On 5th April 2017 human rights defender Benjamín Juárez José was found dead in police custody in the municipality of Matias Romero in Oaxaca region.
Early in the morning of March 13th 2017, the indigenous leader was arrested and taken to jail by police agents while he was denouncing the illegal actions of the government. Benjamín was involved in protests against the high charges for electricity and the impact of mining projects in the area.
On 5th April 2017, during a national police strike, Benjamín was beaten to death while in custody. In the weeks after of his death members of the local community blocked the national highway in protest at the lack of progress in the investigation into the unexplained circumstances of his death.
Benjamín was the deputy president of Unión de Comunidades de la Zona Norte del Istmo de Tehuántepec (Ucizoni) which defends the rights of indigenous people and their lands. He was also the representative for the Matias Romeo district.