The forgotten grave of Nadia Vera, Yesenia Quiroz, Nicole, Alejandra, Ruben Espinosa

On Friday, July 31, five people, four women and one man, were tortured and murdered, in the Narvarte neighborhood of Mexico City. The women were raped and tortured and then shot. The women are Yesenia Quiroz Alfaro, a student from Michoacan; Nicole, a Colombian activist; Alejandra, a domestic worker; and Nadia Vera, a human rights activist. The man was Ruben Espinosa, a photojournalist for Proceso, a leading news magazine. Both Espinosa and Vera were public in their investigations and critiques of the powerful in Veracruz, which is one reason they had both fled that state for the presumed safety of the Federal District. Because of the sexual violence and torture against the four women, the State may pursue a case of femicide.

Nadia Vera was a leading member of the Xalapa, Veracruz, section of the #YoSoy132 student and youth movement. She was a social anthropologist. A year ago, after having been beaten by the police and after receiving anonymous death threats, Nadia Vera left Veracruz. In Mexico City, she worked as a cultural promoter in a cultural center and was, by many accounts, “happy for the first time in a long time.” At the same time, she continued her social justice work. When Ruben Espinosa fled Xalapa, he went to stay with his friend and comrade, Nadia Vera.

Nadia Vera was happy, but she also knew that the State was responsible for the violence and death in Veracruz and would crush those who called it out. Eight months ago, she gave an interview with Rompeviento Televisión, which concluded with this statement, “I hold Javier Duarte, the governor of the state of Veracruz, and his entire Cabinet responsible for anything that happens to me and my family … I want to be absolutely clear that it is the responsibility of the State, not of the security forces, because it is the State that is directly responsible for sending them to repress us.”

It is the State that raped and butchered four women in Narvarte last Friday, and everyone knows that. As Vera said earlier in the same interview, “How many journalists have been assassinated, and absolutely nothing has been done? How many students? How many activists? How many human rights defenders have been assassinated or disappeared? We have an impressively high level of disappearances.” Nadia Vera went on to explain that in Xalapa, and in Veracruz generally, the State and the narcotraffickers worked hand in glove, and that journalists, students, activists, human rights defenders were trying to survive and thrive somewhere in the spaces between the State hand and the narco glove.

That interview was titled, “Veracruz: la fosa olvidada”. Veracruz: the forgotten grave. Five more people are being laid into that forgotten grave, four women, one man. I want to be absolutely clear that it is the responsibility of the State.

 

(Video Credits: Vimeo / Rompimiento Televisión)

About Dan Moshenberg

Dan Moshenberg is an organizer educator who has worked with various social movements in the United States and South Africa. Find him on Twitter at @danwibg.