A wake was held Sunday for human rights activist leader who had helped Mexican families search missing relatives and was found dead where drugs and violence are so deadly, he had called the whole area the “Cemetery Region.” That region, where fear rules to the point families dare not tell police when a family member is missing, is today in deep mourning over the death of their hero who gave his life for them and his children to live in safety.
The body of targeted individual Miguel Angel Jimenez Blanco’s was found with two gunshots near his home in a town in the south-western state of Guerrero, plagued with gang drug violence. At least 15 people died there this past weekend.
Mr. Jimenez Blanco’s leading search parties for 43 disappeared students in the nearby town of Iguala last year threw light on hundreds of other disappeared persons, some of which he’d exhumed. United, families rallied with the hashtag slogan, “EnoughI’mTired!”, as one government leader had said after a short press briefing on the missing students.
CNN reports Mr. Jimenez Blanco’s body was found in the taxi he drove to make ends meet in the small town of Xaltianguis:
When he felt authorities weren’t doing enough to protect his hometown, he organized more than 100 women to police the streets.
When 43 students went missing in a controversial case that drew global attention to Mexico’s struggles with violence and corruption, he led search parties trying to find them.
And when more families in his state came forward reporting that their loved ones had disappeared, he organized searches for them, too.
Since his group began work, it found 129 bodies, cases handed to authorities for identification.
Mr. Jiminez Blanco inspired thousands of people living in terror and those in academia. Due to his work, scholars released a powerful letter in hopes of greater international solidarity with them and all those suffering from Mexico’s drug-gang violence. The letter indicated ongoing protests until the government met demands for justice outlined in the letter.
In a BBC interview, Mr Jimenez Blanco said that after the Iguala missing student crisis, 300 families had come forward saying they had missing relatives too.
“We have been saying from the start that this area is a cemetery,” he said at the time.
He said he’d recently started driving a taxi to make ends meet. After years of working to clean up the streets, he had spoken about once again being worried about the safety of his family.
“We left it clean and now again there are bad people here, but we have to do something, because I cannot leave this to my children,” he told CNN Mexico. “If something happens to one of my children I will never forgive myself.”
Over 10 months after officials ordered gangs to disappear 43 students in Iguala, Mexico, remains of just one of them have been positively identified. Authorities said the remains of all of the students were dumped into a river, so badly burned, it was impossible to identify the others. The Mexican government officially declared them dead. Earlier this year, Mexico’s President said it was time to turn the page on the controversial case.
But the missing students’ parents continue protesting and say that their search for their loved ones won’t stop until they get answers from the government that they can believe, as Melitón Ortega, whose son is among the disappeared, told CNNMexico last month.