On June 10th, the Tabasco ecologist Jose Luis Alvarez Flores was found murdered, near Calatraba ejido, municipality of Palenque, in Chiapas. The 64-year-old was a defender of the howler (Saragauto) monkey sanctuary and the Usumacinta River. His body had five bullet wounds and threatening messages were found next to it on cardboard against his family and ecologists.
Since 2012, Alvarez Flores was in charge of the Saraguato Environmental Management Unit (UMA) and at various times made accusations about the illegal extraction of sand and gravel from the Usumacinta River. As a result, he requested protection measures from the government but never received them.
Miguel Perez, president of the Tabasco Environmental Management Units, declared after the events: “We condemn this cowardly murder, we demand justice, protection for his family and two other defenders who were threatened.” According to figures from Global Witness, at least 125 environmentalists were killed in Mexico in the last decade.
Among possible contextual elements, Minuta de EDUCA recalls that, “the Usumacinta River is the largest river in Mexico and if the Maya Train project is materialized, it would be the main source of extraction of stone for the construction of this megaproject questioned by environmentalists.”
For more information in Spanish:
Asesinan a José Luis Álvarez, ambientalista que luchaba por el mono saraguato (Animal Político, 11 de junio de 2019)
José Luis Álvarez, ecologista y defensor del santuario del mono saraguato, es asesinado (Sin Embargo, 11 de junio de 2019)
Asesinan al ecologista mexicano José Luis Álvarez (Desinformémonos, 11 de junio de 2019)
Asesinan a José Luis Álvarez, ambientalista en Tabasco (Regeneración, 11 de junio de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: Human Rights Defender Sinar Corzo Esquinca Murdered (January 14, 2019)