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  • A man displays a sign, which reads

    A man displays a sign, which reads 'Samir didn't die, the government killed him,' during a protest to demand justice for the Mexican activist. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 February 2019

The protesters carried banners which demand the cancellation of the thermoelectric plant and pipeline projects Proyecto Integral Morelos (PIM).

Thousands of people participated in a march to denounce the assassination of activist Samir Flores, member of The People's Front in Defense of Land and Water (FPDTA) for the states of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala and a strong opponent of the Huexca thermoelectric plants, in the state of Morelos.

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The protesters carried banners which demand the cancellation of the thermoelectric plant and pipeline projects Proyecto Integral Morelos (PIM), in addition to calling for justice for their murdered comrade, Flores. Family, friends and comrades of Flores also expressed displeasure for a popular consultation related to the projects.

"It is better to die standing than to live on your knees," one sign read, an ode to General Emiliano Zapata. 

Demonstrators made their way to the historic center of Cuautla, where they read a manifesto which assured that, in the midst of a "climate of violence, terror and social pressure, a dialogue cannot be carried out if, from the beginning, it has been intended to be used as an instrument of imposition and coup de grâce to the communities affected by the PIM."

The protesters reiterated the call to boycott the consultation, because "there can be no dialogue without justice for Samir," and "as long as the devastating effects that this project will have on our  communities are not addressed."

The marchers said, in the case the population is called to participate in an election, to vote "no" to the project. 

A demonstration took place in Cuernavaca, where members of the Gustavo Salgado Civic Association and the Pact for Food and Energy Sovereignty marched from the Iglesia del Calvario to the capital's main square, also demanding justice for Flores.

For the consultation, 147 polling stations will be installed in Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala. In Morelos, ballots from 36 municipalities will be counted at voting centers, 15 will be installed in Puebla, and nine in Tlaxcala. 

There will be no polling stations in Huexca, where the thermoelectric dam would be built, or in Amilcingo, the community where Samir Flores Soberanes lived and was killed. 

The stations will be opened from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and up until now, it has not been made known the logistics for computing the votes, nor the criteria for which localities are chosen for polling stations. 


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