Communique from the Frente De Pueblos Morelos Puebla Tlaxcala:
Samir Soberanes Flores was a member of the People’s Front of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala and an opponent of the Morelos Integral Project.
Today, February 20, the human rights defender Samir Flores Soberanes from the community of Amilcingo, in the municipality of Temoac, Morelos, Mexico, was murdered with two bullets to the head outside his home. Around 5 a.m., two cars parked outside his home and began to call his name until he came outside. At that time, 4 shots were heard and two of them killed our comrade.
A day earlier, Samir and other human rights defenders from Amilcingo attended an informative forum held by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador superdelegate in Morelos, Hugo Erik Flores, in Jonacatepec. There he was questioned regarding his lies about the thermoelectric plant in Huexca and the Morelos Integral Project (PIM).
Since February 11, the People’s Front in Defense of Land and Water (FPDTA) sent a public letter to López Obrador, warning that his statements in support of the thermoelectric plant—as well as the discourse of disqualification and hate he directed at land and water protectors when he announced the consultation for the project in Cuautla, Morelos—could lead to increased violence in the region.
In the letter we invited Obrador to reconsider his position, to engage in dialogue with us and to gain first-hand knowledge of the climate of hostility and violence that the PIM has generated. Samir was present at the protest on Sunday, February 10 in Cuautla.
Today we have the results of Obrador’s deaf ears. Today they have murdered our comrade and friend, our example of struggle in Amilcingo and throughout entire region. We hold the Federal Government responsible for this assassination, because Samir’s only enemies were the people who have been bribed and supported by the Federal Electricity Commission and the government in Amilcingo.
This was a political crime motivated by the defense of human rights that Samir and the FPDTA are carrying out against the Morelos Integral Project and for the autonomy and self-determination of their people. This assassination is the result of the failure of this and previous governments to resolve through dialogue the conflict generated by the unviable Morelos Integral Project, and by the imposition of capital on Indigenous and campesino peoples. This assassination is the result of the justice that never arrives for our native peoples, of the sentences and recommendations of Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission that always arrive late and are never truly heeded.
Mr. Obrador, millions of people place their trust in you as a social subject who will improve conditions in our country. We provided you with a timely warning regarding this situation and you did not want to listen to us. Today no one is going to return our comrade to us, but today we demand justice from you.
JUSTICE FOR THE COMPANION SAMIR AND FOR ALL PEOPLE AFFECTED BY THE MORELOS INTEGRAL PROJECT. THERE CAN BE NO CONSULTATION PROCESS WHILE OUR COMPANIONS ARE KILLED. WE DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE CANCELLATION OF THE MORELOS INTEGRAL PROJECT.
Samir Flores Soberanes was an Indigenous Nahuatl from Amilcingo. Samir was the founder of Amiltzinko Community Radio 100.7 FM, and he was the main promoter of the community’s organization against the Morelos Gas Pipeline and the Morelos Integral Project. His work was tireless both in Huexca and in the surrounding regions, as well as with the children of his community to whom he taught to know and love their territory.
At the time of his death Saqmir formed part of the Parents’ Committee of the Amilcingo Central School, which has been in resistance for 16 months due to the conflict generated by a “shock group” that supports the pipeline and PIM
Cheerful, brave, tireless, supportive, committed and clear in his ideas, Samir was an example of struggle for all of us. For his position and work promoting the autonomy of Amilcingo and the defense of the territory against the Morelos Integral Project, Samir was threatened several times since 2012, as well as defamed and even pointed out in leaflets and memes on the Internet, all signs of discredit and criminalization of human rights defenders and popular communicators.
Yesterday we watched with indignation and courage as the Mexican Armed Forces buried the tubes of this project of death in Amilcingo, and today we bury our comrade in the context of an illegal, illegitimate and inequitable consultation that, instead of resolving a conflict that has existed for years, has exacerbated it by not taking the affected communities into account.
We demand that the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic addresses the case and that the material and intellectual authors of the assassinationg of Samir Flores Soberanes be punished. We demand that protection be guaranteed for all members of the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land and Water Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala, the Permanent Assembly of the Peoples of Morelos, the Zapatista Encampment of Apatlaco and all those who oppose the Morelos Integral Project.
100 YEARS AFTER THE DEATH OF ZAPATA IN MORELOS! SAMIR LIVES, THE STRUGGLE GOES ON! LONG LIVE AMILCINGO! LONG LIVE THE STRUGGLE OF THE PEOPLES! JUSTICE, LAND, WATER AND FREEDOM!
–The Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land and Water of Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala