Mexican woman who uncovered cartel murder of daughter shot dead

Human rights commission attacks government failure to protect Miriam Rodriguez, who was killed on mother’s day

Gunmen shot and killed a prominent Mexican activist and mother dedicated to searching for “disappeared” persons in the violent northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, authorities have confirmed.
Miriam Rodriguez’s colleagues said she received threats after a gang member escaped from jail, the BBC reported.



Miriam Rodriguez died on the way to hospital after being shot multiple times on Wednesday – Mother’s Day in Mexico – at her home in Tamaulipas.

Mexico’s national human rights commission (CNDH) condemned the murder, saying it underscored the government’s failure to keep the public safe and protect human rights advocates.

Rodriguez was known for successfully investigating the kidnap and murder of her daughter by the local Zetas drug cartel.

After her daughter went missing in 2014, Rodriguez began a search for her and eventually found her remains in a hidden grave in the Tamaulipas town of San Fernando, according to a local civic society group committed to searching for the disappeared, the Comunidad Ciudadana en Búsqueda de Desaparecidos en Tamaulipas.

The information she passed on to the police ensured the gang members were jailed.

According to the BBC, in March one of the gang members escaped from jail and her colleagues said she started to receive threats. Rodriguez’s colleagues said she had asked for police protection but was ignored.

The Tamaulipas attorney general, Irving Barrios, said the state had been protecting Rodriguez, sending police patrols three times a day to her house. Barrios also said nine people had been put on trial for her daughter’s kidnapping and murder.

he number of people in Mexico disappearing under suspicious circumstances, often related to drug violence, rose to 30,000 by the end of 2016, with Tamaulipas registering 5,563 missing, the highest state total, according to the CNDH.

The Comunidad Ciudadana called on the UN and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to come to the aid of activists and human rights defenders in Tamaulipas as the state and federal government had been unable to protect them.

More than 100,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico in the past decade.

“Mexico has become a very dangerous place for those who have the courage to devote their lives to search for missing persons,” Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International director for the Americas, said in response to Rodriguez’s murder.

“The nightmare they face not knowing the fate or whereabouts of their relatives and the dangers they face in their work, which they perform given the negligent response from the authorities, is alarming,” Guevara-Rosas said.


guardian

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