Oaxaca: Another Defender from Rio Verde Murdered in Paso de la Reina – Five Dead this Year

On March 28th, Jaime Jimenez Ruiz, a former municipal agent of Paso de la Reina and who was part of the movement for the defense of the Rio Verde, was murdered. The events took place in the municipality of Santiago Jamiltepec, a benchmark for peaceful resistance against hydroelectric megaprojects and defense of the Rio Verde.

With this case, the murders in 2021 against social players linked to the defense of the Rio Verde and the opposition to the type of projects developed by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) rise to five. It should be remembered that, at dawn on March 14th, Raymundo Robles Riaño, deputy for the municipal agent, as well as Noe Robles Cruz and Gerardo Mendoza Reyes in that same community, were murdered. Added to this, the murder of Fidel Heras, the first murder recorded due to the defense of the river.

The organization Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA) denounced the “cacique authoritarianism and impunity” that are experienced in Paso de la Reina, structural causes of these murders. “[…] This wave of violence grows in tandem with the total ineffectiveness of state and federal agencies that should seek justice and ensure citizen rights and security. To this day, the community does not have any precautionary measures from state or federal authorities”, EDUCA said.

In addition, it expressed its concern about the violence and the human rights crisis that is being experienced in Paso de la Reina since there has been no progress in the investigations of the murder of Fidel Heras Cruz or in the security measures for the residents. For this reason, it demanded that the Human Rights Ombudsman of the People of Oaxaca (DDHPO) issue precautionary measures for the Paso de la Reina agency “in order to safeguard the integrity of the citizenry”; and to the State Attorney General’s Office “the immediate action to open the corresponding investigation files.”

The organization evidenced the null priority of the human rights agenda for the state and federal government. On the contrary, it is the current policies that are holding back the few advances that there were in the matter, in addition to a government whose only concern is “the frivolity of spending on image and tourism promotion actions, investment in megaprojects.”

For more information in Spanish: 

Asesinan a Jaime Jiménez, defensor del Río Verde en Oaxaca (El Universal, 29 de marzo de 2021)

La impunidad sigue matando. Jaime Jiménez Ruiz, el quinto asesinado de Paso de la Reyna en 2021 (Educa, 29 de marzo de 2021)

Justicia para Paso de la Reyna: Ambiente tenso en la comunidad tras ola de asesinatos impunes (Educa, 30 de marzo de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: March to Demand Justice for Murder of MaryCruz Zaragoza (March 23, 2021)
Chiapas/Oaxaca: Socio-environmental Struggles against 4T Megaprojects (March 2, 2021)
Oaxaca: Community Defender Fidel Heras Murdered in Oaxaca (January 27, 2021)
National: AMLO – We Won’t Build Dams at El Paso de la Reina, Boca del Cerro or La Parota(January 22, 2021)

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