May 16, 2017
The Latin America Working Group and seven partner human rights organizations released a joint statement today condemning the murder of yet another human rights defender, Miriam Elizabeth Rodríguez Martínez. Ms. Rodríguez was a committed activist and mother who had faced threats for her work of pursuing justice in the case of her daughter’s disappearance and murder, and helping other families of disappeared victims in Mexico to do the same. She was shot in her home in the state of Tamaulipas on the night of May 10, 2017, which is Mother’s Day in Mexico.
As the document states, “Unfortunately, Miriam is the latest victim in a pattern of violence and retaliation against human rights defenders, journalists, activists, and individuals throughout Mexico who, through their work, denounce state negligence and wrongdoing in the country, from corruption to the lack of results in disappearance cases.”
LAWGEF and partners stand in solidarity with Miriam’s family and colleagues who, in the absence of adequate government action, have had to search for their loved ones in the ongoing crisis of violence and forced disappearances in Mexico—official statistics alone report over 30,000 disappearances. We call for the proper recognition of these families who take on the search for their disappeared relatives as human rights defenders by Mexico’s state and national human rights commissions, as well as the Mechanism to Protect Human Rights Defenders and Journalists. We urge Mexican authorities to provide them with adequate protection measures to ensure that others do not continue to meet the same fate as Miriam. Furthermore, we demand a serious and thorough investigation into Miriam’s murder.