Carlos Humberto Mendoza de Los Santos

Carlos Humberto, from Palenque, Chiapas, was a 32-year-old carpenter and was father to two children aged 11 and 4. He and his family belonged to the organization Autonomous Communities in Defence of Habits and Customs (PADUC for its Spanish acronym), which is made up of ch’oles, tseltales and mixed communities dedicated to the defence of their land.

In a statement on 17 September 2018, his wife Lidia Jiménez Antonio explained that Carlos was a humble, quiet, hard-working person who was known by the whole community and was respected by everyone. He was executed by military from Military Zone 38 in Tenosique, Tabasco, when he was thought to be a member of an organized criminal group at a checkpoint located in the Celia González de Rovirosa community in the municipality of Macuspana.

Accompanied by representatives from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas de Chiapas Human Rights Centre and PADUC, the widow said that, without first stopping the vehicle her husband was travelling in, military shot her husband in the forehead.

She explained that, when they realized the mistake they had made, the military members fled from the scene of the crime. They planted a firearm and spent cartridges that did not belong to the gun and then published in the media a different version of events, that there was a confrontation between hitmen and members of the army.

Victorino Gálvez, representative from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas de Chiapas Human Rights Centre, accused the military of extrajudicially executing Carlos and demanded that the Attorney General’s Office investigate the case fully and also provide the family with security as they have been threatened by the army for demanding justice for Carlos.

Source: Proceso

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Date of Killing:16/05/2018

Previous Threats:No

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation: Pueblos Autónomos en Defensa de los Usos y Costumbres (PADUC)

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

Sector Detail:Indigenous Peoples' Rights, Land Rights

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).