June 15, 2011
On the night of June 5, federal police illegally raided the offices of PWRDF partner agency Centro de Derechos Humanos Paso del Norte (The Paso del Norte Human Rights Centre) in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Officers forcefully entered the building without a search warrant, broke windows and searched and ransacked the offices. Fortunately, no one was hurt and no materials were taken from the offices.
In a press release yesterday, Annunciation House (another agency working for human rights in Juarez) said, “This forced and illegal entry, without warrant or provocation, is an unprecedented violation of civil society by the Mexican State, and is a direct act of intimidation specifically directed at defenders of human rights.” The goal of the illegal search seems to have been intimidation of the Paso del Norte Centre and other agencies preparing to participate in the Caravan for Justice and Peace with Dignity in Juarez on June 9 and 10.
PWRDF has sent a letter to President Felipe de JesÃºs Calderon Hinojosa of Mexico, calling on him “…to carry out an immediate, impartial and thorough investigation to find the perpetrators of these illegal actions and to bring them to justice.”