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Mexican Environmental Activist, Winner of Goldman Prize, Murdered in Relative's Home

TUCSON, ARIZ. - Isidro Baldenegro López, a Mexican indigenous activist who fought to protect ancient forests from illegal logging in the Sierra Madre region of Chihuhua, Mexico, was shot and killed on Sunday. López, a community leader and subsistence farmer, was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2005 for his nonviolent activism to stop deforestation.

López’s killing is the second murder of a Goldman prize winner in less than a year. Honduran environmentalist and human-rights activists Berta Cáceres was killed in March 2016.

“The murder of Isidro Baldenegro López is outrageous and deeply troubling,” said Peter Galvin, cofounder of the Center for Biological Diversity. “He was a leader in a long and difficult struggle to save one of the world’s most incredible and biodiverse regions from destruction. The work he did — and the activism he inspired — live on.”

Both López and Caceres faced threats of violence before they were murdered.

“We’re calling on the governments of Mexico and Honduras to commit all the resources at their disposal to bring these killers to justice,” Galvin said. “Crimes of violence are always despicable, but particularly so when the victims are those standing up for people, wildlife and pristine landscapes. This violence has to stop.”

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