Cruz Soto Caraveo

The activist Cruz Soto Caraveo, a member of the Sierra Tarahumara Forcibly Displaced Families Collective, was found dead on 20 October after having been disappeared on 13 October 2019.

On Saturday 12 October, Cruz left Chihuahua city, where he was living temporarily, and headed to Témoris to meet with federal government staff from the Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development. On Sunday 13, after the meeting ended, the activist and another person headed to the Los Llanos community but, on the way there, they were intercepted by armed men who ordered them to get out of their vehicle, handcuffed them and took them away.

The activist, together with his family and other members of the Monterde community, in the municipality of Guazapares, have been forcibly displaced since 2014 after receiving death threats by members of organized crime groups that control the area and who took control of their land in order to plant marijuana and poppy. Cruz, 53, tried to recover this land that was taken by criminal groups.
In August 2018, Cruz and other displaced persons from El Manzano, a community that has been granted precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, returned to their houses under the protection of the state police. However, the following day, a family member of the activist’s wife was murdered. A note was placed on the victim’s body with a death threat directed at Cruz, who had demanded that the authorities arrest those belonging to the criminal group that operates in that area.
Source: Expancion Politica

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Date of Killing:13/10/2019

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:Colectivo de Familias Desplazadas Forzadamente de la Sierra Tarahumara

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

Sector Detail:Land Rights, Refugees/IDPs/Migrants

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).