and highlights particularly the obligations under Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 7 and Article 8 of the American Convention on Human Rights “Pact of San Jose, Costa Rica”to the attention of the State Attorney General’s Office.

Yours sincerely,
Mark Muller QC
Chairman
Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales

CC:

  • Zeferino Torreblanca Gallardo, Governor of the State of Guerrero 
  • Fernando Francisco Gómez Mont, Secretary of the Mexican Government 
  • Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexican Ambassador to the United Kingdom

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