Leonel Díaz Urbano

On Friday, 09 May 2019, a group of armed men entered the home of indigenous rights defender and leader Leonel Díaz Urbano while he was sleeping, murdered him and fled the scene.

Díaz Urbano lived in the municipality of Zacapoaxtla and had fought against the construction of a hydroelectric plant in the community of San Juan Tahitic, in the central state of Puebla, Mexico. He led the resistance in his community against the project to build a hydroelectric plant by the company Gaya SA de CV which, according to the activists, would bring destruction to the indigenous peoples and the surrounding lands due to the removal of 60 hectares of vegetation around the Apulco River and the diversion of the Apulco riverbed.

In the last five years (2015 – 2019), the highlands of Puebla have been the scene of a number of murders of land and environmental rights defenders, including an opponent of the same hydroelectric plant, Adrián Tihuilit, and Manuel Gaspar Rodríguez, who fought against mining projects in Cuetzalan, both in 2018.


If you would like to provide a personal recollection, please email us at: HRDMemorial@frontlinedefenders.org





Date of Killing:09/05/2019

Previous Threats:General threats to HRD in the area

Type of Work:Community leader

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:ESC Rights

Sector Detail:Environmental Rights, Extractive industries/Mega projects, Indigenous Peoples' Rights

More information:Front Line Defenders

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