A Mexican Indigenous activist who won the Goldman Environmental Prize has been shot dead, the second recipient of the prestigious award to be murdered in less than 12 months.
The Guardian reports that Isidro Baldenegro López, a subsistence farmer known for his work to stop illegal logging and deforestation, was shot at a relative’s home on Sunday. Baldenegro, who received the Goldman prize in 2005, had only recently returned to his community, Coloradas de la Virgen in Chihuahua, in the country’s northern Sierra Madre mountain region, after spending time in exile over threats against him and his family.
A spokesperson from the prosecutor’s office told the Guardian that one of the killers had been identified and not yet detained.
His murder is the latest in a disturbing trend of attacks on Latin American activists. The 2016 assassination of Honduran Indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres, who co-founded the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras and was known for her work protecting natural resources and public lands, sent shockwaves through the social justice and environmentalist communities. Cáceres received the Goldman prize in 2015.
The Center for International and Environmental Law (CIEL) reported in August that Latin America is the “most dangerous region in the world” for land and water defenders, a finding that echoed a similar study published in June by the human rights group Global Witness.
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