October 31, 2020
From Gloria Muñoz Ramírez’s column “Los de Abajo”
Translated by Shantal Montserrat Lopez Victoria
November 7 marks the first anniversary of the femicide of renowned anthropologist, activist and colleague Raquel Padilla Ramos. She was killed in her own home in Ures, Sonora. Her murderer is in jail as is Fidencio Aldama, a young Yaqui accused of a crime he did not commit in which Raquel fought until her last days for his freedom.
Fidencio’s wife, Carmen García has not stopped fighting for the release of her partner. He is one more person on the political prisoners list, which was given to the current President of Mexico (Andrés Manuel López Obrador) two years ago. As Padilla Ramos always said: Sentencing Fidencio is a means of putting pressure on the people of Loma de Bácum who are in opposition to a gas pipeline passing through their territory.
In April 2016, the Yaqui town of Loma de Bácum filed a petition against the construction of a gas pipeline that would cross 90 kilometers of the Guaymas-Oro region. Starting from that moment seven of the eight towns that make up the tribe endorsed the project, all of them, except for Loma de Bácum, started facing threats, divisions, and violence. Once an injunction from the seventh district court based in Ciudad Obregón was gained, the construction, which had begun in 2013, was brought to a halt in 2016.
Nevertheless, with the victory came violence to the extent that four years ago, on October 21, armed individuals entered the town. A “brawl” was incited in which a bullet killed one person. Almost randomly, Fidencio was chosen as the guilty party without any witnesses or expert evidence.
The family of the Yaqui political prisoner warned that people from the government had been coming into the community implying if they withdraw Fidencio’s writ of amparo (legal protection), he could be released. However, they are up against a tribe with integrity which refuses to give up its territory.
This week, a campaign was launched for his release. Fidencio’s wife and community call for his support because, as the beloved Raquel Padilla Ramos always said, Fidencio is innocent.
Read the original in Spanish in La Jornada.