Body of a tour guide was found only two days after a prominent monarch butterfly activist was found dead in Mexico. Raul Hernandez was reported missing by his family on January 27 after he left home in the town of San Pedro Libertad, the state prosecutor said in a statement. This comes as threats and murders of environment and human rights activists are on a rise.
According to local authorities, Hernandez was found beaten and with a head injury possibly caused by a sharp object. The police are said to be investigating the murder, as reported by a leading international news daily. The tour guide was found in the early hours of Saturday in the Ocampo Municipality about 8 km from the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve where he worked.
The incident comes only two days after Homero Gomez Gonzalez was found dead in a well in the state of Michoacan, where the butterfly reserve is located. Gonzalez was found dead only two weeks after he vanished. His death has sparked throughout the North American country. Gonzalez, who fought to defend the monarch butterfly’s wintering grounds from illegal logging, managed the El Rosario butterfly sanctuary located inside the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve.
Homero Gómez González spent years trying to protect the monarch butterfly from loggers and criminal groups in Michoacán. His body was just discovered in a well. 😞 pic.twitter.com/HYeXSYGcU6— Laura Martini® (@miblogestublog) January 30, 2020
The threadbare clothes of the mourners and the few candles and simple floral arrangements at Gómez Gonzalez' funeral underlined the tough background of the struggle being played out in the butterflies' winter grounds, where they shelter in the tall pine and fir forests.
The Michoacan Human Right Commission has urged authorities to investigate if his death was connected to the butterfly reserve, international media reported. Gonzalez was probably hurting the business interest of people illegally logging in the area said Mayta Cardone, an official at the reserve. But an official at the National Commission of Natural Protected Area told international media that his organisation did not believe that his death was related to his conservation efforts.