Activist Searching for Missing Husband Is Found Murdered in Mexico

Gladys Aranza Ramos Gurrola and her husband, Brayan Omar Celaya Alvarado
Gladys Aranza Ramos Gurrola and her husband, Brayan Omar Celaya Alvarado.Facebook

Gladys Aranza Ramos Gurrola had been searching for her husband for months. He was one of "the disappeared" in cartel violence sweeping Mexico.

A human rights activist searching for her missing husband has been killed in northern Mexico, the latest victim in a wave of cartel violence sweeping the country.

Gladys Aranza Ramos Gurrola, who belonged to the Mothers and Searching Warriors of Sonora, was shot to death by people who came to her home about midnight last Thursday, authorities said. "Justice will be done," the state prosecutor’s office vowed in a statement.

The woman had been searching for her husband, Brayan Omar Celaya Alvarado, who vanished seven months ago. The couple had a 1-year-old child.

In her last social media post, the woman begged for information about her husband. 

“Please, if you know where he is, let me know, I just want to be able to have a little peace. It’s been seven months and eight days without hearing from him, and I don’t think I can continue anymore,” she said. 

The search group to which she belonged posted an anguished tribute to Ramos Gurrola.

“A great person whose only sin was to love her husband with all her soul, whom she has tirelessly searched for since he disappeared. Why kill her? What crime did she commit? She was not looking for the culprits or for justice; she was just looking for peace and to find a dignified place for the love of her life, the father of her daughter," the collective wrote.

Last week, the government said 68 human rights have been killed since 2018, when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office.

The country has long struggled with kidnappings and murders in its battle with violent drug cartels, which control wide swaths of Mexico. More than 87,800 people have gone missing since 2006, when then-President Felipe Calderón sent federal troops to help fight the cartels and vowed to crack down on them. 

Relatives of "the disappeared" often conduct their own searches and have discovered many mass graves that are then excavated by authorities. 

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