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Drug cartels kill Mexican activist searching for mass graves

May 13, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Drug cartels kill Mexican activist searching for mass graves

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An activist in Mexico who led a support network for the parents of missing kids has been killed by gunmen who raided her home.

Miriam Rodriguez Martinez started a local activist group of 600 families looking for their loved ones five years ago after her daughter Karen was abducted and murdered by the Los Zetas drug cartel.

Martinez lived in San Fernando, which is one of the most crime-ridden places in Mexico with the highest incidence of kidnappings.

She was struck multiple times as she tried to run away from the gunmen and died while being rushed to the hospital.

In 2012, the woman provided authorities with information which allowed them to capture her daughter’s killers but then began to receive death threats after one of the gang members escaped from prison this past March.

Gunmen executed Miriam Rodriguez-Martinez, whose daughter was kidnapped and murdered by the brutal Los Zetas cartel

On one instance, she was forced to notify the federal army after Los Zetas tried to abduct her husband.

Martinez’s friends from the support group contended that she had requested protection from the police but was ignored, an accusation denied by the state which said police patrols secured her residence three times a day.

Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) denounced the murder, claiming it was another instance of the Mexican government’s failure to protect citizens, particularly human rights advocates who put themselves in danger for the greater good.

Erika Guevara Rosas, Amnesty International director for the Americas, said Mexico had become a “very dangerous place” for those who dedicate their time looking for kidnapped victims.

“The nightmare they face not knowing the fate of their relatives and the dangers they face in their work, which they perform given the negligent response from the authorities, is alarming,” she added.

According to information released by the CNDH, the number of missing people in Mexico increased to 30,000 in 2016, the majority of which are thought to be related to drug cartels.

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