Santiago Israel Aguirre Arzate

Santiago Israel Aguirre Arzate supervised one of the scrapyards that are located around Ensenada, Baja California in Mexico. Despite being only 31 years old, he spearheaded efforts by local scrapyard workers and owners to eradicate the sale of stolen parts and more general problems related to drug dealing. On his Facebook profile he quoted the phrase “do not swallow what you do not like,” and he seems to have lived according to that rule. A few weeks before the murder, he was arrested for carrying a weapon, allegedly after receiving threats.

Santiago was inside a grocery store when a man entered the place and shot him point blank. The assailant appears to have been masked and was travelling aboard a van in which he escaped along with at least one other person accompanying him.

Santiago had small daughters and many friends. He was very active in his community and sponsored efforts to clean up the local dam, which was contaminated with garbage. When they paid tribute to him, his employees swore they would keep working for progress.

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Department/Province/State:Baja California



Date of Killing:24/01/2018

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Community leader


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

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

More information:Front Line Defenders

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