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As delegates from several parts of the world are arriving to participate in the Montes Azules Social Forum on violence against communities in Chiapas, Mexico, Margarita Guadalupe Martinez, member of the organization Linking, Communication and Capacity Building, was kidnapped.
Some months ago people had broken into her home and taken her work materials surrounding human rights.
According to a statement issued by Otros Mundos-Friends of the Earth Mexico “a week from the beginning of the Montes Azules Social Forum, coordinated by the organization Linking, Communication and Capacity Building of Comitán city, Chiapas, with the aim to denounce and warn about the violent eviction of indigenous communities to fill the region with African Oil Palm plantations, and supposedly to recover and preserve, without indigenous population, Montes Azules territories according to the plans of the government of Chiapas, Margarita Guadalupe Martinez Martinez, member of the organization, was kidnapped by unidentified individuals, who put a plastic bag on her head and forced her to enter a vehicle, hit her, and psychologically tortured her”.
The forum scheduled for March 6th and 7th will be covered by Real World Radio and aims to raise awareness on the displacement of rural communities from Chiapas to give way to plantations, agrofuel crops and tourist project.
The organization member of Friends of the Earth International demands “Chiapas government to ensure life, integrity and personal safety, and also an end to death threats and attacks against Margarita Guadalupe Martinez Martinez, her husband Adolfo Guzmán Orda and their children, and the rest of the members of the organization. In the same way, the government should investigate the potential responsibility of the Head of the Municipality of Comitán de Dominguez on the mentioned death threats and attacks, and also the responsibility of the authorities and police officers who have been involved. The government must carry out an immediate, efficient and unbiased investigation to discover the people responsible for these acts, punishing both material and intellectual authors”.
They also state that “this is not the first time that in Chiapas, under the current administration, human, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights advocates have been threatened, tortured, arbitrarily arrested and even murdered”.
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