Mexico: two more activists are murdered

LGBT groups in Mexico City were planning a march on March 18 from the Angel of Independence to Puebla state’s office in the city to protest the March 10 murder of transgender activist Agnes Torres Sulca in Puebla city and to demand protection from homophobic hate crimes in the state. Puebla authorities claim the killers were a group of about five local youths; one of the youths, Luis Fernando Bueno, was arrested in MĂ©rida in the eastern state of Yucután on March 16 and was said to have confessed. (Adital, Brazil, March 16; Milenio, Mexico, March 17)

Anti-mining activist Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez was killed in an ambush on a highway in the Ocotlán region of the southern state of Oaxaca the night of March 15; two other activists in the car with him, Rosalinda Dionisio Sánchez and Andrés Vásquez Sánchez, were wounded. Bernardo Vásquez was the spokesperson for the United Peoples of the Ocotlán Valley Coordinating Committee (COPUVO), which has been engaged in a three-year struggle against the Trinidad silver mine owned by Compañia Minera Cuzcatlán S.A. de C.V., a subsidiary of Vancouver-based Fortuna Silver Mines Inc.

The ambush occurred as the three activists were returning from a meeting with state officials to discuss the ongoing conflict over the mine among residents of San JosĂ© del Progreso municipality. Two other COPUVO supporters were killed there on Jan. 18 in a shooting incident which opponents to the mine blame on Mayor Alberto Mauro Sánchez MuñozBernardo Vásquez’s brother, Leovigildo Vásquez Sánchez, blamed the latest killing on what he called the “hit men” of Mayor Sánchez Muñoz and the Trinidad mine. (Proceso, Mexico, March 16)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, March 18.

See our last post on Mexico and regional struggles over minerals.