Press Release

IACHR Condemns Killing of Julian Gonzalez Dominguez in Mexico

February 10, 2015

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the killing of human rights defender and leader of the Triqui indigenous peoples, Julián González Domínguez, who was a beneficiary of precautionary measures granted by the Commission. The Commission urges the Mexican State to conduct an official investigation, aimed at clarifying the circumstances in which this death occurred, and punish the perpetrators and masterminds of this violation. The investigation should be conducted with due diligence, and in an impartial manner. In addition, the Commission urges the Mexican government to immediately adopt all necessary and urgent measures to ensure the right to life, integrity and security of the leaders and members of the Triqui indigenous peoples, as established in the precautionary measure still in force.

According to publicly available information, unidentified persons, hooded and armed, allegedly arrived at the home of Julian Gonzalez Dominguez on January 12, 2015, and forced him to go with them. Soon after, his lifeless body was reportedly seen with his hands cuffed behind his back. These events allegedly occurred in Juxlahuaca, the place where Julián González Domínguez was displaced after fleeing violence in San Juan Copala.

Julián Domínguez González was one of the beneficiaries of Precautionary Measure 197/10, issued by the Commission on October 7, 2010, to protect 135 inhabitants of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca. The request for precautionary measures received by the Commission alleged that members of the Triqui indigenous peoples in San Juan Copala were displaced as a result of repeated violent attacks against them by an armed group. This is the second beneficiary of Precautionary Measure 197/10 to be killed, after the death of indigenous Triqui leader Antonio López Martínez in 2011.

The Commission reiterates that acts of violence and other attacks against human rights defenders not only affect the guarantees of every human being, but undermine the fundamental role that human rights defenders play in society and leave all those for whom they fight defenseless. In this sense, the work of human rights defenders is essential for the construction of a solid, lasting democratic society, and they play a leading role in the process of pursuing the full attainment of the rule of law. Consequently, the IACHR urges the Mexican State to take all necessary measures to ensure that human rights defenders can carry out their activities of denunciation, accompaniment, and protection, free from attacks or acts of violence that endanger their life, integrity, and safety.

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

No. 009/15