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Anti-logging Activist Murdered in Sierra Tarahumara

LADB Article ID: 80190
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2017-01-25
By: Carlos Navarro

Isidro Baldenegro López, an indigenous environmental rights activist recognized for his efforts to protect old-growth forests in western Mexico, was murdered in his uncle’s house in the community of Coloradas de la Virgen in Chihuahua state. Baldenegro, a recipient of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2005 (SourceMex, April 20, 2005), led a successful campaign to temporarily halt logging in and around the municipality of Guadalupe y Calvo, located in southwestern Chihuahua near the border with Sinaloa state. Authorities said Baldenegro, 51, received six bullet shots in his chest and legs on Jan. 15. The indigenous leader is the second winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize killed in the past year. Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres, a leader of the Lenca indigenous community, was gunned down in March 2015. Cáceres was an outspoken opponent of the construction of a big reservoir on the Gualcarque River in western Honduras. Baldenegro, a member of the Tarahumara (also known as Rarámuris) community, made several powerful enemies because of his environmental activities, alienating logging interests, drug traffickers, and corrupt public officials.

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