Mexico: The Observatory condemns the murder of women’s rights lawyer Cecilia Monzón
24 May 2022
Women’s rights lawyer Cecilia Monzón was shot dead on Saturday as she drove through the streets of San Pedro Cholula, Puebla.
Cecilia Monzón is a criminal lawyer with dual Mexican and Spanish nationality who has worked against gender discrimination. She has been involved in women’s rights in Mexico and against women violence. She has also held several positions of responsibility in the public administration and in the political sphere.
Since 2019, lawyer Cecilia Monzon has been threatened and harassed on numerous occasions. Although she had requested protective measures from the Prosecutor, these had been denied.
Her murder is part of an appalling wave of violence against women lawyers in Mexico. Last February, the Observatory had already alerted the Mexican authorities to the murder of the environmental lawyer Verónica Guerrero and the murder of Patricia Rivera Reyes in March 2022.
The Mexican authorities must implement the necessary safeguards to prevent any attack on the lives of its citizens, especially when the victim is a human rights defender, in accordance with the obligations arising from the explicit jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
It is urgent for the Mexican State to put an end to this dangerous situation, to guarantee the victims and their families the prosecution and condemnation of these crimes and to provide effective and immediate protection for those targeted by systematic threats and violence.
The Observatory condemns the murder of Cecilia Monzón and expresses its solidarity with the family and friends of the victim.
The Observatory calls on the Mexican authorities to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators with due diligence.
The Observatory wishes to remind the Mexican authorities of the fundamental principles enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights, in particular Articles 5, 8 and 24;
“Every person has the right to have his physical, mental, and moral integrity respected. (article 5)”
“Every person has the right to a hearing, with due guarantees and within a reasonable time, by a competent, independent, and impartial tribunal (…) (article 8)”
“All persons are equal before the law. Consequently, they are entitled, without discrimination, to equal protection of the law.” (Article 24)
Also, the Mexican authorities are obliged to guarantee lawyers the protection necessary for the practice of their profession under the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers adopted in Havana in 1990, in particular principles 16 and 17:
“Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference;” (principle 16)
“Where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities.” (principle 17)
 She had been Director of Social Development for the municipality of San Pedro Cholula, responsible for transparency and access to information in the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, delegate of the Instituto Poblano de la Juventud, District Technical Secretary and coordinator of the National Hunger Crusade in San Andrés Cholula
 She had been a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and also a candidate for the municipal presidency of San Pedro Cholula for the Green Ecologist Party (PVEM).
 CASO DIGNA OCHOA Y FAMILIARES VS. MÉXICO* SENTENCIA DE 25 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2021 : https://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/casos/articulos/seriec_447_esp.pdf