Update: Mexico – Charges against human rights defender Mr Juan Carlos Flores Solís dropped as he awaits sente nce for ‘aggravated robbery’
12 September 2014
Update: Mexico – Charges against human rights defender Mr Juan Carlos Flores Solís dropped as he awaits sentence for ‘aggravated robbery’
Two of the three criminal proceedings against human rights defender Mr Juan Carlo Flores Solís have been dropped, while one case remains pending. The human rights defender has been held in detention since his arrest in Puebla on 7 April 2014. He now awaits trial on charges of ‘aggravated theft’.
Juan Carlos Flores Solís is a member of Frente de Pueblos en Defensa del Agua y de la Tierra de Morelos, Puebla y Tlaxcala – FPDATMPT (The People’s Front in Defence of the Water and Earth of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala). The organisation works together with Nahua communities to protect the rights of 22 communities potentially affected by various large-scale developments in the area, including the proposed construction of a gas pipeline through their community (Proyecto Gasoducto Morales). The developments are supported by the Italian company Bonatti and the Spanish companies Abengoa, Elecnor and Enegas. FPDATMPT opposes the pipeline as it will be constructed in the vicinity of the volcano Popocatépetl, which may pose a serious risk to the inhabitants of the region.
Juan Carlos Flores Solís was acquitted of ‘crimes against hydraulic infrastructure’, ‘mutiny’, ‘looting’ and ‘extortion’ by the Seventh judge of the District of Cholula in Puebla state in case 127/2012, in light of evidence of violations of due process. Moreover, the First judge of Tlaxcala granted the human rights defender a definitive suspension in relation to charges of ‘illegal deprivation of liberty’ of workers from the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (Federal Commission of Electricity).
One case remains pending against Juan Carlos Flores Solís in the First Instance Court of the District of Atlixco in Puebla state. In case 121/2014, the human rights defender is charged with ‘aggravated theft’ of a worker from Italian company BONATI SPA.
Juan Carlos Flores Solís’ arrest on 7 April 2014 occurred shortly after he submitted a complaint to the Puebla State Commission on Human Rights regarding the detention of another human rights defender, Ms Enedina Rosas Veleza, arrested on 6 April 2014. In her case, witnesses report that the police failed to show an arrest warrant or to identify themselves, and used firearms to threaten those nearby. Enedina Rosas Veleza is in detention pending a hearing on charges of ‘aggravated robbery’ and ‘obstruction of public works’. She faces a possible sentence of nine years.
Front Line Defenders welcomes the charge dropped against Juan Carlos Flores Solis but remains under concern for the charges still holding
To read more about the detention of Juan Carlos Flores Solís, please see the Front Line Defenders Urgent Appeal issued on 15 April 2014.