Marisela Reyes, sister of slain human-rights activist Josefina Reyes Salazar holds a banner during a protest in Mexico City, Monday, Feb. 21, 2010. (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar)
Mexican police on Friday discovered the bodies of three people related to a human rights activist who was killed last year in the volatile northern border state of Chihuahua.
The bodies of a sister and brother of Josefina Reyes and her sister-in-law were found in a remote area outside Guadalupe Distrito Bravos, southeast of Ciudad Juarez, said Jorge Gonzalez, a state prosecutor.
The three had been missing since Feb. 7, when witnesses reported that armed men forced the trio from a car.
Gonzalez said the bodies of Maria Magdalena Reyes Salazar, Elias Reyes Salazar and his wife, Luisa Ornelas, were found shot with visible signs of torture. Additionally, each body was covered with dirt which leads investigators to believe they had been buried and exhumed before being left along the highway outside of Guadalupe.
Unofficially, it was stated three narco messages where left accusing the three of being informants for La Linea.
Josefina Reyes was slain a year ago in Ciudad Juarez. She had led protests against alleged abuses by Mexican soldiers in the Juarez Valley, which sits across from El Paso, Texas.
Her death has been followed by attacks on her family and supporters.
In August, her brother Ruben was killed by unknown assailants. Earlier this month, the home of Reyes’ mother, Sara Salazar, was set on fire while she was protesting to demand that authorities solve the killings and disappearances of her children.
Relatives recently expanded their protest to Mexico City, where until Friday they had maintained a tent in front of the Senate to demand official action.
“The Reyes Salazar family, since the death of Josefina in 2010, has been the victim of a brutal harassment, partly by the state and partly by criminality,” a spokesman for the family, Adrian Fuentes, told MVS Radio. “The demand for justice will not stop.”
The Reyes family’s case has led organizations such as Amnesty International to urge Mexico to protect the safety of human rights activists.
Ciudad Juarez has been the scene of bloody drug cartel turf battles that have killed more than 6,000 people the past two years.
Sources: AP, la Polaka, El Diario