Sandra Luz Hernandez

Sandra Luz Hernandez, mother of a disappeared young boy, was shot to death on Monday, May 12, 2014. She went to meet a person who called her to supposedly give information on the whereabouts of her missing son.

She was an active member of Madres con Hijos Desaparecidos, a small organisation based in Culiacan which aims to fight against impunity for the disappearance of children in Mexico. Sandra Luz had conducted her own investigation of the disappearance of her son, Edgar García Hernández, in 2012 because the police were not delivering results. According to this organisation, young boys abductions are perpetrated by drug cartels and despite there being witnesses and evidence, justice institutions choose not to pursue investigations. As the most outspoken member of the organisation, she continuously spoke about the lack of efforts from the justice institutions and the links between them and drug cartels.

A few days after her murder, police authorities caught Jesús Fernando Valenzuela, a man who confessed to the murder of Sandra Luz. He explained that for some time she had been pressuring him to tell her what he knew about her son’s abduction and desperate, he plotted her murder and killed her. He explained to the police where he hid the weapon, as well as the clothing and car he used during the murder. This information coincided with witnesses’ statements. However, a few weeks later, he was exonerated and set free on the grounds of “not having enough evidence to convict him”. After that, police investigation remained open, but led nowhere.

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Date of Killing:12/05/2014

Previous Threats:No information

Type of Work:NGO member

Organisation:Madres con Hijos Desaparecidos

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:Civil and Political Rights

Sector Detail:Abuse of power/corruption, Freedom of Expression, Impunity/Justice

More information:Front Line Defenders

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