MEXICO CITY – A Mexican activist honored in 2005 with the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for his work in the northern state of Chihuahua was murdered last weekend, a source in the state Attorney General’s Office told EFE on Wednesday.
Isidro Baldenegro was fatally shot around 4 pm Sunday, but it took authorities several days to reach the crime scene in the remote indigenous community of Coloradas de la Virgen, the source said.
The Chihuahua AG Office first learned of the murder late Monday and dispatched a team of investigators to the village, which is located some seven hours away from the nearest town.
Authorities have identified the likely perpetrator, the source said.
Baldenegro, 50, was an advocate for the rights of indigenous people and sought to protect the forests of the Sierra Tarahumara mountains from the depredations of illegal loggers.
He was arrested in March 2003 on drug and weapons charges that Baldenegro and his supporters claimed were fabricated in reprisal for his environmental activism.
Designated by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience, Baldenegro spent 15 months in detention before prosecutors dropped the charges.
In 2005, he was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for his battle against illegal logging.
Mexican media reported that Baldenegro recently returned to Coloradas de la Virgen, having fled months earlier in the face of death threats from outlaw loggers.