On Tuesday 18 February, the lifeless body of the regional leader of the National Organization for Popular Power (ONPP) was found near Teopisca, Chiapas.
The corpse, found in the municipal dump of the city, showed signs of torture, according to relatives and friends of the former leader.
Manuel de Jesús Vázquez disappeared on Saturday 15 February after leaving his home to visit his father, resident of the same community. Due to his disappearance, relatives of the victim denounced the act before the Public Ministry,a nd the ONPP released a communique demanding to know the whereabouts of its member, and to wish him luck: “Who has kidnapped our brother Manuel? Today we fear for his life, because he could have been kidnapped and tortured in clandestine security houses, or even murdered, with his body then appearing afterward as that of a common criminal.”
According to the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, in the course of the recovery of the body of the dead, officials from the State Attorney General’s Office committed violations to individual rights, given that they failed to observe the basic standards for investigative work in the field.
ONPP-Chiapas defines Manuel as having been a key political and regional leader who defended the rights of his people and land for many years.
For more information (in Spanish):
Hallan en basurero el cadáver de líder campesino en Chiapas (Proceso, 18 de febrero de 2014)
En Teopisca, hallan muerto a líder indígena desaparecido desde el sábado (Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de febrero de 2014)
Encuentran cuerpo de dirigente en basurero de Chiapas (Milenio, 19 de febrero de 2014)
Hallan muerto a líder de la ONPP (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 19 de febrero de 2014)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: teacher Adela Gómez regains her freedom (12 November 2013)
Chiapas: State police arbitrarily arrest ONPP members (16 September 2013)