We reprint here a report and urgent call for action from Mexican teachers, parents, and human rights activists. Graphic photos of the victim's wounds, which are not included here, were in the report, countering the government's response about the duplicity of the claims.

 

Teacher, trade unionist and human rights defender Santiago Ambrocio Hernández was brutally attacked on 1 April by four masked men in his home in the town of Nochixtlán, Oaxaca state, Southern Mexico.

He is the one of the leaders of the victims of police brutality of 19 June 2016 in Nochixtlán, when eight demonstrators and bystanders died in the context of a police operation to disperse a barricade on a highway. More than 140 people were also wounded.

Santiago Ambrocio is a primary school teacher, member of the dissident teachers’ union (Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, CNTE) and President of the Comité de Víctimas por Justicia y Verdad 19 de Junio (COVIC).

Since June 2016 SERAPAZ has been part of a civil society effort to open a dialogue between victims, CNTE’s Oaxaca branch and federal and state authorities in order to get protection and justice and reparation.

The attack on Santiago Ambrocio took place on 1 April at 1am when four men broke into his house and kicked and punched him. They inflicted knife wounds, tided his hands and stuck wide masking tape on his mouth. Colleagues found him hours later and rushed him to hospital, where he remained for several days.

The attack happened in the context of rising tensions between COVIC members and the Nochixtlán Mayor. On 26 March two demonstrators were wounded and hospitalized during a protest against the mayor’s decision to remove forensic evidence, like burned cars with bullet holes, of the excessive use of lethal force on 19 June 2016.

On 30 March the monument in memory of the eight fatal victims of 19 June 2016 was vandalized. The electrical installation, light bulbs and plants around it were destroyed.

Nochixtlán Mayor Rubén Alcides Miguel Miguel issued a statement denying involvement in the attack against Santiago Ambrocio and implying that his wounds are consequence of a car accident while drink-driving. He also stated that Santiago Ambrocio had staged self-attacks before in order to draw political attention.

The National Human Rights Commission and the Oaxaca state Ombudsman’s Office had requested protection measures for Santiago Ambrocio after previous attacks. To date, the federal government and the Oaxaca government have ignored those requests, even after the latest attack.

Santiago Ambrocio, his colleagues, SERAPAZ and other civil society actors are demanding effective protection, a prompt and impartial investigation and reparation. We continue to demand truth, justice and reparation for the victims of the events of 19 June 2016.

Readers can show solidarity by clicking on the "Take Action" link below.