Mexico: campesino leader killed in Sonora massacre

Margarito Montes Parra, leader of the General Popular Worker and Campesino Union (UGOCP), was assassinated Oct. 30—together with 14 family members and comrades, including his wife and two children—when their small convoy was ambushed by gunmen near Cajeme, Sonora. The Red Cross said 18 were injured in the attack, which took place at Los Alamitos ranch on the Hornos-Tesopaco highway.

Montes has led peasants and squatters in land claims in recent years, disputes that have on occasion turned violent. The UGOCP is said to tens of thousands of members. Landowners “certainly have participated in press campaigns against me and conspired in meetings where they said they must eliminate the cancer that I represent,” Montes told the Los Angeles Times in 1991, after his brother was murdered. (LAT, Nov. 1; El Diario, Ciudad Juárez, Oct. 30)

UGOCP has also apparently been involved in internecine violence with other campesino groups.

See our last posts on Mexico, the human rights crisis and the campesino struggle.

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