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Mexican Human Rights Lawyer Assassinated

Digna Ochoa y Placido, a leading human rights lawyer in Mexico, was shot dead in her office on Friday. Reports indicate that she was shot at close range in both the head and the leg. A note threatening the Miguel Augustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center where Ochoa worked was also found. Ochoa was best known for her work defending two ecologists allegedly tortured by the Mexican military for holding political protests. Ochoa had received numerous death threats throughout her career, and in 1999, she was kidnapped and beaten. Shortly after, Ochoa was tortured in her own home. Authorities believe that the attacks, including her assassination, were politically motivated, but no arrests have been made in any of the cases. Both Amnesty International and the American Bar Association have honored Ochoa with awards for her work.

Sources:

New York Times, 10/22/01; Washington Post, 10/21/01; Amnesty International