The National Indigenous Council and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation condemned the assassinations of two Indigenous Raramuri activists that occurred in January.
Juan Ontiveros Ramos and Isidro Baldenegro, who won the Goldman Prize in 2005, were killed on Jan. 31 and 15 respectively, in the towns of Guadalupe and Chihuahua.
“We urgently denounce this new atrocity against comrades committed in their people's struggle for the recovery of their ancestral lands, as they have been taken over more than 40 years ago by big land owners, cattle breeders and organized criminal groups,” the organizations said in a joint statement.
In October 2015, Ontiveros testified to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights about the situation of the Indigenous communities of the Sierra Tarahumara. On Feb. 4, the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights ordered the Mexican federal state to implement measures guaranteeing the security of the community.
“Comrades, men and women, you are not alone! We accompany you in your pain, we open our hearts to the tireless struggle that you are fighting against the organized crime and big landowners supported by the ill governments," the statement added.
About 800 Indigenous people are living on the territory of the Sierra Tarahumara, fighting for the property rights on their lands in Mexican courts since 2009.