Irma Galindo Barrios: Mixteca Protector of Forests Found Alive who Disappeared after Threats

Latin America World

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: RadioFormula y Excelsior

                     Activist Irma Galindo found alive; she sheltered herself for fear of threats

Irma Galindo denounced threats from her neighbors, commissioner and municipal president of Atatlahuaca, Oaxaca.

Irma was found alive and safe.  She is an activist and defender of the forests of Oaxaca, Irma Galindo Barrios , whose whereabouts were unknown since last November 10.

This Tuesday, without revealing the place and the circumstances in which she was found, people close to the activist revealed that she decided to protect herself for fear that people close to the municipal president and commissioner of San Esteban Atatlahuaca, Oaxaca, would fulfill their threats.

                                                      Illegal Logging Camp in Oaxaca

At the time, Irma Galindo told other activists that local talamontes , ie loggers, began to attack her when she denounced the illegal logging before the delegation of the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) in Oaxaca.

On October 27, the activist used her Facebook wall to denounce the climate of harassment and persecution against her by the municipal president of San Esteban Atatlahuaca, Heriberto Nicanor Alvarado Galindo, and the commissioner, Crescenciano Sandoval Quiroz.
“For days my own neighbors told me they will come for me. Just today I realized where they get the real lies. It is the same strategy that the commissioner and the president used to get me out of the town hall (where I collaborate in health tasks) because I did not agree to invest more in alcohol than in cultural activities. Anyway, I don’t know fear. As I always say to the tests I endure, ” said the environmentalist.
After several days of searching and the massive dissemination of the photography of the environmentalist Irma Galindo Barrios, who disappeared last November 10, this Tuesday she was located alive and safely.
The 36-year-old Mixtec activist alternates her work as a traditional cultural manager and curandera, with the defense of the wooded area of ​​Atatlahuca, in the Mixteca region of Oaxaca.
On more than one occasion she has expressed concern about the operation of sawmills that, without apparent control or with federal permits and with the consent of local authorities, cause deforestation.
Irma’s concern for the local forest resources made her win many sympathies of the inhabitants of the municipality and its surroundings, so she was elected as alternate ruler of Culture, but was dismissed without apparent cause, although she presumes that she obeyed her work for the forest.
The search for Irma Galindo Barrios, a resident of the Buena Vista Totoy community, mobilized environmental organizations, human rights defenders and feminist groups to take urgent action to demand their immediate appearance.
On the other hand, the Human Rights Ombudsman of Oaxaca moved to Atatlahuca to meet with Galindo’s relatives, as well as the public servants of the City Council to obtain information that made possible the location of the activist alive. 

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