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Mexico: Enviromental rights defender killed, others at risk

    Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 08:35

    Samir Flores Soberanes via Twitter


    Samir Flores Soberanes, an environmental, land and territory human rights defender, was killed on 20 February, after receiving several death threats for his work defending the territory of his community. Members of an unknown armed group shot him four times, twice in the head, outside his house.

    Samir was a member of a grassroots collective called the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Earth and Water (FPDTA) in the states of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala (southeast Mexico). The FPDTA is dedicated to protecting the environment and the territory in the area. He was vocal in his opposition to the thermal-electric plant and pipeline project called “Proyecto Integral Morelos”. As a result, he had received written death threats and in October 2018, an unidentified group of attackers beat him. The day before he was killed, Samir attended an information session on the project and expressed concerns about its human rights and social impacts.  

    Amnesty International fears for the safety of others in the collective.   

    Please send a letter, tweet or email without delay.
    * Urge the authorities to conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the killing of Samir Flores Soberanes, taking into account the possibility that the attack was retaliation for his activities as an environmental, land and territory defender.
    * Ask them to ensure that his colleagues in the FPTDA are protected from harm and that they can express their views without fear of reprisals.

    Write to

    Cuauhtémoc Blanco
    Governor of Morelos
    Calle de la Luz, 88 
    Colonia Chapultepec
    CP: 62450, México
    Email:  or  
    Twitter:     Morelos Governor: @cuauhtemocb10  or Morelos Government: @GobiernoMorelos 
    Salutation:    Dear Governor

    Uriel Carmona
    Attorney General of the State of Morelos 
    Av. Emiliano Zapata No. 803
    Col. Buena Vista, Cuernavaca
    C.P. 62130, México
    Salutation:     Dear Attorney General

    Please copy

    His Excellency Arturo Hernández Basave 
    Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Mexico
    45 O'Connor Street, Suites 1000 & 1030
    Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1A4
    Fax:         613 235 9123
    Phone:        613 233 8988  or  613 233 9272
    Twitter:    @EmbaMexCan

    The Honourable Chrystia Freeland
    Minister of Foreign Affairs
    111 Wellington Street
    Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
    Postage:    None required
    Fax:         613 996 9607
    Phone:        613 992 5234

    Additional information

    In the January 2019 report Caught Between Bullets and Neglect: Lack of Protection for Defenders of the Territory in the Sierra Tarahumara, Amnesty International confirmed that Mexico is failing to comply with its obligation to protect human rights defenders who are at risk and, in general, to guarantee a favourable climate in which they can carry out their work in safety. Amnesty International asked the Mexican government to incorporate a comprehensive perspective on the protection of human rights defenders in relevant legislations, plans, programs and policies, with the objective of guaranteeing effective protection for them.

    If you wish to receive updates on this case, email In the subject line, write “Keep me updated on UA 24/19 Mexico”.