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Biologist Nora López. Biologist Nora López.

Environment secretary laments murder of Chiapas biologist

Nora López, who was working on a project to save scarlet macaws, was stabbed to death

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.

The environmentalist was working on a scarlet macaw breeding project in the Los Aluxes Park near Palenque.

“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.

On June 12, ecologist and howler monkey specialist José Luis Álvarez was shot to death, also in Palenque.

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.

Sources: Milenio (sp), Sin Embargo (sp), Animal Político (sp)

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