Four years ago, on July 31, 2015, Nadia Vera Pérez, Yesenia Quiroz Alfaro, Mile Virginia Martin, Alejandra Negrete Avilés, and Rubén Espinosa Becerril were murdered in a Mexico City apartment. Nadia, a social justice activist and human rights defender, and Rubén, a photojournalist, had both fled Veracruz after receiving death threats for their work. Before her murder, Nadia stated that if anything should happen to her, it would be Javier Duarte who was responsible. Duarte was then governor of Veracruz, renowned for his corruption and human rights abuses, including the deaths of 17 journalists during his rule. The state’s investigation into the murders has been condemned as full of irregularities. Nadia’s mother, Mirtha Luz Pérez Robledo, wrote the following two pieces on the fourth anniversary of her daughter’s murder. Translated by Scott Campbell, the original texts in Spanish can be found here and here.
In my name and on behalf of my family, I send my deepest thanks to all those who have supported us with your kindness and solidarity from every corner of the world, through your messages, your political protests, your artistic protests.
Because without you, without your solidarity, without your art, without your protest, without your demand for justice, this tragedy that has touched us would have passed unnoticed, like so many others in this country.
At four years without justice, we are not the same, and we need to continue supporting ourselves with your kindness. For those of you who have embraced us, we embrace you now, after four years of our Nadia Dominique Vera Pérez’s absence, because thanks to you, her voice and protest continue to be heard.
To those who murder, to those who order the murders, to those who violate due process, we say: There are dead who will never be silenced.
Mirtha Luz Pérez Robledo