May 17, 2012
On May 15 at approximately 1:00 pm, four masked men in a van kidnapped worker rights defender José Enrique Morales Montaño, a member of the Worker Support Centre (CAT) in Puebla, Mexico. Morales was abducted as he was on his way to a hearing of at the Local Conciliation and Arbitration Board where the CAT was defending the rights of a group of garment workers.
The kidnappers repeatedly held a gun to his head and threatened to kill him. At approximately 5:00 am the next morning, they stole his cell phone and backpack and left him on an abandoned highway leading to Veracruz. At approximately 7:30 am the following morning, CAT director Blanca Velázquez received a message from Morales' stolen cell phone, stating: "You will die, bitch."
Unfortunately, this is not the first time members of the CAT team have been harassed, assaulted and subjected to death threats for defending workers' rights in Puebla's maquiladora factories (see background). MSN and other Canadian, international and Mexican trade union and human rights organizations are extremely concerned about the safety of the members of the CAT.
Please send a letter today to the Mexican authorities, urging them to take immediate action to guarantee the safety of Morales and other members of the CAT and to bring those responsible for the attacks and threats to justice.