University Staff, Students Demand Justice for Murdered Professor and His Wife

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University Staff, Students Demand Justice for Murdered Professor and His Wife

What do we do? Autodefensas?
What do we do? Autodefensa...?

 La Jornada: Ubicela Morelos Cruz

Translated by Amanda Moody

Students and employees of the Autonomous University of the State of Morelos (UAEM) - organizers estimated more than 20,000 - marched in the city of Cuernavaca for a second day to demand the investigation and punishment of those guilty of the murder of the director of the School of Social Work, Alexander Chao Barona, and his wife, Sara Robledo Rojas, found dead on Monday at their home, two blocks from the State Attorney General's Office (FGE).

In the main square of the city, the Rector of UAEM, Alejandro Vera Jiménez, called on the representatives of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, as well as the state’s municipal councils, “to hold an open, democratic and participatory dialogue” next Thursday, May 15, at 10 am in the auditorium Emiliano Zapata Salazar, located in the Norte-Chamilpa campus of the University, so that the University, social actors and state politicians might urgently find “ways which lead to the restoration of peace and justice''.

The academic said that this serious social breakdown, which has been dragging on for years, has led to ever-increasing insecurity, violence and impunity. Therefore UAEM should be the organization to convene political and social actors to stop this wave of murders, kidnappings, extortions and assaults which hurts an ever increasing number of families, without any authority doing anything about it. The Rector attributed the increase in direct violence to the structural and cultural violence existing in Morelos and in the country.

Both Vera Jiménez and the psychology professor Enrique Álvarez stressed that it is outrageous that local authorities cannot guarantee security and justice to those they govern; nor is there respect for the right to life and to coexist in peace, with justice and dignity.

Dressed in white and with a black bow on their clothing, as they did on Tuesday, the University staff and students left the University Campus at 10:30am, heading to Cuernavaca’s main square to demand that the Governor and other powers put a stop to this violence and insecurity which is suffered daily.

The first stop was in front of Military Zone 24 headquarters, the second at the State Attorney General's Office (FGE) and the third in front of the state Congress. They finished in the main square. At each site, they expressed their anger and outrage at the murder of the researcher and his wife.

Protesters said they can no longer live like this, with so much violence and insecurity, and criticized  the Governor, Graco Ramírez, the Mayor of Cuernavaca, Jorge Morales Baroud and even President Enrique Peña Nieto, as well as the holders of the Legislative and Judicial powers who are all increasingly incapable and remiss for not fulfilling even their basic functions as referred to in the country and state constitutions.

The Rector and other University leaders, as well as the leader of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, Javier Sicilia, placed stones, flowers and candles at the tribute that is in front of the government palace, for ''not even the stones with which they killed Alexander Chao Barona and his wife are going to silence their voices”. In closing, the Tlayacapan band played Las golondrinas (The Swallows). The meeting finished at 2pm.

Meanwhile, the state government reported that three of Alexander Chao’s former workers were being held as suspects in the murder of the researcher and his wife. It said that it was ''a robbery'', although the Rector of UAEM, Alejandro Vera Jimenez, does not support this hypothesis because, he says, the criminals only took their cell phones.
Meanwhile, the State Human Rights Commission filed a complaint relating to this double homicide. The visitor Perla Bahena said that the Director of Research and Criminal Proceedings of the Metropolitan Regional Attorney’s Office, Ricardo Flores Delgado, informed her that Arturo N (16), Juan Carlos N (18) and Marco Antonio N (22) are detained,d but that those three people were arrested for selling drugs, not for the double murder. Spanish original