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Digna Ochoa photo by Eddie Adams rout Speak Truth to Power ing her law degree, she tried working within the system in the Veracruz state prosecutor’s office, but soon became disillusioned. In Mexico City she headed the Pro’s legal office for six years, but as the Center’s reputation grew, the death threats increased and Digna was the lawyer most often targeted.This was especially true after she began representing two campesino/ecologists from the state of Guerrero whose case would cause an international scandal. In May 1999, the army arrested Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera, who had formed an organization of subsistence farmers and environmentalists to protest the logging of Idahobased Boise Cascade Corp in the Sierra Madre of Guerrero. Montiel was determined to call attention to the logging practices that deforested and burned the land, virtually drying up major rivers and killing fish. The farmers blocked roads, halting the trucks that took logs to the sawmill. Montiel and Cabrera say that after they were arrested they were tortured at an army barracks for five days and then charged with drug trafficking and illegal possession of arms. The National Human Rights Commission later confirmed that the two had been illegally detained, tortured and that the drugs and arms had been planted on them. Along with Montiel and Cabrera, Digna tried to point out the longstanding ties between the various logging companies, including Boise Cascade \(which eventually abandoned the \(called regional authorities and the army. The local boss in the town where Montiel and Cabrera were arrested is the co mpadre an especially close, personal relationshipwith a general in the region. Shortly after taking on the ecologists’ defense, the threats began to accelerate. On August 9, 1999, three men forced her into a car. They stole her purse and briefcase containing her wallet and agenda. At first Digna thought it was another “express kidnapping,” part of the rash of crimes that began to plague Mexico City in the mid-1990s. But then she overheard one of the men asking the other about her identity, trying to verify if “it was really her,” and she knew that something else was going on. In September the Pro received a wave of death threats in the The messages would appear under a flower pot at the Pro office or in the receptionist’s drawer. Whoever was threatening her had the means to enter the office at will and clearly was following Digna at all times. While she was at home recuperating from an accident one day in . early October, someone slipped her voter registration card, which had been stolen in August, under the door. Digna was no longer living at the address listed on the cre dential. But whoever slipped the card under the door, not only knew she was not at work that day, he knew where to find her. Then on October 28, two men forced their way into her apartment. “I went into the patio to turn up the 11/9/01 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15