Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered

May 6, 2011

Photo @www.vientodelibertad.org

On Monday 18 April, the defend of the forests of the sierra of Petatlán, Javier Torres Cruz, known also for his having denounced before the Prosecutorial Office of Mexico City the cacique Rogaciano Alba as author of the murder of the lawyer Digna Ochoa, was killed by hired assassins, presumably at the service of Alba, who is imprisoned for presumed offenses linked to organized crime.  Similarly, it was reported that his brother, Felipe Torres Cruz, finds himself gravely injured.  In accordance with information released by the coordinator of the Workshop of Communal Development (TADECO), Javier Monroy Hernández, Torres Cruz, 30 years old, was traveling through the area known as Puerto de la Mosca in the Sierra of the municipality of Petatlán when he was shot by a group of men with the last name Arreola, identified as hired assassins at the service of Alba.

The non-governmental organizations TADECO and the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI) condemned the crime in a press-release on 19 April and demanded that the state and federal government investigate the case and punish those responsible.  “Javier Torres is yet another victim of the criminalization of social struggle and of the so-called war on drugs, which is a war of dark capital in which the State has taken part and the government of Calderón collaborates with groups of political and economic power found in the turrets of the parties and the groups of large firms […].  In light of the aforementioned, the organizations demand, among other things, that the discourse of the struggle against narco-trafficking not be used to cover up acts of harassment and intimidation against the communities of the Sierra of Guerrero, that the military presence in the region be clarified, and that the presence of paramilitaries be covered by reports having to do with their actions and results.  We also demand the immediate exit of the Mexican Army from the communities of the Sierra of Guerrero, their return to their barracks, punishment of the soldiers responsible for violations of human rights, and reparations for damages caused to communities, social organizations, and families.”  Finally, TADECO and CCTI call on “social organizations and civil organisms and human-rights defenders to stand in solidarity and join the actions of denunciation and solidarity.”

In other news, the National Association of Democratic Laywers (ANAD) and the CCTI expressed in a 20 April press-release that “it is important to stress the period of 10 days during which Javier Torres Cruz was disappeared (1 to 10 December 2008) during which he was tortured and threatened with death by soldiers pertaining to the 19th Infantry Batallion of the Mexican Army, who apparently ‘worked for the people of Rogaciano.’  This disappearance and torture were never investigated by the competent authorities.  Other events related to the threats against Javier are found during the year 2009 when on at least 6 different occasions soldiers of the Army entered the community of La Morena, attacking Javier’s family-members and threatening him with death.  All these violations as well as incursions were denounced in a punctual manner, but no appropriate authority has resolved any of the cases.”  The press-release emphasizes that “the murder of the ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz cannot remain in impunity, given what it represents” and that “the state government must act immediately to find the evidence and testimonies to detain, disarm, and demobilize the group known as ‘Los Arreola’.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Matan en la sierra de Petatlán al campesino que denunció el asesinato de Digna Ochoa; culpan a sicarios de Rogaciano (Sur Acapulco, 20 April)

Sicarios emboscan y matan al ecologista Javier Torres Cruz (La Jornada, 19 April)

Boletín de prensa  (TADECO y CCTI, 19 April)

Boletín_de_Prensa_ANAD_y_CCTI (20 April)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero – briefs:  Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena (28 December 2010)

Guerrero: Torres reappears with signs of torture (29 December 2008)