Samir Flores: four years without justice

On February 20, four years after his murder, they paid homage to Samir Flores in Amilcingo, the indigenous town where he war born. Photo: Rubicela Morelos.

A La Jornada Editorial

On February 20, 2019, the indigenous Morelos activist Samir Flores Soberanes, a member of the Permanent Assembly of the Peoples of Morelos and the founder of Radio Amiltzinko, was shot and killed in front of his house, in his native Amilcingo. To date, the crime remains unpunished and the investigation does not present any advance.

It should be noted that at the time, the murder of Flores Soberanes took on particular relevance in the eyes of public opinion, since it took place against the backdrop of the conflict over the hydroelectric power plant in Huexca, built mostly in the previous six-year term, and whose completion and start-up were opposed by various local organizations, in which the victim had a prominent participation. No evidence has been found that the killing could be linked to this matter; instead, data have been emerging that point to the possible authorship of the Tlahuica Command, an organized crime establishment that operates in Morelos under the protection of still powerful political groups.

The only solid and indisputable element that could lead to the clarification of the death of Samir Flores is action from the local prosecutor’s office, headed by Uriel Carmona Gándara, which has made an effort to make it impossible to bring justice in this and other cases. From the outset, just six days after the Amilcingo murder, that autonomous institution “lost” the weapon with which the activist was killed and henceforth has not wanted or has not been able to advance in the investigations.

The governor of Morelos, Cuauhtémoc Blanco, declared in September 2020 that Carmona Gándara “already has the investigation, but he does not want to let go because there are many people involved; I hope he really opens up and has enough courage to declare who Samir Flores’ killers were. Days later, the state governor reiterated that his state’s prosecutor “is afraid” and that’s why he did not reveal what he knew.

It should be remembered that Carmona Gándara was elected in 2018 by the state Congress, in which the first force was the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), proposed by former governor Graco Ramírez, a member of that party, for a period of nine years. Since then, the prosecutor has been singled out on several occasions for his poor performance in numerous circumstances; for example, the handling of corpses in the clandestine graves of Tetelcingo, with implications of forced disappearance, as well as the abuses of power of his bodyguards and the re-victimization of eight young people murdered in the Antonio Barona neighborhood of Cuernavaca. Likewise, Carmona Gándara was accused of covering up the femicide of the young woman from the capital, Ariadna López Díaz, whose body was found in October of last year on the outskirts of Tepoztlán, and of whom the Morelos prosecutor’s office asserted that she had died of “serious alcoholic intoxication and bronchial aspiration.” She was actually beaten until she died from multiple traumas.

Attempts to remove Carmona Gándara from office have not yielded results. When an attempt was made to submit him to a trial to remove his immunity in the Congress of the Union, he inexplicably obtained an injunction that prevented such a trial. Attempts to remove him in his state’s legislature also failed, and last November the Congress of Mexico City urged its Morelos counterpart to dismiss the questioned prosecutor. [1]

In sum, everything indicates that the murder of Samir Flores fell into the black hole of the Morelos Attorney General’s Office and that it will not be possible to clarify it and do justice until the exit – and perhaps, the criminal accusation – of its attorney general, exponent of that generation of protected state prosecutors that governors of the past regime left in several states of the country, perhaps for the purpose of covering their backs and also achieving lasting impunity.

[1] People’s Front in Defense of Water, Land and Air of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala (FPDTA-MPT), of which Samir Flores was a member, also demands the removal of Carmona Gándara from office.

Originally Published by La Jornada, Tuesday, February 21, 2023, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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