Adán Vez Lira

Environmentalist Adán Vez Lira was shot dead on 8 April, 2020, while he rode his motorcycle in the township of Actopan, in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

Vez Lira was a long-time supporter and organiser at the La Mancha ecological reserve on the sparsely populated stretch of coast north of the state capital. The area is noted for its tropical forest and coastal lagoons.

Vez Lira had worked for more than twenty years to protect the important mangrove forests of La Mancha, a small coastal community on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

He was the third environmentalist killed in Mexico in 2020.

According to the UN office of the high commissioner for human rights, “He was a recognised environmental activist who had played a notable role in several environmental defence causes in Actopan.”

Mourners who posted messages on the reserve’s Facebook page said he also was active in opposing mines and preserving wetlands. He was a vocal opponent of open pit mining in the region of Veracruz, including mining projects owned by Canadian companies Almaden Minerals and Candelaria Mining.

Ten mining companies have been given licences to operate in Veracruz but so far, the municipal authorities of the communities of Actopan, Alto Lucero, Chiconquiaco, Juchique de Ferrer and Yecuatla have refused to grant the necessary permissions.


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Date of Killing:08/04/2020

Type of Work:Social leader

Organisation:Cooperativa La Mancha en Movimiento.

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:Civil and Political Rights

Sector Detail:Environmental Rights, Extractive industries/Mega projects, Land Rights

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).

URLs (links) of Interest
Fotografía.- Villanueva, A., “Asesinan a otro ambientalista en México: Adán Vez Lira, luchaba contra la megamonería”, La Izquierda Diario, 9 abril 2020
The Guardian
Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
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