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Eight hundred families of people affected by the Picachos Dam have been mourning the death of the leader of the resistance since he was murdered at point blank range while working at a local radio station on Saturday, October 11. Atilano Roman Tirado was a leader of the Mexican Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAPDER). He participated in the International Meeting of People Affected by Dams in 2010, which took place in Guadalajara State.
"They have not only caused one family to mourn, but 800 families", said María José Osuna, member of the movement of people affected by the Picachos Dam with reference to Atilano Roman´s murder. "Our leader is no longer with us; he always worked to make the people advance, he gave hope to the people", highlighted María José in an interview with Real World Radio´s collaborator and member of Hijxs de la Tierra, Monica Montalvo.
On the morning of October 11, community member Atila Roman was at a radio show called "Asi es mi tierra" in the facilities of El Sol de Mazatlan newspaper, when two gunmen entered the building and shot at him several times.
His wife and daughter and several radio workers were present at the time, and some members of the audience said they heard the gunshots. There was no security at the radio, so the two hitmen could walk in and out with total impunity. Atilano died half an hour later in Sharp Hospital.
In the past few months, the community members have been demanding the granting of permits for fishing at the dam reservoir, arguing that permits were being given to people who were not affected by this project promoted by the National Water Commission (Conagua) in 2009.
Atilano, 47, had been criminalized for his participation in the movement, which demands fair compensation for all the families displaced by the dam.
On Sunday, residents from the six towns flooded by the dam, who have now become fisherfolk communities, walked next to the activist´s coffin through the streets of the touristic area with banners with different messages.
In a press release issued Saturday, MAPDER expressed solidarity with the family of Atilano Roman and the people affected by the Picachos Dam, who lost the spokesman of their claims.
They are requesting an immediate response from Mexican federal and Sinaloa authorities aiming to bring those responsible for this atrocious crime to justice. It is not the first time that these projects, these death megaprojects imposed with violence by the Federal Electricity Commission, CONAGUA and the government, cause poverty, militarization, forced displacement and even murders, says the Movement.
Below, you´ll find some images of the expressions of outrage and the demands for justice by Atilano´s colleagues. Photos by Irene Sanchez.
Imagen: La Jornada
Amigos de la Tierra Internacional (ATI) ya tiene una delegación en Ginebra, Suiza, para dar muestras a una nueva sesión regular del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de Naciones Unidas (ONU), que va del 6 al 23 de junio, del respaldo popular a las negociaciones del tratado vinculante sobre transnacionales y derechos humanos, que se negocia en ese marco multilateral.
Esta edición de nuestro programa semanal abre con la flamante coordinadora general del COPINH, Berta Zúñiga Cáceres, con quien profundizamos en las luchas de ese movimiento indígena, el caso legal por el asesinato de su madre, Berta, y las principales preocupaciones.
La presión en el marco de Naciones Unidas (ONU) a favor de los principios rectores sobre empresas y derechos humanos es muy grande, reconoció la presidenta de Amigos de la Tierra Internacional (ATI), Karin Nansen. Pero esos principios no funcionan en los hechos y nunca lo harán, aseguró, por su carácter voluntario, que no obliga a las corporaciones a respetarlos.
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