Saturday, February 23, 2019

Morelos: Samir Flores, activist against thermoelectric plant, murdered

Translated by El Profe for Borderland Beat from Animal Politico

                      Asesinan a balazos a Samir Flores, activista que se oponía a la termoeléctrica de Morelos

Samir Flores Soberanes, opposition leader to the La Huexca thermoelectric plant in the municipality of Cuautla, Morelos, was shot dead on the morning of Wednesday the 20th.
 
According to the news agency Quadratín, Flores Soberanes was attacked around 5:30 in the morning outside his home, located in the town of Amilcingo, in Temoac, Morelos.
 
After the attack, Samir, 32, was transferred still alive to the Community Hospital of Jonacatepec but half an hour later he died as a result of the injuries. Witnesses to the events reported that Samir's assailants fled in two cars after firing at him.
 
The Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala Peoples Front in Defense of Land and Water (FPDTA), reported that Samir was shot twice in the head.
Samir Flores was a native Nahuatl from Amilcingo. In addition to being the main promoter of the organization against the Comprehensive Morelos Project (PIM), he was the founder of the Community Radio Amiltzinko 100.7 fm, in which he hosted a program. He was also part of the Committee of Parents and Family at the school in downtown Amilcingo.
 
The Integral Morelos Project (PIM), promoted by the government of Mexico, is considering operation of a gas pipeline, an aqueduct, and the opening of a thermoelectric plant in Morelos.
 
Just this Tuesday, Samir and other companions of Amilcingo attended the information forum that the delegate of Morelos, Hugo Erik Flores, spoke at in Jonacatepec. In this event he was questioned about some assertions made by the government concerning the thermoelectric plant in Huexca and the Integral Morelos Project.

In a statement, the Peoples' Front in Defense of Land and Water highlights that since last February 11, they warned, through a letter, to the president of Mexico that, "his statements in support of the thermoelectric plant and his insulting  and hateful speech made in Cuautla towards the defenders of land and water (...) could generate more violence," so they asked him to reconsider his position and invited him to a dialogue in order to understand the climate of hostility that the PIM has generated.
 
"We blame the Federal Government for this murder because Samir had no more enemies (...) this was a political crime for the defense of human rights that Samir and the FPDTA has against the Morelos Comprehensive Project and for the autonomy and self-determination of the peoples ( ...) this murder is the result of the omission of this and the previous governments to resolve through dialogue the conflict that the unfeasible Comprehensive Morelos Project generates," says the FPDTA.
 
According to the People's Front in Defense of Land and Water, Samir had been threatened on several occasions since 2012, "as well as defamed and even pointed out of in leaflets and memes on the internet, all signs of loss of prestige and criminalization of human rights defenders and popular communicators." 

In his morning conference on Wednesday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador condemned the killing of Samir and described the event as "unfortunate", however he said that this is not an argument to cancel the planned consultation on the 23rd and 24th of February in Tlaxcala, Puebla and Morelos, in order to know the opinion of the people around the thermoelectric of Huexca.
 
Meanwhile, Uriel Carmona, attorney general of Morelos said that one of the lines of investigation of the crime is related to "organized crime, by the way in which the murder was carried out."
 
In an interview for Radio Fórmula, the prosecutor explained that a message was found at the site of the attack, without giving details of it. So far, "we do not have any evidence that relates to the thermoelectric plant," he said.
 
During the last weeks, residents of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala have demanded that the president cancel the Morelos Integral Project.
 
With information from Quadratín Morelos and Radio Fórmula.