San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas
Frayba Bulletin No. 09
*We recognize their work in defense of life, land, territory and the rights of peoples and communities.
*May it be guaranteed that there is no impunity in murders of defenders.
This Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) widely recognizes Simón Pedro López Pérez (Simón Pedro) as a human rights defender, who walked together with the peoples in the demands for rights that the Civil Society Organization of Las Abejas of Acteal (Las Abejas of Acteal) have historically promoted. The Control Judge of Pichucalco adjusted to the lesser sentence, with the sentence of 25 years in prison against the material author of the murder of the human rights defender, and the economic “reparation” for the families, reflects how narrow and limited is the justice of the State, which denies access to truth and True Justice.
A little over 19 months ago, together with Las Abejas de Acteal, and with the entire family of Simón Pedro, we began to walk justice and truth; we have learned many things, one of them the generosity of Las Abejas of Acteal and the family of the community defender, who at the beginning of the oral trial hearing outside the control court in Pichucalco, shared bread, water and food with the family of the person who deprived Simón of his life.
The sentence and reparation are the lowest and omit his work as a human rights defender that he carried out, as well as adequate and culturally relevant measures of reparation of the damage and non-repetition. From Frayba we exposed the facts based on two eyewitnesses. He had the opportunity to issue a judgment with a human rights perspective by presenting the evidence that showed his activity as a defender.
The sentence is ignored, from what the General Law of Victims dictates, regarding that the criminal process must guarantee the right to the truth. It is not an isolated murder, which is why we demand that the intellectual authors be investigated and that minimum measures of integral reparation be granted, from medical and psychological care, measures of satisfaction, and public recognition of their activity in defense of human rights.
It is important to pay special attention to the continuation of the violence that plagues the region, and to the need for non-repetition measures that can protect their family, the community and the Bees of Acteal.
We will be attentive to ensure that the sentence remains firm and that freedom is not granted in other bodies, in order to guarantee that there is no impunity against murders of defenders, which, like the work of Simón Pedro, commits us to continue walking with the peoples and communities that fight for their dignity and the construction of alternatives of life, where there is Lekil Chapanel (True Justice).
Originally Published in Spanish by Frayba, Friday, March 31, 2023, https://frayba.org.mx/la_sentencia_no_es_justicia and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee