When José Enrique González Rosas, a businessman and member of the local government, was assassinated in the Mexican resort city of Playa del Carmen on April 8, 2018, it was almost immediately assumed that he was one of the many victims of the ongoing conflicts between organized crime cartels and Mexican authorities. Later that same year, a pair of ceiba trees (also known locally as yaxché) were planted in his honor, under the name of Trees of Peace.
The first of them was planted outside the city’s Sayab Planetarium, with the one at Plazuela de la Paz (Little Plaza of Peace) following shortly after on May 12. In this plazuela, or “small plaza” (basically a roundabout), a dedication plaque explains that the ceiba was planted in González’s memory, and includes a quote attributed to him: “El Mal Nunca Vencerá al Bien - Evil Will Never Defeat Good.”
While the motives behind his assassination and any definite connections between him and any cartel have yet to be firmly established, it seems like González’s memory is being used as a symbol in the search for peace in the face of a complicated history of criminality across the country, affecting even major tourist sites such as Playa del Carmen.