It is with heavy hearts that we report the assassination of Ramiro Rivera yesterday in Cabanas. Though we have few details, he was apparently en route to his rural village, Trinidad, the Canton outside of Ilobasco, Cabañas, when he was gunned down. There are also reports that 2 others were killed and that a 14-year old girl was injured in the attack. While the motive for the killing is unknown, many in the community believe that is leadership role in the anti-mining movement made him a target.
This was not the first attack on Rivera or others in Cabañas. On August 7 a would-be assassin shot Rivera 8 times in the back and legs, but he survived. Earlier in the summer, Marcelo Rivera – also a leader in the anti-mining movement – was disappeared, tortured, and killed. And employees at Radio Victoria, which has provided communities in Cabañas with a platform to speak out against mining and other issues, have also received numerous death threats, including an attack on the station itself.
Despite the attacks and threats, the police and attorney general’s office have yet to conduct a proper investigation, other than to write Marcelo Rivera’s murder off as gang related, a claim his family and friends vociferously argue is false.
We at Voices join our friends at Radio Victoria and others in demanding that the Salvadoran government conduct a thorough investigation of this and all other attacks in Cabañas.