Mexico: Indigenous Land Defender, Samir Flores Soberanes, Assassinated

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This communiqué comes from the People’s Front in Defense of Land and Water, Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala. It condemns the assassination of Indigenous land defender and community radio worker, Samir Flores Soberanes, amidst attempts to push through the megaproject, “Integral Project of Morelos.” The communique places blame on the Federal Government for ignoring the threats this project brings to the communities affected.

Member of the FPDTA-MPT and Opponent of the Integral Project of Morelos

Today, February 20th, in front of his house, Samir Flores Soberanes was assassinated with two bullets to the head. Samir Flores Soberanes was a human rights defender of the community of Amilcingo, in the municipality of Temoac, Morelos. Around 5am, two automobiles parked outside of his house and began to call him until Samir came outside. Four shots were heard and two of them struck our compañero in the head.

Just one day ago, Samir and compañeros of Amilcingo participated in an informative forum that the super delegate of López Obrador in Morelos, Hugo Eric Flores, carried out in Jonacatepec. There, they questioned the lies that are being told about the thermoelectric plant in Huexca and the Integral Project of Morelos. Since February 11th, the FDPTA warned in a letter to López Obrador that his statements in support of the thermoelectric plant and the discourse of discrediting and hatred that he gave in Cuautla to defenders of land and water, to announce the public consultation regarding the PIM, could generate more violence. We invited him to reconsider his position and to sit down to dialogue with us, to know first hand the climate of hostility and violence that the PIM has generated. Samir was present in the protest on Sunday February 10th in Cuautla.

Today these are the results of the unwillingness of Obrador to listen to us. Today they killed our compañero and friend, an example of struggle in Amilcingo and the entire region. We hold responsible the Federal government for this assassination, as Samir didn’t have any more enemies than the people bought and sold who have historically supported the government and the CFE in Amilcingo. This was a political crime, a result of the defense of human rights that Samir and the FPDTA have carried out against the Integral Project of Morelos and for the autonomy and self-determination of the communities.

This assassination is the result of the omission of this government and the previous government to resolve through dialogue the conflict generated by the Integral Project of Morelos and the imposition of capital in the communities. This is the result of the justice that does not reach the Indigenous peoples affected by the project, and the recommendations and judgments of the CNDH that arrive late and are not being fulfilled. The opposite, they are violated again.

Mr. Obrador, millions of people trust you as a person who will improve the conditions of the country. We warned you previously of the situation and you didn’t want to listen to us. Today, nobody is going to give back our compañero. But yes, we demand justice for our compañero Samir and all of the communities affected by the Integral Project of Morelos. There cannot be a consultation if you assassinate our compañeros. Immediate cancellation of the Integral Project of Morelos!

Samir Flores Soberanes was an Indigenous Nahua from Amilcingo. Samir was the founder of the community radio of Amiltzinko 100.7 fm. He was the main driving force behind the organization against the Morelos Gas Pipeline and the entire Integral Project of Morelos. His work was tireless both in Huexca and in all of the communities, as well as with the children to whom he taught to know and to love their territory. He was part of the Committee of Parents of the school in the center of Amilcingo, which has been in resistance for 16 months for the conflict generated by the shock group that has been organized in the community lead by Humberto Sandaoval, leader of the Central Campesina Cardenista in Morelos. Cheerful, brave, tireless, supportive, committed and clear in his ideas, Samir was an example of struggle for all of us. For his position and labor in promoting the autonomy of Amilcingo and the defense of territory against the Integral Project of Morelos, Samir was threatened on various occasions since 2012. He was also defamed and even singled out in flyers and memes on the Internet, all meant to discredit and criminalize the defenders of human rights and popular communicators.

Today the Integral Project of Morelos took the life of our compañero. Yesterday we watched with indignation and rage as, with the presence of the police and military, they buried the tubes of this project of death in Amilcingo. Today we bury our compañero in the context of an illegal, illegitimate, and inequitable consultation that, in place of resolving the conflict that has existed for years, has increased it by not taking into account the affected communities, for not listening to us.

We demand that the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic take the case and investigate and punish those responsible for the assassination of Samir Flores Soberanes. We also demand that they guarantee the protection of all of the members and communities integrated in the Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra y el Agua Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Asamblea Permanente de los Pueblos de Morelos, Campamento Zapatista de Apatlaco and all of those that opposed the Integral Project of Morelos and those of us, who according to López Obrador, are “radical ultra-conservative.”

One Hundred Years After the Death of Zapata in Morelos!

Long Live Samir, the Struggle Continues!

Long Live Amilcingo!

Long Live the Struggle of the People!

Justice, Land, Water and Freedom!

Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra y el Agua Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala


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Voices in Movement
Voices in Movement publishes translations and analysis – both contemporary and historical – to share strategy, solidarity and histories of resistance across imaginary divisions of nations and borders, drawing insight from struggles of below and to the left, where the heart is. They also author Revuelta Comunitaria, a semi-regular column on It's Going Down addressing social struggles and political repression in the territory of so-called Mexico.