US

American Anarchist, Marijuana Activist Slain in Acapulco

By Kimberly Hayek

An American anarchist who went by the name John Galton was shot dead at his home in the Mexican resort of Acapulco after at least six armed individuals stormed the residence and opened fire on Galton and two more Americans while they were eating, Mexico’s police told the local media.

A woman describing herself as Galton’s partner, Lily Forester, said via social media that she saw the gunmen go straight for Galton and his friend Jason Henza, 43. Henza made it to a private hospital, Del Prado, with bullet wounds in an armpit, leg, and hand. The hospital said he checked out that same day.

Forester and Henza both posted videos to Facebook immediately after the shooting. Forester screamed: “I really need help! Somebody please come.” In his post, a bearded Henza said in a blood-smattered T-Shirt: “We were attacked. I’ve been shot three times. I’m not doing so good.”

At 3:37 p.m. local time, Forester wrote on her Facebook profile: “John is dead, I do not know what to do.”

Then, at 5:14 p.m., she asked for help: “For those interested in helping after the death of my love, send bitcoin to this address or contact me.”

At 5:25 p.m., she wrote: “Feel free to harass Shepard, a spy for killing my husband.”

At 6:44 p.m., she said: “Thank you John Galton for teaching me how to love, how to stand up for myself and what is worth dying for.”

The last message was at 11:45 p.m. when Forester wrote: “Owww my [expletive] head good pain owww.”

Her Facebook profile has since been deactivated.

The cold-blooded daytime murder sent shivers through the tightknit “anti-state” community of expatriates that organizes events in the violence-torn city with seminars on topics such as how to make money via cryptocurrencies.

According to the anarchist community, Galton was dealing drugs in one of the most dangerous communities in Acapulco. Mexican police found equipment to process drugs, glass pipes, synthetic narcotics, and marijuana plants at Galton’s home after the shooting, according to a report by state police, Mexican media reported.

Guerrero State Police said in a Facebook post that Galton was a proponent for the international decriminalization of marijuana.

Police said Forester and Henza did not know the reason for the attack.

“I was afraid that they would come close to finish us, fortunately it was not like that,” Henza, named in the police report as Thason Heinzan, said, according to police.

Police also wrote in the post that according to American Michel Alexander, who was also attacked in the shooting, that the armed group tried to kidnap them, and shots were fired after a struggle between the parties.

Prior to the shooting, Galton and Forester hosted weekly “Meat Ups” at a local restaurant where self-professed carnivores dined only on meat. They were also busy recruiting speakers for an anarchist conference set to take place in Acapulco later in February. The dreadlocked couple, both in their 20s, posted a video to Facebook two months ago calling for attendees at the conference.

Forester did not respond to request for comment via social media on Saturday. Henza declined to comment.

A U.S. Department of State official said the Bureau of Consular Affairs was aware of an investigation into the death of a U.S. citizen in Acapulco but that it couldn’t provide additional information due to privacy considerations, according to The Associated Press.

John Galton is a pseudonym, a nod to John Galt, the fictional character who defies convention in Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged.” John Galt is idolized among some anarchist groups who resent state overreach.

In a separate video posted to a YouTube channel called Press For Truth, Galton and Forester described how, in early 2016, they fled drug charges in the United States. Galton said they each faced up to 25 years in prison for manufacture of a controlled substance—specifically, condensing marijuana into powerful extracts that Lily used for chronic pain.

No U.S. federal court records for drug charges are filed under the name John Galton.

In a second video by Press For Truth posted a year later, the couple detailed how they were getting by financially through selling glass drug pipes that Lily blew into shape. When asked about the high crime rates in Acapulco, the blue-eyed anarchist with scruffy facial hair said: “I’d say it’s safer than any big city I’ve lived in in the U.S., like way safer than Chicago or something like that.”

The state of Guerrero state, which is home to Acapulco, has a murder rate of 64.2 per 100,000 residents. That is two times higher than in Chicago. Acapulco has become a hotbed for violence between drug gangs.

“There’s pockets of freedom all over the world,” John said in the video. “There’s so much that’s more free about where we live here.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.