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Washington, DC – May 12, 2016, 3:00 PM EST – Since Tuesday, threats continue to be made against Disability Rights International and its staff in Mexico following our announcement of filing a case against the Mexican government in the IACHR and publicizing horrific abuses against people with disabilities, especially women and girls. On Tuesday evening, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir aired a piece, which highlighted the abuses and the government’s lack of action since DRI first uncovered human rights violations in July 2015. The threats are a response to DRI exposing abuses and attempting to save the lives of children in institutions in Mexico.
Washington, DC – May 10, 2016, 10:30 am EST – DRI founder and Executive Director Eric Rosenthal, along with DRI’s Mexico staff, were threatened last evening with violence against them if they held today’s planned press conference, where they will announce legal action against the government, for allowing egregious human rights abuses against children and adults with disabilities, to continue unabated, despite reports from DRI.
In the coming weeks, DRI will file a case in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, charging the Mexico government with willfully ignoring the findings of DRI in July 2015 – where DRI exposed the torture, sexual abuse and trafficking of girls and women detained in an institution – known as Casa Esperanza – in Mexico City. Additionally, women and girls were forcibly sterilized to cover up the abuse. The facility is one of over several dozen on a “black list” of institutions known for horrific abuses and torture of its residents.
Mexico City authorities have taken no legal action to investigate or prosecute government authorities implicated in the failure to protect children and adults residing in “black list” institutions.
Threats began several months ago, but escalated last night via social media, as DRI prepared for the press conference, to be held at ORT University in Mexico City. The University cancelled their offer to host the press conference late last night citing “water problems” at their facility. Staff at a Mexico City Human Rights Defender’s Program warned DRI to “expect violence” at today’s press conference, which is expected to attract much media attention.
At this time, it is unclear that a public press conference can be safely held.