The Sentence Against the Murder of the Human Rights Defender Simón Pedro is Not Justice.

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas
Frayba Bulletin Number 9
March 31st, 2023

The sentence against the murder of human rights defender Simón Pedro is not justice.
  • We recognize his work in the defense of life, land, territory and the rights of peoples and communities.
  • We guarantee that there will be no impunity in murders against human rights 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 with the people in the demands for rights that the Civil Society Organization of Las Abejas de Acteal (Las Abejas de Acteal) has historically promoted. The fact that the Controlling Judge of Pichucalco settled on 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 the justice of the State is, which denies access to truth and True Justice.

A little more than 19 months ago, along with Las Abejas de Acteal, and with the entire family of Simón Pedro, we began to struggle for justice and truth; we have learned many things, one of them the generosity of Las Abejas de 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 took Simón’s life.

The sentence and reparations are the most minimal and ignore his work as a human rights defender, as well as adequate and culturally relevant measures of reparation for damages and non-repetition. Frayba presented the facts based on two eyewitnesses. We had the opportunity to issue a sentence with a human rights perspective by presenting the evidence that showed his activity as a defender.

The sentence is negligent, from what the General Law of Victims dictates, with respect to the fact that the criminal process must guarantee the right to the truth. This is not an isolated murder, therefore we demand the investigation of the intellectual authors and the granting of minimum measures of comprehensive reparation, from medical and psychological care, measures of redress, and public recognition of his activity as a human rights defender.

It is important that special attention be paid to the continuity of violence in the region, and the need for measures to ensure non-repetition that can protect his family, the community and the Abejas de Acteal.

We will be attentive to ensure that the sentence is definitive and that freedom is not granted in other instances, in order to guarantee that there is no impunity for the murders of human rights 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 for life, where Lekil Chapanel (True Justice) does exist.

This statement was published by Frayba Center for Human Rights on March 31, 2023.
English translation by Schools for Chiapas.

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