Guerrero: Priest found dead after having been kidnapped in the Tierra Caliente region

January 21, 2015


Photo @AlJazeera

On 25 December the priest Gregorio López Gorostieta was found dead by asphyxiation in the Colonia Juárez community, Tlapehuala municipality, in the Tierra Caliente region of Guerrero.  The priest had been kidnapped the evening of 21 December, after having celebrated mass in the cathedral of Ciudad Altamirano.   According to the testimony of seminarians who witnessed the kidnapping, a group of unknown persons forced him to abandon his vehicle, and then they took him away.

The Archdiocese of Mexico considers the year 2014 to have been “tragic for the Mexican Church,” noting that during the previous 12 months, four priests and a layman had been killed.  In terms of the reported cases, four took place in the same Tierra Caliente region of Guerrero.  The “2014 Annual Report” produced by the Catholic Multimedia Center discusses the clerics who have lost their lives in Mexico while exercising their ministries.  It stresses that in the first two years of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration, eight priests have been killed, and two continue to be forcibly disappeared.

For more information (in Spanish):

Guerrero, la entidad más peligrosa para ejercer el sacerdocio (Proceso, 29 de diciembre de 2014)

El “Padre Goyo” murió por asfixia: fiscal de Guerrero (Proceso, 29 de diciembre de 2014)

2014, trágico para la Iglesia mexicana; asesinaron a cuatro sacerdotes y un laico (La Jornada, 28 de diciembre de 2014)

Condena Papa asesinato de sacerdote en Guerrero; “fue víctima de una injustificable violencia”, dice (Proceso, 28 de diciembre de 2014)


Guerrero: Hundreds of people leave their communities due to the action of organized crime

June 14, 2014
San Miguel Totolapan Municipality (

San Miguel Totolapan Municipality (

Over 250 people have left three communities from Tierra Caliente of the Sierra Madre del Sur, municipality of San Miguel Totolapan, fleeing the violent actions of drug trafficking groups in the region. Most displaced people took refuge in the neighboring municipality of Ajuchitlán del Progreso, where authorities set up a temporary shelter in the central park which is guarded by soldiers from 41 Infantry Battalion.

According to official sources, the communities from where the displaced fled are in a narcotics transit and production area that is disputed by delinquents of the organized crime group La Familia and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Since last year, the struggle for control of this area has led to the displacement of more than 2000 people. “People cannot leave their villages due to insecurity. There is a group (of crime) that is coming from the coast (Grande) to displace the people of Tierra Caliente,” expressed a professor of the region.

Organizations have denounced the lack of interest from the governor Angel Aguirre Rivero to solve the problem in the region controlled by crime. According to Rigoberto González Acosta, director of the Regional Council of the Sierra de Guerrero (Cresig), “the government should be concerned by the insecurity in these villages, where violence has caused murder, extortion and other crimes.”

Rigoberto Acosta confirmed that inhabitants of 14 municipalities of the Sierra Madre del Sur are disconnected due to the effects of organized crime and the fear when performing daily activities.

For more information (in Spanish)

Narcoviolencia desplaza a más de 250 habitantes de la sierra de Guerrero (Proceso, 6 de junio de 2014)

Desplazados de San Miguel Totolapan buscan refugio en Tecpan e Iguala (La Jornada Guerrero, 10 de junio de 2014)

Huyen más de 250 personas de la violencia en San Miguel Totolapan (La Jornada, 10 de junio de 2014)

Acciones del narcotráfico incomunican a 14 municipios de la sierra, acusa el Cresig (La Jornada Guerrero, 12 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Guerrero: Aggresions against displaced, and newly displaced in Tierra Caliente (August 4, 2013)

Guerrero: new displacement of families from La Laguna to Puerto de las Ollas (7 December 2012)

Guerrero: Aggresions against displaced, and newly displaced in Tierra Caliente

August 4, 2013


On 17 July, some 180 families from 5 communities of the San Miguel Totolapan municipality abandoned their homes after having received death threats from organized crime groups which operate in the Tierra Caliente region of Guerrero.  Those displaced noted that before leaving, they had requested the assistance of the state government, but met with no response, and for this reason they decided to flee–this after three days of gunfire which left several persons injured and some homes burned down.  On 18 July, the state government announced that it would support them with food aid, and that soldiers and state police had been transferred to the region to guarantee their security.  The majority of those displaced returned to their communities shortly thereafter, with only 40 persons being left in temporary housing.

