Update: Another Environmentalist Murdered in Chiapas

Latin America World

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Infobae y televisa y cites.org

Murdered:  the environmentalist Nora Patricia López León in Chiapas: they found her body in a hostel in Palenque. The biologist was in charge of the reproduction project of the red macaw, in the Aluxes Ecotourism Park.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Homicide and Feminicide of Chiapas, with the power of the detention of her murderer or murders, follows up on the investigation folder for the death of environmentalist Nora Patricia López León, after events occurred on Wednesday in the municipality of Palenque.
The State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) indicated that the prosecution mentioned it will investigate the case, after the victim was found dead in a hostel on the Palenque-Ocosingo road.
Environment Secretary Victor Toledo has condemned the murder of biologist Nora López, whose body was found in a hostel in Palenque, Chiapas, on Wednesday.

The Chiapas Attorney General’s Office reported that López had suffered multiple stab wounds.

“Once again the environmental sector is in mourning and joins together with family and friends in grief,” read a post on the Twitter account of the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat).

“We pay homage to the women and men of Mexico who, from different fields, resist with dignity and strength the increasingly intense and powerful attacks that destroy the biological and cultural diversity of the country and the planet.”

The environmental and human rights organization Global Witness reported that 14 land and environmental defenders were murdered in Mexico in 2018.

Such numbers put Mexico at No. 6 on the list of most dangerous countries for environmentalists.

The numbers this year look even worse. Last year’s total of 14 was reached in June.

The Association of Zoos, Breeders, and Aquariums (Azcarm) expressed outrage over the incident and demanded justice.

“We are all profoundly sad, outraged, angry and desperate because we don’t see any level of government taking concrete actions to solve the grave problem of insecurity we are suffering all over the country and the terrible, endless wave of violence against women,” it stated in an open letter.

“Today, our close friend Nora is one more victim of those cruel crimes that do not cease in our country due to the terrible impunity we are suffering and the absolute inefficacy of our authorities to fulfill their obligation to protect our lives and guarantee our security,” it added.

The attorney general, Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca, said that upon hearing the news of the death of López León, a special group moved to the municipality of Palenque, to carry out the proceedings that lead to clarify the facts and disclaim responsibilities.
The biologist Nora López was in charge of the reproduction project of the red macaw, in the Aluxes Ecotourism Park.
He explained that, immediately, the Prosecutor’s Office of Homicide and Feminicide exercised the power of attraction to continue the investigation of feminicide against whom or who are responsible and, in addition, leads the inter-institutional operations to achieve the capture of those responsible.
In this regard, the Ministry of Public Safety and Protection ordered the deployment of the Tactical Group to carry out operations, in coordination with the State Prosecutor’s Office, in order to strengthen the investigation and location actions of the person or persons responsible.
As you will remember, the body of Nora López León was found on Wednesday in the room of a hostel located near the Los Taxistas neighborhood, in the municipality of Palenque.
López León, 40, was originally from Tuxtla Gutiérrez, presented at least four wounds from a sharp weapon.
Agents from various police corporations arrived at the hostel where the body of the environmentalist was found to cordon off the area so that the authorities of law enforcement carried out the corresponding procedures.
They pointed out that a special group of investigators and specialists belonging to the Homicide Prosecutor’s Office moved to Palenque to begin investigations, clarify the facts and disclaim responsibilities.
It was the complaint of a citizen who alerted the police authorities of the presence of the body shortly before noon on Wednesday, a room at the Camping TYC hostel in Palenque, official sources reported.
Last March, environmentalist José Luis Álvarez Flores was killed in that area, originally from the municipality of Emiliano Zapata, Tabasco, known for also defending primates. His body was located in the ejido Calatrava, Palenque. He was shot to death and his killers left a message with threats to his family.
Just on April 7, Congress made modifications to the Federal Criminal Code to establish that illegal wildlife trafficking be treated as organized crime. 
Even so, the Law expressly prohibits the commercialization of four species: parrots, Mexican monkeys, marine mammals and sea turtles. 
An important challenge is to raise awareness in the population of the problem of acquiring exotic animals in our country because it could be benefiting activities whose ultimate effect is the decline and progressive disappearance of several animal species in our country. 
Such is the case of the red-lipped dragon and the bird owl , two endemic species of the state of Chiapas that are in danger of extinction due to the illegal felling of trees, prejudices of the population against these animals and the illegal trafficking of these species. According to Manuel Aranda, biologist in charge of the San José Educational Park, in an interview with EFE, there is an illegal traffic in Los Altos de Chiapas that is affecting these animal species.
But the case of Totoaba and the Vaquita marina is not the only one in our country. 
Some animal species are demanded as is the case of bighorn sheep, ie, the Borrego Cimarron (Desert Bighorn which have all but been hunted out completely in mainland Mexico and whose last stand is in BCS, there has been concentrated efforts in conservation of their last remaining habitat and which includes a breeding program on Isla Carmen where there are no predatores, save human poachers), parrots, macaws, reptiles and felines. 
According to Joel González Moreno, general director of Inspection and Surveillance of Wildlife, Marine Resources and Coastal Ecosystems of the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) to Forbes  (2017), the Mexican species that reach a higher price are the Jaguar , same that can be sold between 40,000 and 70,000 pesos; the Golden Eagle that can cost 50,000 pesos; the Red Macaw that can be worth up to 40,000 pesos; the Cougar that can reach a value of 30,000 pesos; and the yellow-headed parrot which can reach 20,000 pesos. All these costs are estimates of both the legal and illegal markets. According to the official, in Mexico, the populations that most demand creatures of this type are the most populated cities such as Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Tijuana. 
The 2019 Convention on Intl Trade in Endangered Fauna and Flora is ongoing this week in Geneva, Switzerland…….it is 18th consecutive international conference this year. Check out the Conference at:
https://www.cites.org/eng/disc/what.php
Note: Also check out my on-going posts about the poaching and trafficking of the totoaba bladders, know as “Cocaine of the Sea” here on the BB Archives. 

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