The group of families from the «El Manzano» and «Monterde» communities in the Sierra Tarahumara in Chihuahua have been displaced by violence since 2014.

Last May, amparos were filed citing the authorities’ failure to guarantee the families’ human rights, and judges issued an injunction.

Mexico City, September 29, 2021.- Since 2014, 23 families from the communities of El Manzano in the municipality of Uruachi, and Monterde, in the municipality of Guazapares, Chihuahua, have had to abandon their homes and property and leave hurriedly to protect their lives. Since 2015 they have reported to different authorities the violence that organized crime groups subject them to in the area to take over their land, grow drugs and conduct illegal logging.

Some members of the community went to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to request precautionary measures as a result of the serious situation and risk of suffering irreparable damage. Upon an analysis of the situation, the Commission granted the measures in April of 2015 in favor of the members of the community. Despite this international resolution, the measures have not been sufficient to guarantee their protection, and three people have been murdered in spite of the measures, with the latest victim being Cruz Soto Caraveo in October 2019.

Given the lack of adequate, sufficient and timely response from the authorities, in May 2021, an amparo was filed by the Girón families, where they were granted a provisional injunction, which consists of guaranteeing housing, food and other basic needs, in addition to ordering the protection of the greater interests of children and property in the community. Then, in June 2021, an amparo was filed by the Sánchez Lagarda and Soto Contreras families, and they were granted an injunction, thus recognizing the serious omissions these families have been subjected to.

The constitutional hearings during which the origin of the aforementioned amparos will be resolved, will be held on October 7th and 25th, where resolutions will have to be issued on comprehensive reparations, access to justice, security conditions to return home, restitution measures for the community property and non-recurrence measures, which are linked to the creation of the General Law on Internal Forced Displacement, which does not currently exist.

Chihuahua has the grim reputation of being a state with hundreds of people who have been victims of internal forced displacement, being forced to leave their communities due to violence caused by organized crime. The judges’ response so far is, without a doubt, a source of hope for these people and an important legal horizon in the country.

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