In their work to promote and defend indigenous peoples’ rights in the Costa Chica region of Mexico, a highly militarized zone in the state of Guerrero, members of the Me’phaa Indigenous People’s Organization (OPIM) and their partner organizations have had to overcome repeated harassment
, and even murders of leading members. Now add imprisonments and baseless prosecutions by the government to that list.
In April 2008, Raúl Hernández and four fellow OPIM members were arbitrarily arrested and charged with the murder of a suspected army informant—a murder which Mr. Hernández did not commit. The other four human rights defenders were released due to lack of evidence. But even though the only witness that directly identified Mr. Hernández as having taken part in the murder was found to have lied, he has remained in prison for over two years.