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Anti-Mining Activist Mariano Abarca Assassinated in Chiapas

posted by dawn Geography: Latin America Mexico, Chiapas Topics: Mining, war

November 28, 2009

Anti-Mining Activist Mariano Abarca Assassinated in Chiapas

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Mariano Abarca, a community activist known for his opposition to mining was assassinated last night in Chicomuselo, a town in Chiapas, Mexico.

Abarca was shot in the head and chest by a man on a motorcycle. He had been abducted in August, and again received death threats in the week prior to his death.

In a November 28 email to supporters, Gustavo Castro, an organizer with Otros Mundos AC in Chiapas, wrote:

[Mariano was] a dear friend, admired for his struggle against the Canadian mining company Blackfire, and a member of the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining (REMA-Chiapas). Yesterday we spoke to him on the phone and he told us he had filed a complaint against the company. Today he's dead.

It is with great sadness that I write these words. I will continue to update here as more news becomes available.

Update: Here is the English translation of an article about the assassination from La Jornada.

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Comment received via Email: From this day of Shame to One Day...

One day, what is already a known truth will be aknowledged. One day, those who died and keep being killed at the hands of mining corporations will cease to be anonymous victims of impunity. One day, the dark and well known forces that murder people and destroy territories and cultures to accumulate will be exposed. That day, their accomplices in Governments should go down in the book of shame together with those they served for centuries and with those corporate assasins they are still serving today. That day, the current Government of Canada and others, will be exposed for who they truly are and who they truly serve, We know they have usurped the Government of this country to join the greed of their lobbyists at all costs. One day, the people of Canada will have to face their shame for their complicity and silence. How many "free trade agreements" will have been signed and enshrined in law to legitimize despossession, while most people say nothing, do nothing or worse, agree to everything? That day, they might repeat the well established "I did not know". That day is already too late for Mariano Abarca. Already too late for so many others, murdered and buried in mines throughout the world or resisting from and for their communities. That day, if we are still around and have achieved justice on behalf of the victims and Mother Earth, we will remind those in silence that they knew all along and chose to say nothing, do nothing and know nothing. Or we will rejoice together and these deaths will not have been in vain because we will have joined efforts so that the greed that kills ends forever and NEVER AGAIN will those with the power to destroy, exploit and murder, will write history, for they will be facing a justice they have denied others. That day is already too late in coming and nobody but ourselves will bring it forward following the example of Mariano Abarca, to whose family, friends and community we extend our affection and company in anger and in pain.

This is what happened and who he was. This is what we will remember so that a day may come where we cease to be at the mercy of those who lye with elegance and murder with impunity the beauty of the decent and dignified.

The War Must Continue, Massacres Aside

It is extremely sad to learn of the death of one of the nobles in countries where oppression is the norm of the day. I take this as a blow to the group that fights for justice in the face of humiliation and many a dangers.

They will kill, Arrest, threaten, and even torture but the struggle must continue. We who are in this fight know that our day has not just come to depart in the manner our comrade Mariano Abarca has departed.

This should not hinder the cause but make it even more fiery. They will not kill all of us before change comes. The families left behind - these we join in sorrow and condolences are in order. BUT forth we go not relenting till justice is rendered to all... Amaaaaaanda!


I am so sorry to read this. You are all working to help us understand much that is not in our press, and that is generally hidden, and that work will surely gradually lead to much needed and widespread pressure for all this violence against people and land to be stopped. Meanwhile every death, every dispossession I read about, causes me great sorrow.