Back after a long time. On Thursday afternoon Magdalena and I land in Chihuahua, Isela Gonzales - the director of our partner organisation Alianza Sierra Madre - and her daughter pick us up at the airport. We'll get straight to the point. What has changed in the last few years? Some former employees now work in government organizations, trying to promote human rights work, but continue to support Alianza.
The next day, a first exchange of information takes place in the office. Isela has been in Geneva this year with the International Peace Brigades to report to the Human Rights Commission on the situation in the Sierra. Alianza works with various non-governmental organizations in Mexico, but also with many international organizations and three lawyers specializing in international law.
Since seven high-ranking drug baronswere arrested in Ralph Lauren polo shirts, product piracy has been booming: everywhere in Mexico cheap imitations of the well-known shirts with the polo-player are finding a welcome market. Anyone wearing such a shirt could be a narco, a member of one of the powerful drug cartels that are now a state within the state.
On January 16, 2017 the well-known environmental and human rights activist Isido Baldenegro López succumbed to injuries after being shot the day before. The scene of the crime was the municipality of Coloradas de la Virgen in the south of Sierra Tarahumara, one of the municipalities with the highest rates of violent crime in Mexico.
On February 1, 2017 Juan Ontiveros Ramos, a police officer in the municipality of Choréachi (Pino Gordo), was abducted and murdered. He had just returned from Chihuahua, where, along with the traditional authorities, he had reported on the insecurity and violence in his home community before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
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