National: Seven Journalists and 11 HR Defenders Murdered in 2019 – UNHCHR

June 20, 2019

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In a statement published on June 12th, the Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) condemned the murders of the journalist Norma Sarabia Garduza the previous day and the environmental defender Jose Luis Alvarez Flores two days before. Both carried out their work in Tabasco.

The UNHCHR emphasized that Sarabia Garduza is the seventh journalist killed in Mexico during 2019 and the first female journalist in this same period; and that with Alvarez Flores there are at least eleven human rights defenders murdered in the country this year. It highlighted with concern that in just 13 months, four cases of defenders and journalists killed in the state of Tabasco have already been documented and that the office was unaware of progress in the investigations in any of the cases.

The Office reiterated its “conviction, also indicated by numerous international human rights mechanisms, that the lack of effective and diligent investigations encourages a cycle of impunity that facilitates the commission of these crimes,” which is why it urged the authorities to conduct prompt and impartial investigations into “the assassinations of Norma Sarabia Garduza and Jose Luis Alvarez Flores, effectively exhausting all lines of investigation, including those that may be related to their work and bringing to justice those materially and intellectually responsible.” It also urged the authorities to “guarantee the safety of the colleagues and relatives of Sarabia and Alvarez.”

For more information in Spanish:

ONU-DH llama a esclarecer los asesinatos de la periodista Norma Sarabia y el defensor José Luis Álvarez, quienes ejercían su labor en Tabasco (ONU DH, 12 de junio de 2019)

Es preocupante que en 13 meses asesinaran a cuatro defensores y periodistas en Tabasco: ONU-DH (Proceso, 12 de junio de 2019)

Condena ONU-DH asesinatos de periodistas y defensores en Tabasco (Debate, 12 de junio de 2019)

Con Sarabia suman 8 periodistas asesinados en 2019: CNDH (La Jornada, 13 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Tabasco: Ecologist Jose Luis Alvarez Flores Murdered (June 17, 2019)

Chiapas: Denuncian ataque contra defensor de los derechos humanos en San Cristóbal de las Casas (June 10, 2019)

Chiapas: Two Members of Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan and Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement Murdered (January 28, 2019)

Chiapas: Human Rights Defender Sinar Corzo Esquinca Murdered (January 14, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)


Chiapas/Tabasco: Ecologist Jose Luis Alvarez Flores Murdered

June 17, 2019

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@Regeneración

On June 10th, the Tabasco ecologist Jose Luis Alvarez Flores was found murdered, near Calatraba ejido, municipality of Palenque, in Chiapas. The 64-year-old was a defender of the howler (Saragauto) monkey sanctuary and the Usumacinta River. His body had five bullet wounds and threatening messages were found next to it on cardboard against his family and ecologists.

Since 2012, Alvarez Flores was in charge of the Saraguato Environmental Management Unit (UMA) and at various times made accusations about the illegal extraction of sand and gravel from the Usumacinta River. As a result, he requested protection measures from the government but never received them.

Miguel Perez, president of the Tabasco Environmental Management Units, declared after the events: “We condemn this cowardly murder, we demand justice, protection for his family and two other defenders who were threatened.” According to figures from Global Witness, at least 125 environmentalists were killed in Mexico in the last decade.

Among possible contextual elements, Minuta de EDUCA recalls that, “the Usumacinta River is the largest river in Mexico and if the Maya Train project is materialized, it would be the main source of extraction of stone for the construction of this megaproject questioned by environmentalists.”

For more information in Spanish:

Asesinan a José Luis Álvarez, ambientalista que luchaba por el mono saraguato (Animal Político, 11 de junio de 2019)

José Luis Álvarez, ecologista y defensor del santuario del mono saraguato, es asesinado (Sin Embargo, 11 de junio de 2019)

Asesinan al ecologista mexicano José Luis Álvarez (Desinformémonos, 11 de junio de 2019)

Asesinan a José Luis Álvarez, ambientalista en Tabasco (Regeneración, 11 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Two Members of Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan and Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement Murdered (January 28, 2019)

Chiapas: Human Rights Defender Sinar Corzo Esquinca Murdered (January 14, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)