Communique of the Youth Council of Cherán Regarding the Femicide of Guadalupe Companur Tapia

On January 17th, 2018, our compañera and community member of Cherán, Guadalupe Companur, was found dead in the area known as Irapio, in the Municipality of Chilchota, Michoacán.  We want to clarify that her assassination did not occur inside the community, nor in the territory of Cherán.  In spite of the measures of community security we have developed in our community, the region continues suffering from problems of insecurity and violence.

Today we reiterate the lack of work done in uniting the communities, one with another, to defend the life and integrity of our people.  Above all, we ask as the Youth Council, as community members of Cherán, that this terrible act committed against our compañera Lupe is not belittled or normalized.  That courage has to keep us moving and keep us sensitive to the violence, in order to continue these struggles from the heart, from courage, converting fear into a valuable social force, to recognize that there is still much to be done to resist the war they impose upon us.

This pain that we feel reminds us of the difficult moment we have been through as a community.  It is complicated to digest that a community member like Lupe who had contributed so much to this process of struggle and defense of our forests (being part of a barricade, of the assembly of a neighborhood of this community) is not with us.  That dreams have been taken away in such a painful manner.

We also want to clarify that compañera Lupa was not reported disappeared by her family members, since they expected that she would return to the house soon after having left the community some days before.  This does not imply that she is in any way responsible for the acts.  She will never be responsible for what happened.  We are at a critical moment where arguments are being sought to criminalize and blame women, but that will not be the case.  We are conscious that she did not deserve to die.  In that context, nobody denies that the atrocious act of her assassination has to be punished.  Her life, equal to all of the community members of Cherán, deserves complete respect and we will not permit that she is criminalized or stigmatized.

Today a profound pain overwhelms our community.  We feel vulnerable and anxious, because although we have constructed a system of communal government through community cooperation to establish a climate of security in our territory, there are limits because in the surrounding communities this isn’t the case.  As the community of Cherán, we have a serious challenge to confront this difficult situation and we need to continue demanding justice, as we have on many other occasions when we have lost our community members.  It is unacceptable that acts like these continue occurring in our country with nothing happening in response.  That the assassination of various peoples is not clarified or punished.

From Cherán, we condemn the femicide of Lupe and we demand justice. We demand that work is done to encounter those responsible for the acts and that never more are these hateful crimes repeated.

Translated from the original here: