Alejandro Castro

Alejandro “El Mecha” Castro, union leader and leader of the demonstrations in Quintero and Puchuncaví due to environmental pollution, was found dead, causing great distress to the community due to his sudden death and active role in the service of the so-called “zone” of sacrifice “.

The young man, 27 years old, had lived a life of struggle, marked by the pain of losing a child. However, sources close to the secretary of the S24 Union of fishermen from Quintero Bay, question his apparent suicide after being found dead on Thursday, hanging from his own backpack in a perimeter fence in the El Almendral sector in Valparaíso.

According to his partner, a few years ago one of his children died a few months after being born from sudden death. “He had a tough time because of that, a lot of pain, but not even in that hard moment, did he try to take his life, which is why today there are doubts about his suicide,” said the member of the collective Mujeres en Zona de Sacrifice and a close friend of the young man, Carolina Orellana Sepúlveda.


Although the PDI ruled out the involvement of third parties in the event, a finding which was also corroborated by the Legal Medical Service, those close to the protester were not convinced by this version of events.

“I have doubts, as well as do his family and they are reasonable doubts because there are things that we know what happened to Alejandro prior to his death. He was threatened by Carabineros de Fuerzas Especiales of the seventh police station in Santiago who have attacked our people. Alejandro was my friend, he is my friend, he had a son, he was a committed man, with a lot of discipline, loyalty, he was a defender of the environment like no one else after the oil spill into the sea of ​​Quintero. He had spent his last years protecting the environment and demanding dignity and rights … I am very sad, “said Carolina, acted as a spokesperson for the family.

Meanwhile, the PDI said they continue working to gather information to clarify the death of the young man. In this regard, the director of the institution, Hector Espinosa, confirmed that there had been threats against him, which is why an investigation is being carried out so we can get to the truth. In addition, there are people who are under investigation, with the aim of providing the Prosecutor’s Office with clues that allow us to shed light on how the death occurred.

In this regard, the Undersecretary of Interior, Rodrigo Ubilla, said that “I have the police report in my hand and it points out that the cause of death was being choked by hanging.” It is a very lamentable family drama. Ubilla noted that “you have to be very careful, you can not contaminate this type of dramatic situation with assumptions, you have to be reasonable and wait for the investigation that is ongoing and that happens every time a body is found on public roads.” He also stressed that there is no information that supports a connection between the threats and his death.


Amnesty International today expressed its dismay at the news of the death of Alejandro Castro, union leader and defender of human rights and the environment.

Castro participated actively in the protests in Quintero, due to the high levels of contamination in this area and the serious effects it has had on the population, especially in recent weeks.

“Although, the information that circulated in the press described the event as suicide; It is very worrying that the PDI itself has acknowledged that Alejandro Castro had suffered threats in the days prior to his death, “said Ana Piquer, executive director of Amnesty International, Chile.

The organization has called on the authorities to carry out an independent, impartial and thorough investigation to clarify the facts.

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Nickname:El Mecha



Date of Killing:04/10/2018

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Trade Unionist

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:ESC Rights

Sector Detail:Environmental Rights, Labour/Trade Union

More information:Front Line Defenders

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