A woman who joined with other activists to seek relatives who have disappeared in Mexico’s wave of violence has been murdered in the northern border state of Sonora.
The state prosecutor’s office vowed that “justice will be done” in the case of Gladys Aranza Ramos Gurrola, a member of the Mothers and Searching Warriors of Sonora. She was shot to death by people who came to her house near midnight Thursday in the municipality of Guaymas.
The 28-year-old woman has been searching for her husband, who disappeared in December 2020.
The activist group said in a statement that Ramos Gurrola was taken from her home and killed following a day of searching that turned up “several clandestine crematoria, some still with embers and smoke at the moment of discovery.”
It describe the site as “a place of active extermination.”
“We are indignant and in pain that we who are searching are at risk of being killed,” the group said.
The prosecutor’s office described Ramos Gurrola as “always brave, active, enthusiastic and showing solidarity” in the group’s searches. It said it is investigating whether her activities could have played a role in the shooting.
The federal government said on Monday that 68 human rights or environmental activists have been killed since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office in December 2018. She would be the 69th.
Mexico has reported more than 87,800 missing people since 2006, when then-President Felipe Calderón expanded the country’s battle against drug cartels.
For years, groups of relatives of the disappeared have joined together to make their own searches for the missing, sometimes finding mass graves that authorities then have excavated.