Mexico D.F., 26 September 2013. Yesterday the German and French Embassies in Mexico awarded the first Franco-German “Gilberto Bosques” Human Rights prize in recognition of the promotion and defense of human rights, peace, solidarity and justice. Fray Tomás González Castillo, director of the Migrant Shelter “La 72”, in the state of Tabasco, was the winner of the prize.

The Comité de Defensa Integral de Derechos Humanos “Gobixha” (Integral Defense Committee for Human Rights “Gobixha”, Código-DH) received a mention of honor for its promotion of human rights in the public policies of the state of Oaxaca. The German Ambassador, Dr. Edmund Duckwitz, recognized the recent wave of aggressions against human rights defenders in Oaxaca and the death threats against Alba.

“This award to Alba is an acknowledgment of all human rights defenders in Oaxaca, including those who demand the realization of human rights for their indigenous and campesino communities, despite the risks that this implies. We expect that the Federal, State and Municipal governments act to guarantee the security of Alba and other human rights defenders, implementing protection measures and punishing those responsible for attacks against them”, expressed the Ambassador during the ceremony.

Felícitas Martínez Solano, regional coordinator of the Community Authorities – Community Police of San Luis Acatlán (CRAC-PC), also received a mention of honor for her activism in favor of indigenous women in the state of Guerrero.

The French Ambassador, Ms. Elisabeth Beton Delègue, highlighted “the numerous valued men and women who commit themselves every day, in each one of our countries, to the weakest, the most vulnerable, the ones ‘without a voice’, and help them in their struggle to defend their dignity”.

The ceremony took place in the Gilberto Bosques square in the Human Rights Commission of the Distrito Federal (CDHDF), with the presence of civil society organizations, representatives from the diplomatic corps, the Office in Mexico of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, the Unit for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights of the Interior Ministry and family members of Gilberto Bosques, Consul of Mexico in France from 1939 to 1944, who helped thousands of persons to escape from the Spanish civil war and nazi persecution, offering them Mexican residence and nationality.

PBI congratulates the awarded defenders and acknowledges the important work they carry out for human rights in Mexico. PBI also expresses concern about the recent wave of aggressions against human rights defenders in the state of Oaxaca, whereby two human rights defenders and one journalist have been killed.


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