Oaxaca: Environmentalist and Rio Verde and Paso de La Reyna Defender, Filogonio Martinez Merino, Murdered  


On October 26th, 2022, Filogonio Martinez Merino, former municipal agent of Paso de la Reyna, belonging to the municipality of Santiago Jamiltepec, Oaxaca, was murdered. The murder took place in the community of Piedra Blanca, located between Paso de la Reyna and La Humedad in the same municipality.

Through a statement, the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) confirmed the murder of the activist, who for fifteen years led protests against the hydroelectric projects of Paso de la Reina and Rio Verde. Martinez was Ejidal Commissioner for Paso de la Reyna in the period 2008-2011, during which time five defenders of the Council of United Peoples for the Defense of the Rio Verde (COPUDEVER) were murdered: Fidel Heras Cruz, Noe Robles Cruz, Raymundo Robles Riaño, Gerardo Mendoza Reyes and Jaime Jimenez Ruiz, crimes that were committed at the beginning of the year 2021 and that remain in total impunity to this day.

Given the murders of his fellow defenders, Filogonio Martinez requested in 2021, through his authority and by mandate of the community assembly, collective precautionary measures for the Paso de la Reyna community from the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists. According to the civil organization EDUCA, these precautionary measures are still in force.

Due to the above, EDUCA, Ejido Paso de la Reyna and COPUDEVER demand that the Government of the State of Oaxaca intervene to follow up on the clarification of the facts. To the State Attorney General’s Office, “we ask that you initiate the corresponding investigation. We ask the Ombudsman for Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca to grant precautionary measures to the Paso de la Reyna community and the defender’s family”, EDUCA published with the demand “Rivers for life, not for death.”

For more information in Spanish:

Asesinan a Filogonio Martínez Merino, exagente municipal de Paso de la Reyna y defensor del Río Verde, Oaxaca (EDUCA, 26 de octubre de 2022)

Matan a Filogonio Martínez, defensor del río Verde en Oaxaca; suman 6 víctimas en Paso de la Reyna (El Universal, 26 de octubre de 2022)

Quién era Filogonio Martínez, activista ambiental asesinado en Oaxaca(Infobae, 27 de octubre de 2022)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: No Progress for Justice for Five Murdered Defenders from Rio Verde (January 31, 2022)
Oaxaca: Six Months Demanding Justice for Paso de la Reyna (July 28, 2021)
Oaxaca: Another Defender from Rio Verde Murdered in Paso de la Reina – Five Dead this Year (March 31, 2021)

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