Tuesday, August 18, 2009

To: secparticular@chiapas.gob.mx; secretario@segob.gob.mx; cdh@cdh-chiapas.org.mx; presidencia@cndh.org.mx; correo@cndh.org.mx

cc: civilsocietyunit@ohchr.org; oacnudh@ohchr.org; cidhoea@oas.org; mxico@international.gc.ca; info@blackfireexploration.com; info@fronteergroup.com; info@radiusgold.com; info@lineargoldcorp.com; info@newgold.com

Dear Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas,

I am deeply concerned for the safety of Sr. Mariano Abarca and other members of communities opposing Canadian mines in Chiapas. I was just made aware that Sr. Abarca was kidnapped by armed individuals in unmarked cars as he left a Primary Public School at the municipal capital of Chicomuselo on August 17, 2009. Mr. Abarca is an outspoken critic of destructive mines in Chiapas, and was preparing to organize a regional gathering of communities affected by mining corporations. Please launch an immediate investigation into the kidnapping of Mr. Arbaca. Please take the all means and measures necessary to ensure the safe return of Mr. Abarca to his family. It is high time that you take action to halt the operations of Blackfire and suspend further developments and the sale of concessions held by Radius Gold, Linear Gold Corp, Fronteer Development Group, New Gold Inc., and any other Canadian mining corporations in Chiapas until an impartial investigation is completed.

Communities in Mexico hold the right to free, prior, and informed consent for any and all mining operations on their territories. Mine opponents have the right to carry out their activities without any restrictions or fear of reprisals, as set out in the UN Declaration on the Rights and Responsibilities of Individuals, Groups and Institutions to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

In any case, please do whatever you can to protect the human rights of communities facing Canadian mining projects and the human rights defenders working on mining issues in Mexico.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

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