At around 09.00pm on the evening of 29 October, 2020, environmental rights activist and member of the Nahua people, Juan Aquino Gonzalez was driving through the community of Papalutla, in the municipality of Copalillo in Guerrero, when gunmen opened fire killing him instantly.
It appears that a couple had been waiting for him outside the spa and asked him for a lift to a neighbouring village. When they got into the car, they pulled out guns and shot him.
Over the previous 20 years, Aquino Gonzalez had supported various community projects in the towns of Copalillo and managed the Papalutla hot springs spa as part of an indigenous cooperative.
Environmental groups reported that he was an activist and legal representative of the ecotourism park in the Alto Balsas indigenous area of the La Guacamaya Sanctuary, as well as conservation areas in towns such as Oztutla, Mezquitlan and Zicapa. He had succeeded in making Tecaballo Hill, in Copalillo, a Protected Natural Area.
He was a representative of the Indigenous Sector of the Guerrero Nucleus Consultative Council, of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).