Noel Castillo Aguilar, member of the Indigenous Rights Defense Committee (Codedi), was murdered Thursday afternoon in Santiago Astata, Oaxaca, southern Mexico.
The 44-year-old activist was involved in the local chapter of Codedi, an organization with presence across the state of Oaxaca, and the defense of the community’s beaches, rivers and overall territory.
“This is clearly a political crime,” said the Codedi in a public statement.
This is the third attack against Codedi in 2018. In February an armed group shot at the van in which members of the organization were traveling, killing three of them including two minors. The cofounder of the organization, Abraham Ramirez Vasquez, was injured during the assault. The group was returning to their community after a meeting with the state government.
And in July, the regional coordinator Abraham Hernandez Gonzalez was kidnapped and found dead shortly after near the coast.
Castillo was shot dead by unknown people as he was going home. It’s unknown if he had received previous threats.
This is the second attack directed at the local Codedi chapter, after one of its representatives was killed in 2017.
The organization demanded Oaxaca’s prosecuting office to listen to them, seek justice and find the people responsible, denouncing the lack of proper investigation.
“The only people responsible for this and all murders, attacks and violence that we’ve been subjected to is the state of Oaxaca’s government, headed by Alejandro Murat Hinojosa, because of its collusion by hindering investigations and fostering attacks against us through the powerful impunity system,” declared Codedi.
Codedi called for other organizations, collectives and individuals to demand justice and an end to violence against the organized people of Oaxaca’s southern highlands, as well as those of the world.