Obdulio Javier Villagrán, forest ranger and researcher, was killed on Sunday, March 3, 2019.
He had worked for 13 years as research assistant at Fundación para el Ecodesarrollo y la Conservación (Fundaeco), an NGO dedicated to the creation, management, protection and conservation of Protected Areas in Guatemala. Fundaeco seeks to encourage and build sustainable processes of territorial management that simultaneously maximize the objectives of nature conservation, well-being and empowerment of local communities. As a forest ranger, he was in charge of the Carboneras shelter inside the Reserva Protectora de Manantiales Cerro San Gil, a protected area in Livingston, Izabal.
Obdulio was well-known by the population for constantly denouncing the illegal logging of precious wood in the region. This made him the target of various death threats and harassment by groups dedicated to the illegal timber trade in the San Gil Hills.