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20 Jan 2017

Michel Forst, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders

Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders says murder of Goldman Prize winner Isidro Baldenegro reminder of dangers facing defenders in Mexico

"Outrageous and senseless: the murder of Isidro Baldenegro Lopez, a Raramuri environmental defender", 19 Jan 2017

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, condemned the murder of environmental human rights defender Isidro Baldenegro Lopez of the Raramuri indigenous people. Mr. Baldenegro died of wound shots earlier this week, after being attacked last Sunday at his native community in Chihuahua, Mexico. His peaceful defence of the Raramuri community’s forests from illegal logging was internationally recognized through the Goldman Prize in 2005. “I am utterly shocked by the cold-blooded murder of Isidro, who wished for his community nothing but safeguarding their traditional forests in the Sierra Tarahumara,” said Mr. Forst, who is currently in Mexico conducting an official visit, invited by the authorities. On 18 January, Mr. Forst and the Governor of Chihuahua, Javier Corral, jointly stated: “We condemn the outrageous and senseless killing of environmental defender Isidro. It is a tragic reminder of the dangers and risks facing environmental and indigenous defenders in Chihuahua.” Mr. Corral and the UN expert underlined the importance of immediate and effective investigation by relevant authorities into the defender’s murder.