SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: June 12, 2023

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Benemérita Autonomous University of Puebla

Region & Country:Americas | Mexico

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 12, 2023, a group of unidentified individuals attacked Cuauhtémoc Márquez, a beekeeper and researcher at the Benemérita Autonomous University of Puebla (BUAP), in his home. Márquez later died at the hospital.

Prior to his murder, Márquez was working on preserving natural resources in the Tlalmanalco region, primarily around the Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl volcanes. The attack on Márquez occurred the night before an attack on another environmentalist, Álvaro Arvizu Aguiñiga (see report), who worked in the same area. The two attacks may have been connected, according to a statement made by the Zeferino Ladrillero Human Rights Center.

Scholars at Risk is gravely concerned about the targeted killing of a researcher and sends condolences to Mr. Márquez’s family, colleagues, and community. Authorities should take reasonable steps to prevent and respond to such attacks, including by investigating and holding perpetrators responsible, in accordance with international human rights standards. In addition to the harm to the victims, lethal violence of a university researcher undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.

*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)