|Photo Credit: Staff/El Diario. See original story for more photos.|
Five or six units of the Mexican Federal Police operating without a warrant broke into and entered the offices of the human rights center in Juarez-- the Centro de Derechos Humanos Paso del Norte--last night, June 5, at about 8 PM. They proceeded to conduct an illegal search of the entire facility. Federal Police tried to break in through the Centro's front door. When that proved difficult, they went to the rear of the building and broke in through two doors in the back.
These agents left broken windows in their wake. They searched through the data--including confidential files on human rights abuses, leaving the offices ransacked.
Father Oscar Enriquez, Catholic priest and director of the Center, cannot fathom the motivation of the Federales. The action, described as "very, very violent" during a press conference this afternoon in Juarez, layers a new level of threat on the human rights organization. The Centro de Derechos Humanos Paso del Norte has been very active in the organization for the impending visit to Juarez of Mexican author and poet Javier Sicilia who is leading a caravan calling for peace with justice and dignity in the ongoing Mexican drug war. The incident prompted Sicilia today to urge Mexican President Calderon to assure the security and safety of the peaceful caravan. Calling the incident the act of a "dirty war" in a statement to the press, Sicilia calls for a complete disclosure of the operation.
Neighbors reportedly were able to identify the specific Federal Police units by the numbers printed on their vehicles. An article appearing today in the Juarez newspaper El Diario lists those units and also reports that federal police vehicles circled the block to secure the area during the operation. The article carries pictures of the damage done to the doors in order to gain entry into the center.
|Ransacked offices: Photo credit~El Diario de Juarez, more photos on original story.|