Jose Jorge Muñoz Saavedra

On 26 December, 2020, the body of environmental activist Jorge Muñoz Saavedra was found dumped in a sack with signs of violence on a road in Batán Grande, in the department of Lambayeque, in northern Peru.

Jorge Luis Muñoz Saavedra had dedicated himself for many years to the defense of the natural and cultural heritage, in sector IV of the Archaeological Park of Batan Grande, Lambayeque region, where he protected the endemic trees that are recorded in the area, so that they are not felled illegally.

On the afternoon of Sunday, 19 December, 2020, Jorge told his wife that he heard the sound of chainsaws near his home, so he quickly went out to check if they were illegal loggers. Jorge didn’t come back after investigating the noise of the chainsaws.

After three days of intense searching, his friends and family found the remains of the environmental defender in the Portachuelo sector, 90 meters from the old Pátapo district highway.

Muñoz had previously been the object of threats by the mafias involved in the trafficking of forest species and the looting of archaeological sites.

In a statement, the director of the National Museum of Sicán, Carlos Elera Arévalo, said “Jorge Muñoz had been threatened by land traffickers, people linked to illegal mining and excavations in archaeological sites, as well as people who cut down forests such as the carob and sapote trees that the state is committed to protecting.

Following this brutal killing, we call on the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate and find the people who have ended the life of this hero of the conservation of the country’s cultural and natural heritage.”


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Date of Killing:26/12/2020

Type of Work:Social leader

Organisation:Complejo Tambo Real – El Ministerio del Ambiente de Perú

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

Sector Detail:Citizens' rights, Environmental Rights, Extractive industries/Mega projects

More information:Front Line Defenders

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