Estelina López Gómez defender of the right to land, and a member of Luz y Fuerza del Pueblo was murdered by paramilitaries on 30 January 2019. 43 year old Estelina, an active member of the social protest movement, was shot twice in the community of Santo Tomás, by an armed member of a paramilitary group.
Estelina was part of the Luz y Fuerza del Pueblo organization, which is one of several organizations mobilized in civil resistance to demand their rights. According to reports received the activist left the community aboard a truck with her husband, and it was when she got off to open a gate that an armed group shot her.
The attack was reported immediately to the authorities but it appears that they did not respond in a timely fashion.
The body of the murdered human rights defender remained on the ground all night on the 23rd and the early morning of the 24th without the relevant official experts being present. For this reason, local people proceeded to remove the body of their murdered companion.
The local community emphasised that this was a paramilitary attack allegedly led by one José Manuel Hernández, aka Chema. The members of Luz y Fuerza del Pueblo said that the background to the murder repeated attempts to force them off their land. The members of the organization reported that immediately after the attack, the people ran to help the murdered activist and her husband. They reported that they had made the reports to the relevant authorities but that neither the authorities of Amatenango, Teopisca or San Cristóbal Las Casas made an appearance. Luz y Fuerza del Pueblo urged the municipal, state and federal authorities to guarantee justice for this murder as well as to protect the physical integrity of the members of the organization.