Human Rights and Civil Society

Artículo 19 to present case against police repression in front of Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Residents in Chalchihuapan, Puebla hang a banner blaming Governor Rafael Moreno Valle accountable for the July death of 13-year-old José Luis Tehuatlie Tamayo. Photo: Víctor Hugo Rojas, Proceso.
Residents in Chalchihuapan, Puebla hang a banner blaming Governor Rafael Moreno Valle accountable for the July death of 13-year-old José Luis Tehuatlie Tamayo. Photo: Víctor Hugo Rojas, Proceso.

11/03/14 (written by rorosco) — Artículo 19, a human rights organization that defends freedom of expression and information, recently announced that it will take a case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, IACHR) to bring justice to several acts of alleged police repression that have occurred in Mexico since 2012. Attorney Leopoldo Maldonado Gutiérrez will present Artículo 19’s case before the IACHR, specifically pointing to three different incidences of police aggression against the public, and in particular to a case earlier this year in July in Puebla under the administration of Puebla Governor Rafael Moreno Valle. Governor Moreno Valle has been in office since his election in 2010.

The Artículo 19 announcement was made at the National Center for Social Communication (Centro Nacional de Comunicación Social (Cencos), located in Mexico City on October 28, during an event attended by Elia Montes Tamayo, the mother of José Luis Tehuatlie Tamayo. Tehuatlie Tamayo (13) was allegedly killed by an errant rubber bullet fired by police during a protest on July 9, 2014 in San Bernardino Chalchihuapan, Puebla as he walked home from school. The protest was against the state congress’ approval two months before of the “Bullet Law” (“Ley Bala”), a controversal law that ‘regulated’ the use of police force and use of weapons against public protestors and demonstrators. In addition to the July 9 incident, Attn. Maldonado also plans to include several events where the police were unnecessarily aggressive towards protesters, including during a march on December 1, 2012, as a group rallied against President Enrique Peña Nieto’s swearing in ceremony, and during a protest on October 2, 2013 as part of an annual march commemorating the massacre of Tlatelolco. During the Tlatelolco protest, for example, in which police violently clased with protestors, Artículo 19 claimed that 76% of the aggressions it documented during the upheavel were committed by police.

According to Informador, Governor Moreno Valle announced in September that he fully accepted the findings and recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, CNDH) to hold the Puebla State Police (Policía Estatal) responsible for the death of Tehuatlie Tamayo in July. At that time, Governor Moreno Valle also announced he was naming a special prosecutor to that case, José Antonio Pérez Bravo. In addition, he stated that the Head of the Executive Office (Oficina del Ejecutivo), Juan Pablo Piña, would be responsible for verifying compliance of the recommended reforms required by the responsible agencies. Despite these announcements, however, Attn. Maldonado is still bringing the Artículo 19 case forward to maintain pressure on Governor Moreno Valle to bring justice to Tehuatlie Tamayo’s case, especially considering that case has been overshadowed as the national attention has largely shifted to the disappearance in late September of the 43 students in Iguala, Guerrero. Attn. Maldonado also acknowledged his concern that Governor Moreno Valle may take action against the Puebla citizens that protested against him for the police’s actions in July that led to Tehuatlie Tamayo’s death.


“Accusations of brutality, infiltration, and instigation in #2OctMx protest.” Justice in Mexico. October 4, 2013.

“Protestan en Puebla contra Moreno Valle.” Informador. August 10, 2014.

“Chiapas, Puebla in discussion to overturn laws regulating police force in public demonstrations.” Justice in Mexico. August 18, 2014.

“Puebla nombra fiscal para caso de muerte de menor.” Informador. September 11, 2014.

Hernández, Gabriela. “Artículo 19 llevará a la CIDH el caso Chalchihuapan.” Processo. October 28, 2014.


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