Mario Castro, a 66 years old farmer and leader of the peasant’s organization “Liga ng Manggagawang Bukid – Nueva Ecija (LMB – NE)”, and his wife, Catalina Castro, were assassinated in their house on the evening of July 20, 2017.
On the evening of the incident, Mario Castro was at his residence, in Sitio Ballestros, Brgy. Paco Roman, Rizal, Nueva Ecija in the Philippines, after returning from a meeting of peasant leaders. Around 8:30 p.m., two men wearing hoods and driving a motorcycle arrived at his place and called for him.
As soon as his wife, Catalina, answered the door, the two men started shooting. They fled immediately after killing the couple.
Mario and Catalina are survived by his seven children, two of them were at the house at the moment of the attack.
Even though there is no information about previous threats, the UN Special Rapporteur for extrajudicial killings was informed that Mario Castro suspected his life was in danger.
During President Duterte’s government the violence and persecution against human rights defenders has reached alarming levels and the situation is even worse because of the institutionalized impunity and constant threats to those who try to investigate the cases.