A Bitter Christmas and New Year’s Eve for the Families of the Disappeared in Mexico

A press release from FUUNDEC and a translated letter from the Family Robledo Fernandez (December 2012) on the recent liberation from prison of a suspect of José Antonio Robledo’s disappearance by Judge due to a writing error in documentation.

  • While millions of families celebrated life this past Christmas, thousands of families in Mexico and Central America go through a living hell because of the disappearance of their loved ones and the lack of justice.

The mother and father of José Antonio Robledo Fernández are looking for him since January 2009.  His mother, Guadalupe, and his father José Antonio, are members of the United Forces for Our Disappeared in Coahuila (FUUNDEC).  Both parents have had to do what authorities have not done in the investigation of their son’s disappearance.  Those authorities are once again the source of shame after the decision of Judge Carlos Nicéforo Adolfo Olea Peñaflores to NOT press charges for the possession of illegal weapons against Carlos Enrique Haro Villarreal, despite clear evidence.

Carlos Enrique Haro Villarreal was in charge of security for the construction company ICA in Monclova Coahuila, where José Antonio Robledo was disappeared.  Haro Villarreal is prime suspect in this disappearance. In the moment of Haro’s detention, illegal weapons were found as well as a personal file of the disappearance of José Antonio Robledo and surveillance documents of the activities of Robledo’s parents in their search to locate their child since 2009.  In the moment of the detention, Haro was also found with information regarding three more cases investigated by FUUNDEC.  Finally, in the process of pressing charges, Haro’s accomplices identified him as the one ordering them to carry out those disappearances, including that of Jose Antonio Robledo.

Due to this situation, FUUNDEC and the Centre for Human Rights Fray Juan de Larios express the following:

  1. The recorded numbers of impunity in executions cases rose to 98.5% in relation to the complaints lodged. In the case of the tens of thousands of disappearances, resolution to the investigations has not taken place, the location of the victim has not been found and those guilty have not been punished.  Such is collusion between organized crime and the Mexican State that the agencies of the public prosecutor and the police forces are a powerful filter to prevent cases to be taken to court.
  1. When the families of the disappeared manage to bring to justice the perpetrators of disappearance, there is another barrier: the Mexican judicial system solve disappearance investigations, locate the disappeared person, or repair the damage to the victims, or relatives. And/or the Public Ministry (Ministerio Público) does not press charges correctly, or the judge finds that there is not enough evidence, or both.  The Mexican State consistently fails to fulfill its obligation to give justice, in terms of constitutional article 17.
  1. The judge Olea Penaflores must explain to citizens why Haro was released, despite the fact that he kept at his home at least seven firearms and a dossier with the registration of all actions of the Robledo Fernandez family in regards the search for their son as well as information on three other cases linked to FUUNDEC´s work. These actions make us think that this Judge is suspect of collusion with organized crime and must be investigated. Therefore we make a call to the Mexican Supreme Court of Justic, to start the appropriate investigation, to demand the Attorney-General to act according to the law and raise the question of who would capable of freeing people like Haro Villarreal against all evidence.

The Mexican State has not yet ensured proper probity of all its Judiciary, as demonstrated by the bleak general situation of impunity.  FUUNDEC and the CDDH Fray Juan de Larios ask the families of the disappeared to oppose the Judge’s resolution since it will become a precedent to their own cases, where justice obeys to more dark and petty interests than to citizens. Both dark and petty interests hold formal and de facto powers. Therefore, we demand to the Attorney-General Office and the Council of the Judiciary to carry out an investigation regarding the actions of the Judge Adolfo Olea Penaflores.

We make the Judiciary and Carlos Haro Enrique Villarreal responsible for any act against the integrity and life of the family of Jose Antonio Robledo Fernandez, the families comprising FUUNDEC and the staff of the CDDH Fray Juan de Larios.

In a tireless search







Letter from the Robledo Fernández family

We express publicly our rejection to the decision taken by Judge Carlos Nikephoros Adolfo Olea Penaflores (second federal court of appeals of the 19th circuit headquartered in Matamoros, Tamps.), in relation to the lifting of the charges of illegal firearm possession against Carlos Enrique Haro Villarreal, main person involved in the kidnapping and disappearance of Jose Antonio Robledo Fernandez in Monclova, Coahuila on January 25, 2009 …. During the search of Haro Villarreal’s house, there were two witnesses of the house search and two assisting witnesses.  From the four, only one witness “invalidated” the search.  This became grounds to lift the charges against Haro Villarreal by Judge Roberto Hoyos.  Prior to this, another judge, Roberto Hoyos, lifted the charges against Haro Villarreal for the kidnapping of José Antonio Robledo and involvement with organized crime.  However, the charges for possession of three illegal firearms remained in place (when in fact five or seven firearms were found in Haro’s home). At the same time, the judges DID CONFIRM the charges against the other four suspects, who were sent to prison.

We are tired of impunity promoted by judges, which has been the main obstacle for justice in the families’ search for their disappeared relatives.  This is only one case that has been publicly denounced.  However, there are more cases like ours in the same situation.



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