Salchi, Oaxaca, where an indigenous leader was killed yesterday. Salchi, Oaxaca, where an indigenous leader was killed yesterday.

Indigenous leader kidnapped, assassinated in Oaxaca

An associate suspects the incident was tied to a dispute over land ownership

The regional coordinator of an indigenous rights association was kidnapped and murdered yesterday in Oaxaca.

Abraham Hernández González of the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights (Codedi) was kidnapped in the town of Salchi in the coastal municipality of San Pedro Pochutla.

Witnesses said masked men carrying arms and wearing military-like uniforms abducted the human rights activist at around 11:30 yesterday morning at a hotel where he worked as manager.

Codedi leader Abraham Ramírez Vázquez said a body that was later found on a vacant lot in the neighboring town of Cuatunalco had been positively identified as González by his daughter.

Ramírez suggested that the incident might have been linked to a dispute between the hotel and a group of people that claim ownership of the property.

It was the second attack against Codedi members this year. In February, three members of the non-governmental organization were traveling from the city of Oaxaca to the town of Santiago Xanica, in Miahuatlán, when they were ambushed by armed civilians.

The crime remains unsolved but Codedi has claimed that the state government of Alejandro Murat Hinojosa was behind it.

Codedi member Cristóbal Ramírez said at the time that the government of Oaxaca was targeting social leaders who oppose the extraction of the state’s natural resources, development projects and the creation of special economic zones.

The rights activist also said it was “no coincidence” that the three men were murdered after leaving a meeting with state officials.

Source: NVI Noticias (sp), Despertar de Oaxaca (sp)

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