Who is Samir?

Freedom is like the morning.

There are those who wait for it asleep,

and there are others that stay awake

and walk through the night to reach it.”

Subcomandante Marcos,

(La revuelta de la memoria (1999), p. 165, Centro de Información y Análisis de Chiapas.)

SAMIR FLORES is a father of four, husband of Liliana Velásquez and a vocal advocate for Indigenous rights and land protection, a member of the FDPTA and the Indigenous Governance Council (CIG), a Zapatista-affiliated organization.

In February 2019, journalist and environmental activist Samir Flores was shot twice in the head at his home in Amilcingo, an indigenous village in Morelos, Mexico.

His murderers still go unidentified.

In a public forum the day before his assassination, Samir asked a delegate of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration to define and answer whose progress the nearby thermoelectric plant and proposed gas pipeline promoted; the construction of which was plotted to cross ejido (collective) land.

Samir was one of the 15 activists murdered in Mexico in 2019.

Samir dedicated his life to opposing state and corporate modernizing projects because of the injury they cause to indigenous people. The producer of a community radio program, Samir has amplified those who oppose the destruction of peasant life.

Those continuing Samir’s work, which includes the Ejército Zapatista Liberación Nacional, make a defiant insistence on sustaining, rather than destroying, life.

In their October 2020 communiqué, the Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation stated:

“We make a special invitation to the communities who hold up the name, image, and blood of our brother Samir Flores Soberanes, so that their pain, rage, struggle, and resistance travels far (...) and help us spread the idea that in the sciences and the arts lie not only the possibility of the survival of humanity, but that of the birth of a new world.”