Displacements from the Tierra Caliente region began more than two years ago, with residents of the La Laguna and Hacienda de Dolores (Coyuca de Catalán municipality).  For its part, the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI) denounced recently that “the deficient attention given to the causes of forced internal displacement effectively imperils the lives and security of the displaced families who survive in precarious conditions.”  On 21 July, it reported that residents from La Laguna and Hacienda de Dolores who had taken refuge in La Unión, Ayutla de los Libres municipality, were expected to be ambushed at any moment.  The CCTI reported that there was an exchange of gunfire in which two aggressors died, and “the displaced, for circumstantial reasons, were not injured.”  It warned that “though 7 years have passed since the beginning of the disappearances and murders, to date there has been no one who is being processed or sentenced for the more than 30 murders suffered by the families of La Laguna, who have experienced nearly 14 months of forced internal displacement […].  This behavior on the part of the state government has allowed the aggressors to enjoy impunity and have the confidence to continue with their aggressions against the displaced, who now find themselves more than 18 hours from their places of origin.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Preocupa a CNDH casos de desplazados en Guerrero (El Universal, 22 de julio de 2013)

Familias de pueblos de Guerrero huyen de sus casas ante amenazas de muerte (La Jornada, 19 de julio de 2013)

Desplazados en Guerrero regresan a sus casas vigilados por el Ejército (CNN México, 22 de julio)

Acción Urgente del Colectivo Contra la Tortura y la Impunidad aquí. (para firmar en línea)

No hay ningún detenido por los 30 homicidios contra los desplazados de La Laguna, reclaman (El Sur de Acapulco, 26 de julio de 2013)

Mueren dos sicarios cuando iban a matar a desplazados de la sierra (La Jornada de Guerrero, 22 de julio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: new displacement of families from La Laguna to Puerto de las Ollas (7 December 2012)

Guerrero: two nephews of ecological leadership are murdered (16 November 2012)

Guerrero: Urgent Action for disappeared ecologists (8 February 2012)

Guerrero briefs: Two ecologists are kidnapped by armed men in the Sierra de Petatlán (14 December 2011)

Guerrero: violence in the Sierra de Petalán (17 October 2011)

Guerrero: Lucio Cabañas’ widow and her sister are murdered (17 July 2011)

Guerrero: Second murder of ecologists in the Sierra de Petatlán (9 June 2011)

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)

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

Guerrero: briefs – Tierra Caliente is second-highest national location in number of feminicides; SCJN will analyze recommendations of the Inter-American Court in the case of Radilla

September 14, 2010

Daniel Salgado Peña, the doctor assigned to the Public Ministry of Coyuca de Catalán, has reported that the region of Tierra Caliente could constitute the zone with the highest number of violent deaths of women in the state of Guerrero, with 16 such women violently killed in the region this year to date.  After Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, where occur the greatest number of feminicides, Tierra Caliente could represent the second-highest number of such attacks nationally.  Salgado Peña added that four women were murdered in different municipalities in August 2010, and that another case of feminicide has been observed thus far in September.

In other news, on 6 September, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) decided with an 8 to 3 v0te to analyze the sentence and recommendations made by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the case of Rosendo Radilla, which demonstrated that the Mexican State had violated the rights of Radilla, disappeared since 1974.  The Mexican State was condemned, but the SCJN, as a State institution, is implicated in the IACHR’s resolutions.  “The court cannot condition its mark of attributions and the observation of such by other powers,” claimed minister Sánchez Cordero.  Social organizations criticized the decision of the SCJN to relegate the obligatory nature of the IACHR sentence in the case of Rosendo Radilla, and claimed that the behavior of ministers has proven disappointing.  “If the [SCJN] pronounced itself against the obligatory nature by attacking the sentence of the [IACHR] regarding the case of the social leader Rosendo Radilla–to date, still disappeared–it would imply a disaster for the inter-American system of human rights in the country,” warned Alberto Herrera, executive director of Amnesty International Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Murders of women on the rise: Public Ministry (La Jornada, 6 September)

The Court will analyze the IACHR’s resolution in the case of Radilla (La Jornada, 7 September)

Human-rights organizations criticize behavior of the SCJN (La Jornada, 9 September)

Disappointing, the prospect that the SCJN would grant impunity to the army: Tita Radilla (La Jornada, 9 September)

Grave taht the SCJN would pronounce itself against the sentence of the IACHR (La Jornada, 9 September)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: IACHR condemns Mexican government in disappearance case (16 January 2010)