Magazine article New Internationalist

Murders Most Foul

Magazine article New Internationalist

Murders Most Foul

Article excerpt

Most of the media spotlight on Mexico's mounting toll of narco-murders is focused on high-profile massacres such as that of the 43 'disappeared' student teachers in Guerrero State, or on unfortunate tourists who get caught in the crossfire. A recent example of the latter occurred in January, when five bystanders were gunned down in a bar at a large international electronic music festival in the usually peaceful Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula. What often flies below the radar, however, is the systematic murder of activists - particularly environmentalists - that usually takes place in isolated circumstances. Those who arrange and pay for the deed invariably escape justice.

The killing, also in January, of Goldman Prize-winner Isidro Baldenegro López, a Mexican indigenous activist who fought to protect ancient forests from illegal logging in his native Sierra Madre region of Chihuahua State, is a case in point. Baldenegro, 51, was gunned down on a visit to his uncle in a remote area of southern Chihuahua. …

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