Reporting from Mexico City — Human rights organizations launched a series of protest marches Thursday in the border city of Ciudad Juarez to demand justice in the slaying of a prominent activist who had vociferously criticized alleged abuses by the Mexican military.
The activist, Josefina Reyes, was among a group of human rights advocates who for a year have been protesting what they call the militarization of Juarez, Mexico's deadliest city, where more than 2,500 people were killed in 2009. The government of President Felipe Calderon poured thousands of army and federal police troops into Juarez to fight powerful drug gangs, but the killing has only soared.
For Reyes, the crusade was especially personal. She maintained that her son, who disappeared in the summer of 2008, had been kidnapped by troops. He has not been found.
The national Human Rights Commission on Thursday condemned Reyes' slaying as an "inadmissible, frontal assault on all defenders of rights and the law." Amnesty International also said the lives of activists in Ciudad Juarez, some of whom have worked with the rights group investigating the military, are in danger and called for the government to offer better protection.