Relatives of murdered Mexican environmentalist ask to investigate the Canadian embassy in Mexico for crimes


Last Monday, relatives of murdered Mexican environmental activist Mariano Abarca, social organizations of Mexico and Canada and the entity Mining Watch Canada presented themselves before the Canadian justice system

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The reason for the presence before the Federal Court was to request that the decision of the Commissioner for Public Sector Integrity (PSIC) be reviewed and annulled, not to investigate the role played by the Canadian embassy in the situation that led to the murder of Abarca.

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The social militant was shot dead in front of a commercial store belonging to his family, after an arduous struggle, together with social organizations and neighbors, to oppose a mining project, which the Canadian firm Blackfire Exploration was carrying out in the town of Chicomuselo, Chiapas.

José Luis Abarca, Mariano’s son, was at the court hearing in Ottawa. Photo: Susan Murdock / MiningWatch Canada.

The initiative involved the exploitation of an open-pit mining project, which the local community denounced that would aggravate the environmental situation in an area where there was already deforestation, diseases that affected the animals and where the waters of rivers and streamsare used by the communities to survive.

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A few days after the crime that took the life of Abarca, the Secretariat of the Environment of Chiapas decided to temporarily close the mine.

The complainants maintain that the embassy in Mexico did not help prevent an avoidable death. Photo: Susan Murdock / Mining Watch Canada.

In relation to the case, the Canadian attorney general maintains that instructions to embassiesabout conflicts with local communities abroad are not part of official government policies .

The argument becomes a major obstacle for all claims by those who feel damaged by the actions of the firms, since such instructions would not be mandatory. These would be mere “recommendations” and, as such, their execution remains at the free will of the Canadian public servants abroad.

Listen to the interview of José Luis Abarca with Luis Laborda:I listened

These rules include the Code of Ethics and Values that the Commissioner has, who is responsible for supervising the performance of public sector workers.

The authorities of the Canadian embassy in Mexico are accused of having disregarded Abarca’s repeated requests to intervene in defense of his physical integrity , given the wave of threats that he and those who participated in the protests against the mine received daily.

In Chicomuselo they are still waiting for justice for Mariano Abarca. AP Photo / Eduardo Verdugo.

Not only the environmentalist, but other people held, and continue to say the same thing in the day, that those who threatened them and carried out acts of intimidation were employees of Blackfire .

The investigation into the case never advanced .

In September of this year marks the tenth anniversary of the murder of Mariano Abarca, his family, former colleagues, social organizations and entities both in Mexico and Canada are still asking for justice.


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