A longtime leftist leader and founding member of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) was killed in the state of Guerrero Saturday night along with his wife, 94-year-old mother-in-law and driver, a government security official said yesterday.
Roberto Álvarez Heredia said that the bodies of Ranferi Hernández Acevedo and three others were discovered by state police in a burned-out vehicle near Nejapa in the municipality of Ahuacuotzingo, about 110 kilometers east of the state capital Chilpancingo.
The spokesman for the Guerrero Coordination Group — an intergovernmental security force — also confirmed that the left-wing leader and his family members had been reported missing on Saturday after leaving the municipal seat at approximately 5:00pm, bound for Chilapa to visit relatives.
The report led police to the vehicle just before midnight Saturday.
Álvarez said that authorities are “open to investigate all lines of investigation . . . including the political, social and partisan [work] that Ranferi Hernández Acevedo did.”
Criminal organizations are involved in a turf war in the opium poppy growing region.
The 50-year-old Hernández was one of the founding members of the PRD in Guerrero and went on to become the party’s leader in the state. Previously he had been a member of the National Democratic Front, the immediate predecessor of the PRD.
Hernández was also instrumental in the creation of another leftist group that clashed with former state governor Rubén Figueroa Alcocer after a 1995 massacre in Aguas Blancas that left 17 farmers dead. Hernández was highly critical of Figueroa, accusing him of being implicated in the deaths at the hands of state police, and the governor was eventually forced to resign.
But after Hernández finished a term as a deputy in the state Congress in 1996, he secretly fled Mexico and went into exile in France for four years after being accused of funding a leftist guerrilla movement called the Popular Revolutionary Army.
Before his death, he was the leader of yet another political group called the Leftist Social Movement which is active in parts of Guerrero, and he had also worked in support of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, head of the Morena party, who is currently leading the polls for next year’s presidential election.
Guerrero politician Félix Salgado called Hernández a true fighter for social causes and an honest man while a parliamentary group of PRD deputies in the federal Congress condemned the murders and demanded that authorities investigate and punish those responsible.
A member of a local farmers’ organization, Norma Mesino, said that the deaths must not go unpunished.
“We don’t want the condolences of the government, we want justice,” she said.