A Mexican attorney who specializes in human rights cases announced he is leaving the country temporarily because of death threats.
Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, legal counsel for the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center, is the second rights activist in less than a month to flee Mexico.
“I am leaving the country to protect my life, but I demand from authorities an investigation of the recent threats and acts of harassment against me,” Rosales said at a Mexico City press conference arranged by Amnesty International.
He denounced the government for a “lack of will” to protect human rights defenders in the southern state of Guerrero, where the Tlachinollan Center is based.
“The threats to my person began in 2009 due to the effort we headed to obtain justice for the murder and extrajudicial execution of indigenous people who were tortured,” the attorney said.
The Tlachinollan Center was founded in 1992 to document police and military abuses against Mixtec, Nahuatl, Amusgo and Tlapaneco Indians in the Tlachinollan Mountain region.
As the center’s legal counsel, Rosales has played a key role in important cases such as the February 2002 rape of two indigenous women by soldiers, AI’s Mexico representative, Alberto Herrera, said at the press conference.
Rosales is currently representing the families of two students slain after taking part in a Dec. 12 demonstration in Chilpancingo, Guerrero’s capital.
The lawyer’s departure comes less than two weeks after a Catholic priest who runs a shelter for Central American migrants said he was leaving Mexico after learning that someone had put a price on his head.
The Rev. Alejandro Solalinde founded the Hermanos del Camino shelter in the southern state of Oaxaca, where some 200 Central American migrants arrive each day.