Guerrero: 4 years since the forcible disappearance of ecologist peasants from the Costa Grande

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Photo @EDUCA Oaxaca

On 7 December, four years passed since the forcible disappearance of the leaders of the Organization of Ecologist Peasants from Sierra of Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán, Eva Alarcón Ortiz and Marcial Bautista Valle. The daughter of Eva, Coral Rojas Alarcón, said, “I am convinced that they have been killed, but they deserve a burial. I want to find my mother and Marcial.” Marcial Bautista and Eva Alarcón were forcibly disappeared on 7 December 2011 in the Grand Coast of Guerrero by a group of armed men that according to eyewitnesses were being protected by the Army and agents from the ministerial police. The activists had dedicated themselves to the management, conservation, and sustainable use of the forests. The defense of the forests led them to denounce abuses committed by the Army and the illegal work in which police had been involved.

Since the disappearance of her mother, Coral has sought justice and become a human-rights defender, collaborating with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the federal police (PF) to seek out clandestine graves and to identify victims. She reported that they had found bodies in Michoacán and Guerrero, “and I believe that each identified person is a triumph.” She shared that the judicial process in the case of Eva and Marcial continues, with the last “declaration saying that they were killed. This is the only line of investigation from the PGR.” She refers to the declarations made by a hitman who was arrested by the Army in February 2012 in Tecpan de Galeana, who supposedly confessed to his participation in the forcible disappearance of the social activists. According to unofficial information obtained in recent days, the hitman José Jhonny López Galván, “El Güero,” had made these statements to the federal public ministry and had driven the soldiers to the site where the burned remains of the community leaders were found. According to preliminary investigation, these remains did not belong to Eva or Marcial, and to date, “there is no scientific evidence showing they have been killed.”

For more information (in Spanish):

“Autoridades apuestan al olvido” en desaparición de campesinos activistas ¨(La Jornada, 3 de agosto de 2013)

La única línea en el caso de los dirigentes ecologistas, desaparecidos hace 4 años, es que los mataron (Sur Acapulco, 3 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: two nephews of ecological leadership are murdered (16 November 2012)

Guerrero: Urgent Action for disappeared ecologists (8 February 2012)

Guerrero briefs: Two ecologists are kidnapped by armed men in the Sierra de Petatlán (14 December 2011)

Guerrero: violence in the Sierra de Petalán (17 October 2011)

Guerrero: Lucio Cabañas’ widow and her sister are murdered (17 July 2011)

Guerrero: Second murder of ecologists in the Sierra de Petatlán (9 June 2011)

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)

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