Groups slam killing of human rights activist in Bacolod City

Progressive groups strongly condemned the killing of human rights activist Zara Alvarez on Monday night in Bacolod City.

Alvarez, 39, was shot dead by an unidentified gunman at 8 p.m. while she was on her way home in Eroreco village, Bacolod City.

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Gabriela, and Karapatan Alliance Philippines all issued statements denouncing the incident.

KMP chair Danilo Ramos said the killing of Alvarez came just as they were still mourning the death of slain peasant leader and peace consultant Randy Echanis.

”Just a few hours after Ka Randy's remains have been laid to rest, another activist's life is snatched,” he said.

Alvarez was among the red-tagged activists in Negros Island. In 2018, her name and photos appeared in posters on the streets of Negros, the farmers’ group said.

She worked as Karapatan’s paralegal and research and advocacy officer of the Negros Island Health Integrated Program. She was also part of Bayan Negros.

Karapatan said Alvarez was the 13th human rights worker killed during the Duterte administration.

The human rights watchdog asked the public to light candles in their homes and offices on Tuesday afternoon as an expression of indignation over the killing of Alvarez.

“We also call on friends and colleagues to join the global day of action for justice for Alvarez, Randall Echanis, and all victims of extrajudicial killings on August 19, 2020,” it said.

The groups condoled with the family left behind by Alvarez and demanded justice for the slain activist.