Environmental activists are at risk in Mexico

In recent years, criminals have besieged activists and journalists in Mexico

Environmental activists are at risk in Mexico
Homero Gómez González, who protected butterflies and the environment, was recently murdered in Michoacán, Mexico - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 20/02/2020 11:18 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 11:29
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Women and men who have dedicated their lives to protect the environment and raise their voices and fight against projects that threaten the environment or crimes such as illegal logging and fuel theft, crimes that endanger the environment, are at risk in Mexico. Opposing large projects or actions that endanger nature and the environment or fighting for social causes resulted in the death of 32 Mexican activists in 2019; the majority were murdered in the center and southern region of the country, as well as in the northern state of Chihuahua.

Samir Flores, who opposed the construction of a thermoelectric plant in Huexca and a gas pipeline in Tlaxcala, Puebla, and Morelos, was murdered and later criminalized by local authorities who argued that he was involved in organized crime; however, NGOs have denied the claims and say it was a political crime.

Recommended: Environmental activist Homero Gómez found dead in Michoacán

Samir, an indigenous man who was a member of the Permanent Assembly of the People of Morelos, led a movement that opposed large government projects that would be built without consulting indigenous communities, which would affect the environment in Morelos, which is already in danger for illegal logging, urbanization, and the construction of industrial corridors that do not benefit the population and on the contrary, result in health issues for the people.

Out of the 32 activists who were murdered last year, the majority of them worked in favor of human rights and environmental issues. Moreover, only in a third of the cases have criminals been punished but all the other cases, including Samir, haven’t been solved.

Unfortunately, the government has not paid enough attention to the murder of activists in Mexico, especially since it was revealed than more activists were murdered than journalists. Both activists and journalists are silenced for revealing injustice and corruption in a country that supposedly protects them.

Recommended: Samir Flores, activist and radio host, murdered in Mexico

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