Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Fwd:ACTION ALERT:Mexican Labor Rights Activist Attacked and Brutally Beaten

Expand Messages
  • Donna Dove
    ... Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 14:05:11 -0600 From: Alison Paul Reply-To: Alison Paul Subject: ACTION ALERT: Mexican Labor
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 15, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      ----- Forwarded message from Alison Paul <apaul@...> -----
      Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 14:05:11 -0600
      From: Alison Paul <apaul@...>
      Reply-To: Alison Paul <apaul@...>
      Subject: ACTION ALERT: Mexican Labor Rights Activist Attacked and Brutally
      Beaten
      To: apaul@...

      US/LEAP ACTION ALERT: Mexican Labor Rights Activist Attacked and Brutally
      Beaten

      *Information from the Maquila Solidarity Network

      On December 30, at 9:30 a.m., Martin Barrios, Coordinator of the Human and
      Labor Rights Commission of the Tehuacan Valley was attacked and brutally
      beaten by an unknown assailant while about to enter his house, which also
      serves as the Commission office. The attack and threats that had been
      made against Barrios previous to the attack are believed to be part of a
      campaign by maquila owners to silence Barrios and other Commission members
      and discourage them from continuing to defend workers' rights. The
      Commission has defended worker rights during the Tarrant campaign as well
      as supported workers from other smaller Tehuacan maquilas. According to
      the Commission, the attack on Barrios should be added to the list of recent
      attacks on human rights activists in the State of Puebla, including the
      murder of lawyer Griselda Tirado Evangelio in Huehuetla and threats and
      abuse against members of CADEM in Cuetzalan, and threats and intimidation
      against the Centro de Apoyo al Trabajador and members of the independent
      union at the Tarrant Ajalpan facility.

      Barrios was brutally beaten on the face and head with a brick, but managed
      to throw off the attacker who fled to a taxi driven by an accomplice that
      had been parked outside the house. Barrios suffered serious injuries to his
      face and skull as a result of the attack, and has laid a formal complaint
      with the local authorities. The Commission believes the attacker was paid
      to carry out the assault in order to intimidate Barrios, his family and
      other members of the Commission because the attacker did not attempt to
      steal anything from Barrios or try to enter the house.

      US/LEAP has been active in the Tarrant campaign which has increased
      pressure from brand-name buyers and consumers on the U.S.-based Tarrant
      Apparel Group to respect workers rights in Mexico after the company fired
      workers for organizing an independent union the Tarrant-Ajalpan factory.
      Tarrant also fired hundreds of workers at its other Mexican factories last
      fall. The Commission has been active in efforts to get Tarrant to provide
      legally entitled severance pay to the fired workers. A recent nvestigation
      by Verite, an independent monitoring agency, largely corroborated Tarrant
      workers' allegations of worker rights violations in Mexico.

      TAKE ACTION!

      The Commission is asking for letters of protest to the Governor of the
      State of Puebla, Melquiades Morales Flores, with copies by e-mail to (1)
      the Maquila Solidarity Network (which will then be forwarded on to Mexican
      President Vicente Fox), and (2) U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Antonio Garza,
      Jr. and (3) Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., Juan Bremer.

      Please send a letter today, demanding:

      1) a full investigation into the attack and prosecution of those
      responsible, including the intellectual authors of the crime; and

      2) protective measures by local authorities to ensure the safety of Martin
      Barrios and his family.

      Letters to:
      Lic. Melquiades Morales Flores, Governor of Puebla

      Fax: 011 52 222 213 8805

      Email: http://www.puebla.gob.mx/gobierno/escribealgobernador.html

      With copies to:

      (1) Maquila Solidarity Network

      E-mail: info@...

      (2) U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Antonio Garza, Jr.

      E-mail: TanabeFT@...

      Fax: 011-52-55-50802005

      (3) Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., Juan Bremer

      E-mail: mexembusa@...


      SAMPLE LETTER

      Melquiades Morales Flores, Governor of Puebla

      14 Oriente, No. 1006, Colonia El Alto, Puebla

      Puebla, Mexico

      Fax: 011 52 222 213 8805

      Email: http://www.puebla.gob.mx/gobierno/escribealgobernador.html


      Dear Governor Morales Flores:


      I am writing to bring to your attention disturbing reports of a brutal
      assault carried out under suspicious circumstances against Martin Amaru
      Barrios, a leader of the Comision de Derechos Humanos y Laborales del Valle
      de Tehuacan, A.C.

      On December 30, at 9:30 a.m. Barrios was attacked by an unknown assailant
      outside his home in Tehuacan. As he was about to enter his house, Barrios
      was assaulted from behind by a man carrying a brick. Barrios was able throw
      off the assailant, who fled to a taxi that was waiting for him in front of
      the house. Barrios suffered serious injuries to his face and skull, and has
      registered a formal complaint with the local authorities.

      It appears the man and his accomplish who was driving the taxi were waiting
      for Barrios when he returned home. Also, the assailant made no attempt to
      enter the house or to rob Barrios, who had received threats related to the
      work of the Commission in defending workers' rights prior to the attack.
      It would therefore appear that the attack had been planned in advance, and
      the assailant and his accomplice to the crime had been paid to carry out
      the assault.

      As you may be aware, Barrios and the Commission have been playing a very
      important role in defending the rights of maquila workers in the Tehuacan
      region. It is therefore highly suspicious that this attack occurred
      recently after the Commission was involved in efforts to ensure that
      hundreds of maquila workers who were unjustly fired by the Tarrant Apparel
      Group received their full severance pay as required by the Federal Labor
      Law.

      I am aware that the independent worker union at the Tarrant-Ajalpan plant,
      SUITTAR, was denied legal recognition by the Junta Local de Conciliain y
      Arbitraje de Puebla (JCLA), a decision which has highly questionable legal
      grounds. I am dismayed by the outright failure of the local labor board to
      adhere to Mexican labor law as well as their continued actions to keep
      independent worker unions out of Puebla and am appalled that this behavior
      has been allowed to continue.

      I am very concerned that this assault might be part of a broader campaign
      to silence and punish Barrios, members of his family and other members of
      the Commission. In order to ensure that justice is done, and that there are
      no further attacks on Barrios, members of his family and/or other members
      of the Commission, I would strongly urge that you take the following
      actions:

      1. Immediately launch a full investigation of the attack and threats
      against Barrios and ensure that those who are responsible, including the
      intellectual authors of the crime, are brought to justice; and

      2. Direct local authorities to take immediate preventive measures to
      protect the life and security of Martin Amaru Barrios, his family, and
      other members of the Commission.

      3. Immediate intervention with the Puebla state authorities to ensure
      that the rights of the SUITTAR union are respected, including granting
      union recognition, and that the rights of all Tarrant Mexican workers are
      respected.

      I look forward to your response detailing the measures your government is
      taking to investigate the crime, bring those responsible to justices, and
      provide protection to Barrios, his family, and other members of the
      Commission.

      Sincerely,


      --------------------------------------
      U.S./Labor Education in the Americas Project
      P.O. Box 268-290
      Chicago, IL 60626
      Tel: 773-262-6502
      Fax: 773-262-6602
      apaul@...
      http://www.usleap.org

      ----- End forwarded message -----
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.