Guerrero: Body of Activist Arnulfo Cero Found in Hidden Grave More than One Month after his Disappearance in Tlapa de Comonfort


On November 20th, Guerrero Governor Hector Astudillo Flores reported that the body of the activist and leader of the La Montaña Popular Front (FPM in its Spanish acronym), Arnulfo Ceron Soriano, was found in a hidden grave in Tlapa de Comonfort. He had been missing since last October 11th. He regretted the murder and announced that they will find the perpetrators of the crime.

The tomb was located after the statements from Jorge Gomez ‘La Chiva’, designated as head of the “Plaza Tlapa”, who was arrested earlier this month in Morelos. He said that according to official reports, for a decade ‘La Chiva’ controlled the municipal police of that town, where “there is a criminal network made up of politicians and criminals who traffic drugs from La Montaña Guerrero to the states of Puebla and Morelos.”

Since the activist’s disappearance was reported, the La Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center, along with other civil and social organizations, held the Trenpa Morenista mayor, Dionisio Merced Pichardo Garcia, and his cabinet chief, Marco Antonio Garcia Morales responsible. According to testimonies, “both politicians are colluded with organized crime.”

“We cannot ignore that the conditions of insecurity that prevail in Tlapa, the collusion of municipal authorities and other institutions with organized crime, as well as the lack of guarantees for human rights defenders and social activists in particular Arnulfo Ceron to carry out their work, led to the disappearance and the cowardly murder of the social defender,” Tlachinollan said in a statement after the discovery. He also denounced that “the constant disqualifications and smear campaigns faced by Arnulfo and other members of the Popular Front of the Mountain by municipal authorities were generating a permissible framework for their subsequent attack.” It urged “to deepen the investigations that will elucidate the motive of this planned crime and implement non-repetition measures.”

Other civil society organizations also reported that there was a lack of diligence and inter-institutional coordination among the authorities that intervened in the search for the defender, which meant that the search work carried out was started a month after the disappearance was reported. They asked the authorities to continue with their “work diligently, promptly and expeditiously,” as well as to consider the defense work carried out by Ceron Soriano in all the lines of investigation that are opened, taking into account the social, political and economic situation of the region, “particularly to inquire about the networks of macro-criminal power that operate in the state and municipality.”

For more information in Spanish:

Falta de coordinación interinstitucional en búsqueda de Arnulfo Cerón, denuncian organizaciones civiles (El Sol de Acapulco, 21 de noviembre de 2019)

Tlachinollan responsabiliza al alcalde de Tlapa ante la ejecución del activista Arnulfo Cerón (Proceso, 20 de noviembre de 2019)

Hallan el cadáver del activista Arnulfo Cerón en una fosa clandestina de Tlapa de Comonfort (Proceso, 20 de noviembre de 2019)

Hallan en fosa cuerpo del activista Arnulfo Cerón Soriano (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de noviembre de 2019)

Tras un mes desaparecido, encuentran el cuerpo del activista Arnulfo Cerón en fosa de Tlapa, Guerrero (Animal Político, 20 de noviembre de 2019)

El cuerpo del activista Arnulfo Cerón es localizado en una fosa clandestina en Tlapa, Guerrero (Sin Embargo, 20 de noviembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: A un mes de la desaparición del defensor de derechos humanos Arnulfo Cerón Soriano (13 de noviembre de 2019)

Guerrero: Siguen exigiendo la búsqueda con vida del activista Arnulfo Cerón Soriano a 19 días de su desaparición forzada (29 de octubre de 2019)

Guerrero: Denuncian desaparición de un activista en Tlapa de Comonfort. Asesinan integrante del Concejo Regional de Autoridades Agrarias en Defensa del Territorio en Malinaltepec (14 de octubre de 2019)


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