From Amnesty International Canada
MEXICO: FEAR FOR SECURITY OF SHELTER STAFF
Members of Belén Migrants’ Shelter (Casa del migrante – Posada Belén), in Saltillo, Coahuila state, northern Mexico have been subjected to threats and information theft.
On 19 December, the window of a car belonging to Catholic priest and director of the shelter, Pedro Pantoja Arreola was smashed and a briefcase containing confidential work documents was stolen. On 27 December, the car of shelter coordinator Javier Martínez Hernández was also broken into and another briefcase with confidential important documents was taken. Valuables were not taken in either case, despite access and opportunity.
On 30 December, a call was made to Pedro Pantoja Arreola’s private phone in the church by a man threatening to the whole team at the Posada Belén, stating “You will all be screwed” (Se los va a llevar la chingada).
On 1 January an unidentified person called the offices of Posada Belén, saying they had found documents with the name and telephone number of Javier Martínez Hernández and said they could be picked up. When Javier Martínez Hernández arrived at the address provided, there was only an unidentified woman present. She said she did not know of any documents. A formal complaint has been filed for the events mentioned above at Coahuila State Attorney General’s Office.
In 2010, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos) instructed the Mexican government to provide protective measures for Father Pedro Pantoja Arreola and his team at the Belén Migrants’ Shelter. As part of the measures provided by the state, a patrol car is stationed outside the shelter. However workers at the shelter have raised concern at the lack training and capacity of officials charged with their protection, along with other failures to fully implement protection measures.
Please write immediately.
* Insist that the authorities provide effective protection to members of the Belén Migrants’ Shelter according to their wishes.
* Call on them to carry out a full, prompt and impartial investigation regarding the information theft events and telephone threat received by members of Belén Migrants’ Shelter.
* Ask them to implement an effective protection program as stipulated in the precautionary measures granted by the Inter American Commission of Human Rights.
Address your messages to
Minister of Interior:
Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong
Secretario de Gobernacion
Bucareli 99, Col. Juárez
Cuauhtemoc, Distrito Federal
C.P. 6600, México
Fax: 011 52 55 5093 3414
Governor of Coahuila State:
Rubén Moreira Valdez
Palacio de Gobierno
Piso 1, Zona Centro
C.P. 25000, México
Fax: 011 52 844 411 8500
Salutation: Dear Governor
Please send a copy to
His Excellency Francisco J. Barrio Terrazas
Ambassador for Mexico
45 O’Connor Street, Suites 1000 & 1030
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1A4
Fax: (613) 235-9123
The Honourable Diane Ablonczy
Minister of State for Consular and Foreign Affairs (Latin America)
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
Fax: (613) 992-2537
Saltillo Migrants’ House Shelter
Salutation: Dear Minister
Thank you for raising your voice to protect the Shelter’s members.