Family, Friends of Missing Woman Block Mexico-Cuernavaca Highway

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Relatives and friends of Lesly Martínez Colín, a woman who was reported missing on Sunday, April 30, blocked part of the Mexico City-Cuernavaca Highway on the afternoon of Sunday, May 7, demanding action from authorities.

The 30-year-old Martínez Colín — a mother of two minors — disappeared in Jojutla, a municipality in the Mexican state of Morelos, on April 30, when she left with her ex-boyfriend, 41-year-old Alejandro Alberto Martínez. Nothing has been heard from them since, said Gabriela Colin, Martínez Colín’s mother.

The Morelos State Attorney General’s Office (FGEM) already issued a search for the couple who reportedly left their residence in the Mexico City borough of Álvaro Obregón to spend the weekend in Morelos. However, Martínez Colín’s mother expressed fear that her daughter might have suffered some harm from her ex-boyfriend, who allegedly has a history of violence toward her.

At around 4:20 p.m. on Sunday, about 70 people blocked a part of the Mexico City-Cuernavaca Highway for an hour, causing chaos, mainly in the Insurgentes and Viaducto Tlalpan area toward Cuernavaca.

During the protest, a brawl broke out between Martínez Colín’s supporters and elements of the Secretariat of Public Security (SSP). Also, according to a Monday, May 8, report from Mexican daily newspaper Reforma, aside from family and friends of the missing woman, members of the peasant group XXI Century Peasant Movement also staged their own rally and likewise joined in the blockade.

According to the same Reforma report, criminal gangs took advantage of Sunday’s blockade to rob and assault motorists, with some victims attributing the crimes to the peasant group, whose members vehemently denied the accusations.

Official sources confirmed to Reforma that 22 complaints for violent assaults were filed with Morelos authorities Sunday.

Meanwhile, the same peasant group took their protest from the Mexico City-Cuernavaca Highway on Sunday to the National Palace in Mexico City on the morning of Monday. At approximately 4 a.m. on Monday, a caravan of the XXI Century Peasant Movement arrived at downtown Mexico City’s Zócalo main square, and protesters made their way to the nearby National Palace.

The group demanded that the Mexican federal government pay compensation for the construction of the Siglo XXI Highway in Morelos, which was inaugurated by former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in November 2018.

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