Mexico: legal defense activist assaulted

On the evening of Dec. 12 Melanie del Carmen Salgado Lopez was assaulted by an unknown man near the entrance of her home in Mexico’s Federal District (DF, Mexico City). He pushed her against the wall, grabbed her by her hair and hit her head against the wall, giving her a cut on the face. “Don’t be a jerk,” he warned her. Salgado Lopez is a student at the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM) and a member of the Cerezo Committee Mexico, which works for the legal defense of the brothers Alejandro, Antonio and Hector Cerezo Contreras and for other cases of suspected human rights abuses.

The Cerezos were arrested in 2001 ostensibly in relation to a three small bombs that exploded at Mexico City banks, but some observers suspect that the arrests were connected to reports that their parents are leaders in the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR); one brother, Alejandro, was released in February 2005. Salgado Lopez has been subjected to harassment since May of this year, when she received threatening e-mails; one warned that she might be carried out “feet first.” On Dec. 11 and 12 calls from unknown numbers were recorded on her cell phone, and shortly before the attack on Dec. 12, she reported to a police patrol that she being followed by a man; the police refused to help.

The Mexican League for the Defense of Human Right (Limeddh) and other rights organizations have called on the federal and local government to intervene for the protection of Salgado Lopez and other committee members. The Cerezo Committee is asking for emails to Mexican president Felipe Calderon Hinojosa (, DF head of government Marcelo Ebrard Casabon ( and others. (Cerezo Committee Mexico urgent action, Dec. 12)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Dec. 16

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