GRISELDA TIRADO EVANGELIO – Lawyer, Indigenous Rights Activist
TERESA TIRADO EVANGELIO – Sister of Griselda Tirado Evangelio
BEATRIZ EVANGELIO – Mother of Griselda and Teresa Tirado Evangelio
Griselda Tirado Evangelio human rights lawyer, founder of Centro de Estudios Superiores Indegenas, member of Oganización Independiente Totonaca (OIT) and aspiring candidate in the election of the indigenous municipal government was assassinated August 6 2003 in her family’s home. 36 year old Ms Tirado was shot with a 12 gauge shot gun in the early morning as she prepared to leave for work by assailant who apparently fled on foot. Although her relatives promptly reported the murder to local officials, Amnesty reports (AI Index: AMR 41/035/2003) that the Ministerio Públcio failed to investigate the crime scene with appropriate speed. Ms Tirado is survived by a 10-year old daughter. On August 11 2003 4 or 5 unidentified people attempted to break into the Tirado family home causing the mother and siblings of Ms Tirado to further fear for their safety. The OIT is an organization that has been defending the rights, including land rights, of indigenous people in Mexico since 1989. OIT’s work has resulted in the formation of community assemblies and a proposed bill for indigenous rights in Puebla State. People involved in defending indigenous rights in Mexico have been the target of threats and attacks. In April 2003 Mateo Cipriano, farmer and OIT member disappeared and days later he was found dead from blows to the head.
While the motive for Ms Tirado’s murder is no known, her membership in OIT and her candidacy in the indigenous municipal election put her in conflict with powerful interests opposed to the demands of indigenous people.
Letter written Mexico August 15 2003 by Jenna Virk Letter written October 29 2003 by Jenna Virk Letter written Mexico December 10 2003 by Jenna Virk.
LRWC received replies from the Lic.Héctor Enrique Reyes Pacheco, Special Secretary to the Governor for the State of Puebla dated September 10 2003 and from Héctor Maldonado Villagómes, Attorney General of Justice for the State of Puebla dated November 24 2003. Lic.Héctor Enrique Reyes Pacheco, advised that the Governor had responded to Ms Tirado’s murder by instructing the Secretary of the Interior and the Attorney General of Puebla to conduct an investigation and to this end had appointed a Special Prosecutor to conduct the investigation. He also confirmed the Governor’s commitment to protect the Tirado family members. Later correspondence from the office of Héctor Maldonado Villagómes, Attorney General of Justice for the State of Puebla indicates that the investigation into Ms Tirado’s murder has proceeded in two stages. The first stage of the investigation concluded that Ms Tirado was shot at approximately 4:30 am August 6 2003 outside her family home, was moved inside her home while still alive and died of hypovolemic shock. Special Prosecutor José Luis Montano de la Rosa was then appointed August 14 2003 to head second state of the investigation. Héctor Maldonado Villagómes wrote that since that time investigators have collected 128 statements from 112 people and have received 16 expert reports and 103 documents. The Attorney General offices of the state of Veracruz and Guanajuato are reported to have collaborated. No reply has been received to LRWC’s subsequent query as to progress in identifying suspects.