Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Javier Torres, Witness in Human Rights Lawyer Digna Ochoa's Murder Case, is Assassinated in Guerrero

by Kristin Bricker, Huffington Post

Javier Torres Cruz
On April 18, unidentified gunmen opened fire on Javier Torres Cruz and his brother Felipe as they drove near their hometown of La Morena in Petatlán, Guerrero.  Javier was killed and Felipe was injured in the attack.

Javier Torres was an environmental activist in his hometown.  He entered the national spotlight in 2007 when he testified to the Mexico City Attorney General's Office that Guerrero narco-politician Rogaciano Alba Alvarez ordered the 2001 murder of human rights lawyer Digna Ochoa.  Ochoa defended environmental activists from harassment by the military and Alba Alvarez in Petatlán at the time of her death. The government re-opened the investigation into Ochoa's death as a result of Torres' testimony.

Torres also accused Alba Alvarez of being the intellectual author of the murder of over twenty members of the Torres family.

Prior to Torres' death, gunmen who worked for Alba Alvarez, the former mayor of Petatlán, accompanied the military on raids on La Morena.  Alba Alvarez's gunmen and the military used those raids to harass and threaten the Torres family.

Alba Alvarez is currently in prison for alleged ties to drug traffickers.

In December 2008, Torres was disappeared and tortured for ten days.  During the disappearance, his family said that a witness saw Torres in the Army's 19th Infantry Battalion base in Guerrero near his hometown. After Torres escaped from his captors, he said that the soldiers kidnapped him and handed him over to civilians.
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