PBI-Mexico accompanies Cerezo Committee and families in the call to find Edmundo Reyes and Gabriel Cruz

4-minute read.

PBI-Mexico has posted: “Yesterday [April 4], we accompanied the families of Edmundo Reyes and Gabriel Cruz together with the @comitecerezo [Cerezo Committee]. We are also working with the Special Search Commission ruled by the SCJN [Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation] in 2022. #PBIaccompanies #Until We Find Them”

Video: A member of the Cerezo Committee speaks at the rally on April 4 outside the Ministry of the Interior (Segob).

Edmundo Reyes Amaya and Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez

The Cerezo Committee has previously explained: “On May 25, 2007, in the city of Oaxaca, Edmundo Reyes Amaya and Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez, members of the Popular Democratic Revolutionary Party-Popular Revolutionary Army (PDR) were arrested and disappeared by various police and military groups.”

Popular Revolutionary Army

NACLA has noted: “Mexico’s ‘other’ armed movement, the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR), made its first public appearance [on] June 28 [1996], at a memorial service in the state of Guerrero commemorating the massacre of 17 campesinos by state police the year before. Dozens of masked men and women dressed in military uniforms and brandishing high-caliber weapons suddenly appeared at the service in the village of Aguas Blancas. After reading a manifesto in Spanish and Nahuatl in which they described their origins – ‘we come from the sadness of widows and orphans, from the absence created by our disappeared loved ones’ – the armed group called for the overthrow of the ‘unjust and illegitimate’ government. As quickly and mysteriously as they had appeared, they melted back into the mountains.”

The Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR) also formed a political party, the Popular Revolutionary Democratic Party (PDPR).

While founded in Guerrero, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2007: “[The EPR] now appears to be rooted in the adjacent state of Oaxaca, whose social inequities and heavy-handed governing style have fed several militant movements. Oaxaca remains one of the poorest states of Mexico: 68% of its residents live below the government’s poverty line, with monthly income less than $90. And more than one-third of the population is living in ‘extreme poverty’, according to government statistics.”

The first communique from the Popular Revolutionary Army back in 1996 had read: “Individual rights are violated every day, and the people are left out of the economic and political decisions of the country.”

The Cerezo Committee

In September 2007, the Los Angeles Times also reported: “Two of [33-year-old Francisco] Cerezo Contreras’ brothers, Hector, 27, and Antonio, 30, are in prison, [unjustly] convicted of bombing a Mexico City bank building in 2001.”

Photo: Francisco Cerezo.

Photo: Antonio, Hector and their sister Emiliana.

That article adds: “Cerezo Contreras says the charges were fabricated to make his family a ‘scapegoat’ for the EPR’s actions. Cerezo Contreras says he has never met Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sanchez, the EPR leader who is said to be his uncle. EPR communiques say that Cruz disappeared, along with Reyes, in May [2007].”

The newspaper suggests that the parents of the Cerezo brothers, Tiburcio Cruz Sanchez, also known as Francisco Cerezo, and his wife, Emiliana Contreras, are said to be members of the Popular Revolutionary Army.

Supreme Court decision

Proceso has reported: “On May 6, 2019, the Fourth District Court of Amparo in Criminal Matters in Mexico City issued a sentence that recognized ‘the serious violation of human rights’ against Popular Revolutionary Army members ‘by agents of the Mexican State’.” That decision was appealed by the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) and the Secretariat of National Defence (Sedena).

The Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared notes: “On August 10, 2022, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation issued the ruling in favor of the victims, Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya, detained and disappeared on May 25, 2007.”

Special Search Commission (Comisión especial de Búsqueda – CEB)

A Special Search Commission was established on November 3, 2022. A first objective was to develop a comprehensive search plan.


In September 2023, La Jornada reported that relatives of Edmundo and Gabriel went to the Attorney General’s Office (Fiscalía General de la República – FGR) and demanded that the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (Fiscalía General de Justicia – FGJ) comply with the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación – SCJN) and draw up a comprehensive plan that includes the review of all military installations where Edmundo and Gabriel are presumed to have been illegally detained and then deprived of their lives.

The rally on April 4 took place during the 10th meeting of the Special Search Commission (CEB).

On April 5, NVI Noticias reported: “The Committee of Relatives of Detainees Who Disappeared Until They Are Found denounced that the inspection scheduled by the Special Search Commission (CEB) in the City of Oaxaca de Juarez in the case of guerillas Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sanchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya was carried out with delay, lack of coordination and lack of assistance from institutional personnel.”


Francisco and his sister Emiliana Cerezo founded the Comité Cerezo when their brothers Alejandro, Hector and Antonio along with Pablo Alvarado Flores were arrested on August 13, 2001. The brothers and Pablo were accused of putting bombs in three offices of the National Bank of Mexico, Banamex.

Their lawyer Digna Ochoa was murdered on October 19, 2001. Mexico City prosecutors declared her death a suicide. (Almost twenty years later, in April 2021, the Mexican State admitted before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights its “partial responsibility” for her murder).

Photo: Digna Ochoa was 37 years old when she was murdered in October 2001. Then-Toronto Star journalist Linda Diebel, who knew Digna, wrote Betrayed: The Assassination Of Digna Ochoa (published September 2005).

PBI-Mexico began to accompany the Cerezo Committee in 2002.

Alejandro (who was 19 years old when he was arrested in 2001) was exonerated of all chargesand released on February 28, 2005. 

Photo: Alejandro Cerezo.

Pablo completed his sentence on August 13, 2006. Antonio and Héctor were freed on February 16, 2009.

Outside the jail. Antonio yelled to those waiting for him: “Now we will keep fighting to release all the political prisoners in Mexico, and for all the disappeared from the past and the present.”

Photo: PBI-Mexico with the Cerezo Committee, February 27, 2024.

Photo: Former PBI-Canada Board member Paul Bocking along with then-PBI-Mexico advocacy representative Virry Schaafsma (who is now with PBI-Kenya) met with Antonio Cerezo in Mexico City on June 28, 2019.

PBI-Mexico interview with Elga Aguilar Guttierrez and Antonio Cerezo, August 2011.

We continue to follow this.

Published by Brent Patterson on