IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Tsotsil Indigenous Families from 12 Communities in Aldama, Chiapas, Mexico

April 27, 2021

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Washington, D.C. — On April 23, 2021, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) adopted Resolution 35/2021, through which it granted precautionary measures in favor of the Tsotsil indigenous families living in the following 12 communities: (1) Coco', (2) Tabac, (3) Xuxch'en, (4) San Pedro Cotzilnam, (5) Chayomte, (6) Juxtón, (7) Tselejpotobtic, (8) Yetón, (9) Chivit, (10) Sepelton, (11) Yoctontik, and (12) Cabecera Aldama in Aldama municipality, Chiapas. The IACHR deemed that the situation meets, prima facie, the requirements of gravity, urgency, and risk of irreparable damage set out in Article 25 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure.

The request alleged that the indigenous families from the communities in Aldama were at risk as a result of aggression, harassment, and threats associated with the presence of armed individuals in the area, which had allegedly led to the displacement of these communities at various points, as part of an ongoing territorial conflict in the area. The IACHR valued the actions taken by the State to address the situation. However, after monitoring the matter, it noted that the forms of armed aggression described above continued to occur, even though a nonaggression agreement is in place. It also took into account the opinion of the National Human Rights Commission, which urged the state to guarantee the rights of the area's inhabitants on several occasions.

Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR requested that the State of Mexico a) adopt culturally appropriate security measures to protect the life and personal integrity of the beneficiary families; specifically, that it guarantee security within their communities and during displacements in order to prevent threats, harassment, intimidation, or acts of armed violence perpetrated by third parties; b) agree on any measures to be adopted in consultation with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and c) report on the actions it implements to investigate the events that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure so as to prevent them from being repeated.

The IACHR's granting of this precautionary measure and its adoption by the State does not entail a prejudgment on any petition that may eventually be filed before the inter-American system to allege that the rights protected by any applicable instruments have been violated.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate derives from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The IACHR is composed of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity, and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 104/21