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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Indigenous and Peasant Activists, Highest Figures Assassinated Since Fourth Transformation Campaign

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

So far this six-year term, Oaxaca, Guerrero and Chiapas report the majority of crimes committed against community leaders in the country. Experts claim measures to ensure your safety are insufficient.

Community defenders from indigenous and peasant communities have been the main victims of the murder of activists so far this six-year term, a crime that is concentrated in three states: Oaxaca, Guerrero and Chiapas.

These people claimed water and land; Most were from native or peasant groups and many opposed criminal groups that disputed their territory and resources.

According to a count carried out by El Universal, from December 2018 to date, in the country there have been 61 homicides against activists of different causes, of which 65.5% occurred in Oaxaca, where there were 24 deaths.

In Guerrero, 10 murders were reported and in Chiapas, six.

The other cases occurred in Chihuahua, with five; Sonora, three; Jalisco, Michoacán and San Luis Potosí, two each; while Baja California, Baja California Sur, Colima, Morelos, Puebla, Veracruz and Zacatecas registered one each.

Of the total of the victims, at least 42 were originally from indigenous or peasant groups that belonged or participated in civil society organizations or civil organizations.

Of them, 22 were from Oaxaca; 10, from Guerrero and six, from Chiapas; three defenders of Yaquis land rights, murdered this year in Sonora, as well as Samir Flores, an opponent of the Termoeléctrica de la Huexca, in Morelos.

The Secretariat of the Interior (Segob) reported 68 cases nationwide this week.

Between music and demands for justice, they say their last goodbye to a muxe activist in Oaxaca.

Guillermo Rodríguez García, from the organization Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), in an interview with El Universal, maintains that the Protection Mechanism for defenders and journalists of Segob has proven to be insufficient; the figures of lethal attacks, although they have not increased, are maintained.

And although some organizations see in the current federal government greater openness to the attention of some demands, it is also true that the official discourse - mainly based on the statements of the president of the Republic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) - discredits and stigmatizes the work of defenders of human rights, thereby creating a hostile environment.

The reports that CEJIL has prepared in conjunction with other civil society organizations, he says, reveal that Oaxaca is the most dangerous state for defenders.

“We are talking about the fact that in recent years between 20 and 30 defenders have been killed each year in the country; which speaks to us of the challenges they continue to face to claim the defense of rights, since it is constant, they have not been solved and the measures that have been adopted by the State until now and in particular the adoption of the Protection Mechanism, have not been enough to mitigate the risk conditions and the conflicts they face ”.

In its report on the Situation of the Defense of Human Rights and Freedom of Expression in Mexico, which in alliance with other organizations counted the number of murders in 2020, it mentions that it was identified that more than half of the murdered defenders were people who they claimed the rights for land and territory, and that the majority belonged to native citizens or were peasants.

Defenders, he explains, tend to face criminal groups that often dispute their territory and lethal attacks against them occur in regions of the country where the State is not present or is compliant or has links with these criminal groups.

“In the case of the Michoacán region, for example, where there is a dispute by organized crime over the territory to be able to exploit the production of avocado or some other agricultural products with intensive agriculture. Defenders who are defending the territory not only have to face impunity and the stigmatization of the State, but also criminal groups that act with complete freedom ”.

Additionally, megaprojects or extractive industries, encouraged, authorized or even carried out by the State itself - he adds - generate risky conditions or exposure of defenders to different threats and an example is the murder of Samir Flores, opponent of the Morelos Comprehensive Project.

The murder of Simón Pedro Pérez, former leader of Las Abejas de Acteal, unleashed violence in the area.

The states with the most victims

The count carried out by this newspaper supports the information from CEJIL.

In Oaxaca, of the 24 people killed, 13 were environmental activists and opponents of megaprojects, mainly against the construction of the “Paso de la Reina” hydroelectric dam - which is now called the Hydroelectric Project for the generation of renewable energy PH Río Verde.

Another five were defenders of land and territory rights, and six worked as human rights defenders.

Only in the murder of two defenders has the State Attorney General's Office detained the probable material perpetrators of the crime, but they remain linked to the process and the accused has not yet been sentenced. In this scenario, all homicides remain in impunity. There is also no information on the progress made in the investigations, which would make it possible to clarify the motive for the murders and to identify the material and intellectual authors.

