Feb 10, 2012

Human Rights Violations: NGO activists in solidarity with Esther Norma Andrade, who proposes exile

La Jornada: "Activist Esther Norma Andrade has received international support after expressing her desire to leave Mexico, having been the victim of two assassination attempts, most recently last Friday in Coyoacán.

The President of the General Council of the Spanish Bar, Carlos Carnicer, sent the social activist a letter in which he expressed the support of that group if she should decide to move to Spain.  "We have contacted the embassies of Mexico in Spain and of Spain in Mexico to demand, on behalf of our foundation, due attention to you and your family," the president of the organization, which brings together all the law schools in Spain,  noted in his letter.

Moreover, the president of the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City, Luis González Placencia, called upon federal authorities and those of Chihuahua to take responsibility and provide protection to the founder of Our Daughters Return Home organization and to investigate the recent attack that she suffered.

Attorney Michel Salas, representative for the activist, said that confronting the latent risk to her safety, Andrade continues to evaluate whether she should leave the country. However, that is not her strong desire, as "she thinks it would be most difficult for her and her family and make it easier for the authorities. She does not want to leave like a thief and hide." If she emigrates, the activist wants to find stability in another nation, not just stay for six months or a year, as has been offered to her up until now.

The lawyer ... said Amnesty International offered its support to move to the activist and her family to Spain, while other organizations would help her to go to Italy. She regretted that the federal authorities, through the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence against Women and Trafficking in Persons of the Attorney General's Office, still has not decided whether it will provide the protective measures for Andrade requested by both the National and Interamerican Commissions for Human Rights.

"At the meeting with them (on Wednesday), they said that they would give an answer in 15 days. Norma said that today they are talking about her safety, but maybe the next time they meet they will talk about where to bury her," the lawyer added.

Separately, the ombudsman for Mexico City said it was lamentable that the founder of the organization, Our Daughters Return Home, has to weigh the possibility of leaving the country to ensure her safety. "The message is not good. We should be able to live here, to exercise our careers here, in full security," said González Placencia.

He added that the breach of the federal government's obligation to provide protection is putting the life of Andrade at risk. The aggression against her, he said, ought not be investigated as an isolated incident. The Attorney General has the responsibility to rule out whether it was a crime committed because of her status as an activist." Spanish original

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