Tuesday, August 18, 2020

#JusticeForZaraAlvarez: Bacolod-based Human Rights Defender Zara Alvarez Assassinated

Wazzup Pilipinas!

"If helping the poor is a crime & fighting for freedom is rebellion, then I plead guilty as charged." - Zara Alvarez

Zara Alvarez, a Bacolod-based human rights defender, was killed by unknown assailants at around 8 p.m. on August 17, 2020, in Eroreco Subdivision, Mandalagan Village, Bacolod in Negros Occidental.

Zara, 39, was a former political prisoner and continued to work as a paralegal for Karapatan after her release.

Negros activist Zara Alvarez had always been targetted by the military who considered her a terrorist . Yesterday, she was killed by an assassin.

#JusticeForZaraAlvarez is making rounds online.

A paralegal for human rights group Karapatan, Zara Alvarez is the second activist killed in a span of two weeks after Randy Echanis was found dead in a rented house in Quezon City last August 10.

So much happened. Randy Echanis was laid to rest and Zara Alvarez was killed. These are people who fought against injustice & lost their lives to it. But don't let them put a target on your back. Fight.

In a span of two weeks, two human rights and land rights defenders were killed.

Randy Echanis was tortured then killed in his own home. Zara Albarez was gunned down.

Nasaan ang hustisya?

Remember when Cayetano, Dela Rosa, and Roque "ensured" that the draconian Anti-Terror Law would not endanger and threaten our fellow activists and dissenters?

They said we need not be worry about the Anti-Terror Law but this is what’s happening—activists are being hunted and gunned down like stray animals, and no one is being held accountable?

Even if you haven't personally met those who have sacrificed and served the people throughout their lives in the movement, one's loss is deeply felt by many.

Though it doesn’t mean that Duterte or his minions did the killings. Some people will kill their own people to dirt someone else’s. He may have a foul mouth and the others may be timid, but you can’t say who’s who just because of what they show outside.

Maybe not or maybe it is? Targetting solely activists and human rights defenders is a clear pattern done by the elements of the state forces. He may not have done the killing directly but he definitely has his fair share of blood in his hands.

I’m crying, choking, chuckling, writhing, angry, outraged, shocked, and speechless

They are more than a statistic. Their work and passion for Human Rights is known worldwide.

Like Echanis, Alvarez was among the more than 600 individuals the Department of Justice looked to label as terrorists through a petition filed before the Manila Regional Trial Court last February 2018.

Sino ba ang tunay na terorista? ang may hawak ng panawagan o ang may hawak ng baril? you may have killed her, but her voice will continue to echo the streets and the Filipino people will have her back.


#JusticeForZara #StopTheKillings

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