Mexico’s staggering murder rate related to narco violence has created somewhat of an indifference in the country and globally. Then there comes a crime so unjust and so preventable that the world cries out – such is the case with the assassination of human rights activist and mother Miriam Rodriguez Martinez.
The Mexican activist was killed with 12 bullets from gunmen who entered her home at 10:30 p.m. on May 10th around 10:30 p.m. She died enroute to the hospital after years of efforts to located Mexico’s “disappeared” especially those in the narco state of Tamaulipas.
Rodriguez activism began when her 14-year-old daughter, Karen, disappeared in their home town of San Fernando in 2012. Thanks to her tireless efforts and demand for justice, she eventually found her remains in 2014 with indication that Los Zetas cartel was responsible. The municipality of San Fernando in the state of Tamaulipas is one of the most crime-infested areas in Mexico with the highest kidnapping rate. Thanks again to Rodriguez’ tireless efforts, nine people were charged with Karen’s kidnapping and murder.
Rodriguez did not stop there. She proceeded to organize other mothers of the “disappeared” (nearly 6,000) in Tamaulipas. She created Colectivo de Desaparecidos (Collective of the Disappeared) and was joined by 600 other families working together to find missing loved ones – or at the very least their remains.
Rodriguez survived many threats including the attempted kidnapping of her husband. Multiple reports indicate she requested protection from local authorities since early April when one of her daughter’s killers escaped prison.
Human rights organization around the world immediately demanded justice and noted Mexico’s failure to protect Rodriguez. As of today no arrests have been made, in spite of calls from the following leading human rights organization and individuals:
1) Commissioner for Human Rights: “Beyond their murder, it is imperative to address the structural factors that have placed the families of disappeared persons in a grave situation of vulnerability.”
2) : The state government “will not allow the death of Miriam Rodríguez to be one statistic more”.
3) Rights in the : “Family members who search for their disappeared relatives in Mexico are human rights defenders. [Mexican] Authorities should provide them with adequate protection measures and ensure that the conditions exist for them to carry out their work without endangering their life.”
4) National Human Rights Commission: Condemned the murder of Mrs. Rodriguez, claiming it was “Another example of the Mexican government’s failure to protect its citizens, particularly its human rights advocates who were putting themselves in danger for the good of others.”
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