Activist Leader Who Led Ayotzinapa Protests Found Decapitated (translation)

NOTE: Article is an English translation from the original Spanish.  Originally posted by Univision.com on February 5, 2015.  Original article here. 

Brutal crimes keep shocking Mexico.  On Wednesday, a crime was learned that shook the states of Guerrero and Morelos: activist Gustavo Salgado Delgado was found decapitated.  The young 32 year old was the leader of the Popular Revolutionary Front (FPR) and more than 4 months ago, when the 43 students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa went missing, he led protests urging authorities to present the missing students.

The activist leader was kidnapped on Tuesday by an armed group when he left a general assembly of farm workers from the Montaña de Guerrero.  On Wednesday at 5PM, the worst had been confirmed: he had been assassinated.  His body was found on an isolated location in the state of Morelos, with visible signs of torture, and he had been decapitated.

Gustavo Salgado Delgado had been planning on participating in marches advocating for the missing students of Ayotzinapa, which took place on Wednesday at the University of Morelos.  The activist had been an avid participant of the movement advocating for the 43 students who have been missing in Iguala since the 26th of September, 2014.

Salgado was also known for advocating for and organizing farm workers in Guerrero. These farm workers were affected by the heavy rains of hurricanes Ingrid and Manuel, and were hoping to settle in Morelos, where they wished to work in the cane fields, without any rights.  The presence of these displaced farmworkers became a political issue for owners of the cane fields, according to reports from the newspaper Excelsior.

His Disappearance

Members of the FPR, who announced on Tuesday that their leader was missing, blamed the kidnapping on the authorities of the state of Morelos and the state of Guerrero, as well as the governor of the state of Morelos, Graco Ramirez.

Those who last saw Salgado announced that Salgado had left a meeting in El Chivatero, Morelos on Tuesday at 6PM, and took public transit to the municipality of Ayala, where he was to attend another meeting.  Those who waited for him in Ayala were worried by his absence, and started looking for him in nearby districts in the municipality, and soon after decided to announce his disappearance.

The reasons for his kidnapping and assassination are unclear, and the crime remains under investigation.  Members of the FPR issued a press release in which they maintained that “the political activity of our comrade has been consistently in the defense of land rights for farmworkers, and for the betterment of the municipality of Ayala, for the migrant farm workers of the Montaña de Guerrero and Oaxaca.

They add: “it is because of these activities that corrupt local governments and the state have maintained constant vigilance and harassment against [Salgado], as is demonstrated by his illegal detention on March 20, 2014 in Cuernavaca, Morelos, while he was participating in a march organized by the Citizen’s Front against laws of taxation.

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