Target: Jorge González Nicolás, Attorney General of Chihuahua
Goal: Identify and prosecute those responsible for the murder of Isidro Baldenegro López and protect his family from further violence.
In Mexico, unidentified gunmen have murdered award-winning environmental and indigenous rights activist Isidro Baldenegro. A leader in the Tarahumara community, Isidro Baldenegro devoted much of his life to the protection of old-growth forests in the Sierra Madre Mountains from illegal loggers. The forest, which is on the ancestral lands of the Tarahumara community, has also been cleared by drug traffickers who often plant marijuana on the slopes.
Baldenegro was imprisoned in 2003 on trumped-up drug and arms charges. However, international and domestic pressure resulted in his release 15 months later. His nonviolent advocacy for conservation and indigenous land rights earned him the 2005 Goldman Environmental Prize.
The Baldenegro family is, unfortunately, no strangers to political violence; Isidro Baldenegro witnessed his own father’s murder after his father, Julio Baldenegro began advocating for the conservation of the forests. While the killers remain at large, they may continue to target the Baldenegro family and the broader Tarahumara community. Sign our petition to demand that the authorities identify the killers and bring them to justice and that Isidro Baldenegro’s family, associates, and the broader Tarahumara community receives protection.
Dear Attorney General González,
I was shocked and saddened to hear of the murder of Isidro Baldenegro López. As a tireless campaigner for the rights of the Tarahumara community and the conservation of the Sierra Madre old-growth oak forests, he made enemies despite his advocacy being his right under the human right to freedom of expression. That he has been murdered should offend all of us, no matter our belief about conservation. I urge you to work as tirelessly as he did to ensure that those responsible for his murder are brought to justice.
Furthermore, Isidro Baldenegro’s family, associates, and the broader Tarahumara community will not be safe while his killers remain at large. The assassination of Julio Baldenegro, Isidro’s father, proves that threats remain to anyone in the community who wishes to speak out. This is effectively terrorism. Accordingly, I urge you to do everything in your power to ensure that all in the community receive additional protection until those responsible for this murder are brought to justice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Alex Covarrubias