Alejandro Gustavo Salgado, center, participates in a protest. (photo: Noticias Acapulco News)
Mexican Social Activist Found Dead in "Political Crime"
07 February 15
Alejandro Gustavo Salgado, an activist with the Popular Revolutionary Front (FPR), was found dead Wednesday only hours after being reported missing.
The president of the FPR has declared his death a “political crime.” The FPR is the grassroots wing of the Communist Party of Mexico (Marxist-Leninist).
Local police in the state of Morelos reported the discovery of a body of a man with his hands and head cut off near the town of Moyotepec. Local media also reported that the body showed signs of torture.
Mexican authorities issued a statement that they suspect elements associated with organized crime are behind the assassination of Salgado.
However, supporters of the FPR place the responsibility on the shoulders Morelos Governor Graco Luis Ramírez Garrido. In a statement posted online, the organization declared “that if it indeed was organized crime, they were under the orders of the government.”
“This crime is part of the policy of terror that the state is implementing in order to try to intimidate the popular movement in general and our organization in particular,” said the statement.
The FPR also reported that Salgado had been the victim of regular harassment by government authorities.
Salgado was a well-known activist and was heavily involved in mobilizations demanding the safe return of the 43 forcibly disappeared students from the Ayotzinzapa teachers training college.
He was last seen alive Feb. 3, 2015, after attending an organizing meeting. He was accompanied by others to the bus stop, but ultimately did not arrive in the city of Ayala where he was expected to attend another meeting. It was then that his associates began to look for him, going so far as to visit a local branch of the attorney general, but the office refused to receive their complaint.
In a separate incident, Jose Evit Toledo Toral, an activist from the Peasant Worker Coalition of the Isthmus, was assassinated Wednesday night in Oaxaca by two men on a motorcycle. Toledo had recently said he had been the victim of death threats as a result of his activism.
The FPR has expressed serious concern that activists in the country appear to be targets for assassination and has called on social movements to work to protect activists.
Social activists and the relatives of the missing 43 students believe that the state was behind the forced disappearance of the Ayotzinapa students. The government instead placed the blame solely on organized crime, claiming the 43 students were killed and that the case was closed.
The FPR is calling on the office of the attorney general not to pursue this same line of thinking in the Salgado case.
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