Samir Soberanes Flores of the People’s Front of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala was assassinated on February 20, 2019 in the community of Amilcingo, Morelos, Mexico. He was a popular communicator and fierce activist who opposed a thermoelectric plant, aqueduct and gas pipeline near his community. His murder remains unsolved. Here is the letter that members of his organization wrote to him with the original here in Spanish.
LETTER FROM THE PEOPLE’S FRONT IN DEFENSE OF THE EARTH, AIR AND WATER: 5 MONTHS LATER, WE ARE HERE SAMIR
It has been 5 months today since they cowardly murdered you. 5 months since your smile, humility, modesty, sincerity, happiness, imagination, dreams, and tireless form of struggle were taken from this earth. Today we continue to miss you and mourn you. We are still pissed you are not with us due to capitalist greed and because of people who defend money over life.
But we also know and feel that from wherever you are, you are still with us. You continue to protect and fight with us. We already know that you went to the volcano to tell us to shout louder, or who knows if he called you and screamed with anger over your death. Some say that we are crazy and are angry about what we believe; they say we are ignorant, know nothing and are against progress. But as you once said, “they haven’t explained to us what progress is. Who is progress for?”
That’s why today we continue to demand justice for your murder because people like you should not die. People like you should multiply to save this world. That’s why a month ago we sent your message to various parts of Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Mexico City, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas, California and so many other places where people know about your lifelong struggle. Day after day hundreds of trees all over the world remind us that we must take care of Mother Earth and fight for life.
Samir, in this struggle within the last month they have suspended the Amilcingo project so that the gas pipeline cannot operate. We know you would be very happy with this triumph. Two months ago an Amilcingo school in downtown acknowledged you and this year’s graduating class bears your name, “Graduating Class: Samir Flores Soberanes.” Also an elementary school class from the State of Mexico took your name. We believe that in the following years more classes will also honor your name and plant more trees in your memory. It is a way to remember you Samir, it is a way to show our appreciation and to walk with you toward justice.
As you told us, “don’t expect anything from the government,” it is the people who will make decisions at appropriate times and the people who will construct and achieve justice, not through revenge, but through the construction of autonomy and self-determination.
But we also continue to demand that the government solve your murder because it is their obligation to do so. It must be done, and we want to know who killed you, but specifically, who gave the order and why. We have recently demanded an answer from Obrador because he said he was going to talk with the opponents of the PIM (Proyecto Intergal Morelos) and we want to understand the reasons why is supporting the thermoelectric plant. We told him that we are willing to dialogue with him in Huexca, but we also want him to listen and answer us: Who killed you? Why did this happen three days before the consultation? What has been done to find those responsible, and are you willing to arrest them no matter who they are? Why do human rights defenders continue to die?
But he did not answer…
Instead he sent an invitation to the ejido authorities in Morelos (where the PIM crosses) under the pretext of direct support for peasants “without intermediaries,” and to talk about the thermoelectric plant. There, a representative of the Secretary of Energy began to talk about the benefits of the thermoelectric plant and to ask us what we wanted from the government in order to support the plant. Obviously nobody from Amilcingo went because we anticipated that Obrador would only talk to us about money, not justice.
We proposed an open dialogue with the people affected by the project in Huexca so that we can speak and listen directly: no shouting and talking down to us as he did 10 days before your death. We invited him to dialogue and told him that we did not want deals “behind closed doors.”
However, he repeats the same patterns as the old PRI, PAN and PRD. He seeks to divide the population from its representatives, without valid reasons nor democratic dialogues. He only wants to speak about money. He offers projects that by law correspond to us but wants in exchange a “yes” vote for the thermoelectric power plants. Supposedly his government was ending corruption right? He wanted to end intermediaries in dealing with campesino organizations right? No more programs based on terms and conditions right? That’s for everybody else right? For his government that does not apply, because he continues to use the public budget to buy consciousness and to put his own terms and conditions. Obrador is fraud Samir!
They say the people are wise; that everyone is judged equally and things will be decided democratically and within the assembly, but under their terms and conditions. But when Obrador is invited to dialogue with the people, he has meetings behind closed doors in order to convince the agrarian authorities. As if that were the problem! That’s why they arrested Enedina Rosas in 2014, because her only crime was to follow the agreements of her assembly.
Obrador does not understand what is at stake with this thermoelectric plant nor does he want to see what could happen. The president only sees that “whoever is not with him is against him”, but he does not want to hear the reasons he himself gave in 2014.
Carrying out the PIM (project) in Morelos, would destroy the peasants of Morelos and the towns of the volcano: our history, nature, food sovereignty. Trying to remove peasants has created national revolutions. And even though Obrador and his research say that his term does not affect the countryside, “we have other data,” we want him to listen to us, but he does not want to… but why?
He wants the right to object! For what? Is he the only one that can speak? And what happens if he doesn’t listen to us?
Samir, you haven’t left, you are still here with us and we will continue to defend life, to fight against megaprojects, PIM, the Transismic Corridor, the Mayan Train, mines and hydroelectric dams… the government’s only argument is money. But we, WE… prefer life.
You are here with us
We are here with you
T’neki tlalle uan atl para tenochti, amo timikiske por tumi – We want land and water for everyone, not death money.
THE PEOPLE’S FRONT IN DEFENSE OF THE EARTH, AIR AND WATER MORELOS, PUEBLA, TLAXCALA