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Joaquín César Mora Salazar

HRD, "El Morita"

Joaquín César Mora Salazar "El Morita" was a human rights defender priest who for more than 23 years was dedicated to the accompaniment of indigenous communities and worked for the rights of indigenous peoples and the most needy people in the Sierra Tarahumara.On 20 June 2022, he was assassinated together with human rights defender Javier Campos Morales "El Gallo" by armed men inside the church of Cerocahui, Chihuahua. At the time of his murder he was the Vicar Cooperator in Cerocahui, Chihuahua.

Human rights defenders (HRDs) and journalists in Mexico are subject to intimidation, legal harassment, arbitrary detention, death threats, acts of physical aggression, enforced disappearances and killings as a result of their activities in defence of human rights and the exercise of freedom of expression and journalism.

Disappearances are endemic in Mexico, often happening with collusion from the state. HRDs working on the issue face serious risk, up to and including death. HRDs working in the defence of territory, particularly indigenous territory, face a similar level of risk. They are criminalised, imprisoned, defamed, and often killed. Journalists working on any of these issues, or issues related to the drugs trade and the government's complicity in this, also run the risk of losing their lives.