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Mexican Environmentalist to speak at Amnesty Conference

28 Apr 2006

Amnesty International Irish Section is organising a conference on human rights in Mexico. Two human rights defenders from Mexico will be present to share their experiences and knowledge.

Felipe Arreaga, environmental activist with Organizacion Campesina Ecologista de la Sierra de Petatlan, spent 10 months in jail on falsified charges because he opposed the activities of the local rich elite and multinational corporations in illegally logging forests. Felipe is from Guerrero state in southern Mexico where indigenous peoples' livelihoods are being threatened by illegal logging, drug trafficking, environmental degradation and police and army impunity.

Patricia Cervantes human rights activist from Chihuahua city in northern Mexico, whose daughter Neyra Azucena disappeared in 2003 aged 19, will tell the conference about her personal search for justice. Along Mexico's border with the United States human life has little value and women's lives even less. During the last 10 years more than 300 women and girls have been kidnapped and murdered in the vicinity of Ciudad Juárez. Many were sexually assaulted and tortured before they died. Most of the murders remain unsolved. President Fox's government has done little to bring justice for these women and their families.

The conference will be held on Saturday 6 May 2006 in St. Andrews Community Centre on Pearse Street, Dublin 1. All are welcome. Entrance is free. For further information please contact: mexicoireland@gmail.com

Conference agenda:
12:15 - Registration/coffee
13:00 - Introduction by Sean Love, Director Amnesty International Irish Section
13:10 - Film: Defending the Forest
13:30 - Keynote speaker - Felipe Arreaga
14:15 - Coffee break
14:30 - Film: Doble Injusticia - Dual Injustice
14:50 - Keynote speaker - Patricia Cervantes
15:30 - Discussion Panel - How we in Ireland can help?
16:30 - Social in Ginger Man pub

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