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  HOME | Mexico

Mexicans Arrest Suspect in Murder of Activist’s Son

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – A suspect in the 2011 murder of the son of poet and peace activist Javier Sicilia was arrested in northern Mexico, authorities in Chihuahua state said.

Angel Salvador Taboada Villanueva faces charges in the killing of Juan Francisco Sicilia and six other young men, the state police said in a statement.

“This subject was detained Tuesday night in the city of Chihuahua by elements of the Unified State Police. For the moment, we are only confirming his arrest,” Carlos Gonzalez, spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office, told Efe.

The federal AG’s office had offered a reward of 3 million pesos ($230,770) for information leading to the apprehension of Taboada, identified by prosecutors as a leader of the Pacifico Sur drug cartel.

Juan Francisco Sicilia and the other six men were killed on March 28, 2011, in Temixco, a city in the central state of Morelos.

His son’s murder led Javier Sicilia, a prominent poet and journalist, to found the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, or MPJD.

The group demanded a halt to then-President Felipe Calderon’s strategy based on deploying tens of thousands of army soldiers and federal police on the streets of crime-wracked cities and towns.

The drug war claimed more than 100,000 lives in Mexico during Calderon’s 2006-2012 term.

The MPJD is credited with persuading Mexico’s politicians to enact a law intended to protect the rights of crime victims and their families.

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