In Guerrero there are 10 victims, they defended natural resources such as water and forests, they also advocated for the right to territory and human rights, in many cases in communities controlled by organized crime, for which at least five had received previous threats or they were in risky territory without authorities taking action. In eight cases the crimes are totally unpunished and there are no detainees. Only in two are there detainees but there haven’t been any sentences.

In Chiapas, where there are six homicides against indigenous defenders, the most recent case took place at the national level, the murder of the Tzotzil Simón Pedro Pérez López, catechist of the diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas and former president of the Civil Society organization Las Abejas de Acteal, who was shot on July 5 while on his way to the market with his son.

On Wednesday July 14, Hugo Rolando "N", allegedly responsible for the homicide, was arrested.

The other five homicides occurred during 2019 and targeted defenders of human rights, the rights for a dignified life and the right to land.

Homero Gonzalez Gomes, defender of the forests, assassinated in Michoacán.

For the murder of Noé Jiménez Pabro and José Santiago Álvarez Gómez, which occurred on January 18, 2019, the former mayor of Amatán, Manuel de Jesús Carpio Mayorga (Morena), and his brother Wilber Carpio were arrested.

The rest of the crimes go unpunished.

Failures in protection

For Guillermo Rodríguez, the Protection Mechanism has proven to be an insufficient measure because it only focuses on physical protection measures, but does not “deactivate” the risks for defenders; It also presents flaws in the implementation of these measures: a significant percentage of the murdered activists had protection from this mechanism. Likewise, while requests for protection have multiplied by 10, the mechanism continues with the same budget as a decade ago.

“And at the same time, the Presidency of the Republic or state governments continue to discredit, delegitimize and stigmatize defenders, enabling a hostile context.

“The people who come to the protection mechanism are not confident that the State is going to assume its obligation, not exactly to prevent lethal attacks, but to prevent them and have a public policy that is aimed at that, which is based on the recognition of the authorities to the work of human rights defenders and that impunity be reduced on the side of the administration of justice ”, he affirms.

The CEJIL activist maintains that the responsibility of the State and the federal government in these crimes continues to the extent that impunity prevails and the attacks do not decrease, regardless of who is the head of the Executive Power.

LGBTTTIQ + activists protest in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, against the murders of community members

El Universal


  1. Cathy please do not come to Mexico to become an activist for the forest. The bad Cartel will kill you, even worse behead you. I know you want to be Mother Teresa, but the government will not protect you.

    1. Great idea, i can save the trees and mariposas. Ill make sure to post all of my social justice on social media. What could possibly go wrong? I mean the cartels are really afraid of climate change like me.

      Environmentalist Kathi

    2. Cathi your one funny lady.

    3. Kathi I agree that you want to save the environment, from government and the Cartels.Its a good cause, but no worth coming for that as many get killed, even Reporters.

    4. Kathi, you and I and Sicario 006 can go down there and run the butterfly sanctuary together. While we are at it we can run a Rainbow Coalition commune. Shouldn't be a problem. Sincerely, MS.h

  2. Off topic...there was a time Russia gave covid19 vaccine called "Spodick", whatever happened to it's shipments, did they get high jacked by the criminal?

  3. Crios vs natives , is has been said that natives are soft to Anglo/ Barbarians , but conplaint against the Crios and Spaniards,go figure if u don't believe me ask the native amaerican in the reservations

  4. Replies
    1. Sad, the man with the 1001 faces known as Kathi has spoke again.
      Don't be sad, do something...
      The sister of genarco garcia Luna poses as the owner of GGL private security corporation in charge of protection, it has been denounced, man in charge Alejandro Encinas promised to report for questioning, alejandro gertz Mahero formerly of CISEN is accused of being a criminal, Olga Sanchez Cordero has a lot to explain, and Ricky monrial wants to be presidente 4 whole years before one is needed.
      Accusers forget the criminals in states governments and their State Police mercenaries are in charge of states'public security and reporters forget El Universal is one more corrupt rag looking for CHAYOTR, sick that AMLO just wants to give them puro quiote...

  5. The native, indigenous people protecting their lands and way of life, being erased because they stand in the cartel's way of dominating. God rest their souls and may the good memories of these people be a blessing to their family and communities.


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