Mexican Environmental Activist Shot Dead

25 Apr

Javier Torres testified 2001 against the suspected assassin of human rights activist Digna Ochoa (Cuartoscuro Archivo).

Javier Torres Cruz, 30, who fought illegal deforestation by drug traffickers in the Mexican state of Guerroro, was murdered a week ago. A member of the local NGO, Environmental Organization of the Coyuca and Petatlán Mountains, Torres Cruz was known as an outspoken activist against illegal logging in the mountainous dry forest region. Logging in the region is primarily linked to fields of poppies for the illegal drug trade.

According to reports, Torres Cruz was ambushed while in a car by gunfire near his hometown of La Morena in the Petatlan Mountains. His brother, Felipe Torres Cruz, was also injured. No suspects have been arrested.

In 2008 Torres Cruz was kidnapped for 10 days and tortured. His family claimed that the Mexican soldiers were behind the kidnapping.

Torres Cruz was outspoken, even in the face of danger. In 2008 he charged a rancher with threatening peasants for their land. He also accused men linked to alleged drug lord Alba Álvarez for killing human rights activist, Digna Ochoa in 2001, though authorities deemed she had committed suicide.

His family believes the killing may be linked to Torres Cruz’s testimony against Alba Álvarez.
According to CNN Mexico, 50 activists were killed in Mexico in 2010.

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