6 February 2011
Reference: Cristina Palabay, Tanggol Bayi Convenor
Lorraine Bermejo, Tanggol Bayi Advocacy officer
JUSTICE FOR OUR MEXICAN SISTERS! JUSTICE FOR WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN MEXICO!
We at Tanggol Bayi (Defend Women), an association of women human rights defenders in the Philippines, stand in solidarity with Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, their families, friends, and with the organizations worldwide in condemning the human rights violations committed by members of the Mexican militia against Inés and Valentina in 2002. Inés and Valentina, two indigenous women from the Me’phaa nation in Guerrero, Mexico, have shown great courage in speaking out and demanding justice amidst threats and harassment.
We likewise condemn the Mexican government for evading its responsibility in the violations and failing to ensure the safety of the two women and their families. As signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), as well as party to the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the government of Mexico is legally obliged by these international human rights instruments to recognize, protect and uphold the rights of women within its borders. It is both saddening and appalling to know that the state is ironically the one perpetuating human rights violations and then turning a deaf ear when found accountable.
Tanggol Bayi is one with Inés and Valentina in calling on the Mexican government to promptly comply with and enforce the decisions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and thus finally give Ines and Valentina the justice they are owed and have long struggled for. Tanggol Bayi joins the ringing voices of women worldwide in upholding, promoting and defending women’s rights.