TL;DR: Facebook and other social media platforms buzzed with graphic video and screenshots, accusations, and cries for help. Activists and cryptocurrency proponents John Galton and Lily Davine, along with Jason Henza, expats living in Acapulco, Mexico were apparent victims of targeted violence. Details are contradictory and murky at the moment, but this has not stopped legacy mainstream media from attempting to characterize the personal tragedy as somehow endemic to Mexico, anarchism, marijuana use, and crypto.
Crypto Enthusiast John Galton Murdered in Acapulco, Mexico
Graphic video on Facebook (above) from well-known cryptocurrency enthusiasts Lily Davine and Jason Henza gave pleas for help and prayer after they were victims of an apparent targeted attack in the mountains of Acapulco, Mexico.
Lily’s partner, John Galton, was murdered in what some are calling a revenge attack while others attribute it to a cartel hit. Lily apparently escaped uninjured, while a companion of the pair, Jason Henza, was shot multiple times and survived. Henza is believed to have left the country. Lily appears to still be Acapulco.
Motives and precise detail of what exactly happened and why are still being determined, and plenty of rumor and anecdotal evidence has been shared online. From nearly all accounts, both John and Lily were considered peaceful people, and lived an unconventional life together while documenting aspects of it online: anarchism, embracing cryptocurrency, meat only diets, etc. What is believed to be their final interview, posted in December of last year, the two talk fondly of Acapulco and Mexico, in detail about crypto, and why they started the gathering, Anarchaforko.
Using the crypto term “fork,” implies a spinoff from the popular annual Anarchapulco conference in Acapulco. “Created by Anarchists for Anarchists,” forko was scheduled to take place in two weeks time, shortly after Anarchapulco was ending. Billed as “decentralized,” the event allowed attendees to create their own experience without a central organizing committee. Workshops, entertainment, whatever participants wanted to do, could be helped along by people familiar with the surroundings and philosophy.
It’s not unusual at all, and is in the very spirit of crypto, to build on the foundations of others, and when participants believe they can do better or different, they fork the project — keep some elements while forging new paths. This year’s event will be the second time Anarchaforko has been tried (February 17, 22-24 at Hotel Copacabana).
Mainstream accounts of the murder focused on what it considers lurid aspects of the anarchist enclave in Acapulco. Media coverage is rife with drug use and crime, how the pair were “on the run” from authorities, and legacy media continually tie the couple to Anarchapulco rather than its forko cousin.
Community Reaction: Grief and Anger
Activist and author Larken Rose, who attended Anarchaforko last year, took to Facebook in an effort to clear misconceptions. “Right now,” he explained, “all indications are that it was a hit by the Mexican drug cartels.” He went on to describe Lily and John as having lived in the area for years, seemingly without incident. Rose was keen to separate forko from the mother event, and referred to forko as “an unrelated alternative/supplement to Anarchapulco.”
Rose also seized on a prime suspect, and how there “was speculation—for good reason—that ‘Paul Propert’ was involved,” describing Propert as “mentally unstable, as I’ve mentioned before, and has openly threatened violence against [John Galton] before, but he now denies any involvement in the killing, and—as obvious a suspect as he is—there seems to be a fair amount of doubt about him being involved at all,” Rose cautioned. He insisted he would be attending Anarchapulco without hesitation this year, scheduled to start on Valentine’s Day.
Anarchapulco founder and organizer Jeff Berwick posted to Facebook as events unfolded on 2 February 2019 to his personal page, but issued the following statement, “To protect Lily I have taken down my posts on what may or may not have happened. Media is sniffing around as are the US and Mexican govt. I will just post some of the latest media reports here and not speculate anywhere on what may or may not have happened.”
CoinSpice reached out to the Anarchapulco team. Berwick and the team made an official announcement, explaining, “All our thoughts right now are with John’s family and that his wife Lily is safe and okay. It is still unclear at this time if Anarchaforko will continue this year but Anarchapulco will, of course, go on as planned.” He further highlighted how “the government’s prohibition of plants and substances cause these problems and if anything it just makes events like Anarchapulco even more important in order to change the world and get rid of the violence and chaos caused by government.”
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