Chihuahua – Mexico: Second Indigenous Rights Defender Killed in 2 weeks

Two weeks after the killing of Goldman Environmental Prize winner Isidro Baldenegro Lopez another indigenous and land rights defender Juan Ontiveros Ramos has been killed in the same area. The killing took place at a time when there were hundreds of police in the area monitoring a protest against a gas pipeline.

On 31 January, unidentified armed men broke into the family home of Juan Ontiveros Ramos in Guadalupe y Calvo municipality, beat him and other family members and forcibly took him away. Witnesses heard gunshots immediately after. On 1 February, Juan Ontiveros’ body was found elsewhere in the same municipality.

Just days before Juan Ontiveros had taken part in a meeting with indigenous leaders and representatives of the State Prosecutors office, as well as state and federal officials, to discuss the increasingly dangerous situation in the region.

Juan Ontiveros and members of the community have been campaigning to protect the forests of the Sierra Madre from the depredations of illegal loggers who use criminal gangs to intimidate the community. In 2013 community leaders Jaime Zubías and Socorro Anaya Ramos were killed in similar circumstances. To date there has been no progress in the investigation into their deaths.

You will find further information on the killing of Juan Ontiveros Ramos here