Originally published on September20, 2014, at ForceChange.com
Target: Enrique Pena Nieto, President of Mexico
Goal: Drop the politically motivated charges against a human rights activist leading protests against the construction of an aqueduct
While demonstrating against an aqueduct that will divert water away from an indigenous community, a human rights worker was arrested and falsely charged with abducting a different community’s leader. After leading a delegation to Washington, D.C. to request protection for the indigenous people, Mario Luna Romero returned to Mexico and was arrested days later on politically motivated charges. The Mexican government must drop these false charges and allow the human rights worker to defend the Yaqui community from losing access to its water.
As a spokesperson for the Yaqui tribe, Mario Luna Romero and his community have been working to prevent the construction of the Independence Aqueduct. The project will divert water from the Yaqui River and away from the tribe, despite the fact that it owns 50% of the waterway. After leading protests and requesting an environmental impact study, Romero took a delegation to Washington, D.C. to raise their case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.