With the support of a grant provided through ProtectDefenders.eu and as part of an advocacy speaking tour organized by PBI, the director of Alianza Sierra Madre, Isela González attended the 34th Human Rights Council session in Geneva, where the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, presented his annual report, highlighting the grave human rights situation that environmental defenders face.
In the interactive dialogue with SR Michel Forst, PBI expressed concerns on the worsening situation of human rights defenders in the Latin American region and specifically the murders of the environmental defenders, members of the raramuri community, Isidro Baldenegro and Juan Ontiveros, which happened within two weeks of each other in the Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico.
In the meetings with UN special procedures, Isela González explained the accompaniment which the organization provides to the indigenous raramuri communities in Chihuahua, who are claiming their rights to land and territory against the exploitation of the wood resources in the region.
In the side event “Environmental Human Rights Defenders: Responding to a Global Crisis”, convoked by the Permanent Mission of Spain, UNHCHR, PBI and other human rights organizations and networks, the defender called the attention to the structural impediments that arose, such as the lack of recognition of their ancestral territory and the lack of adequate resources, which are an obstacle to legal and administrative's defence in litigation.
According to data from civil society, Chihuahua is the state with the highest number of killings of human rights defenders in Mexico, and a PBI early alert was published recognizing the gravity of the situation in the state, with the intention of preventing future violations.
You can download PBI statement here: bit.ly/34-HRC-PBI