"Mexico Is World's Deadliest Spot For Environmental Activists"

"VICAM, Mexico — Mexico has become the deadliest place in the world for environmental and land defense activists, according to a global survey released Wednesday, and the Yaqui Indigenous people of northern Mexico are still mourning the killing of water-defense leader Tomás Rojo found dead in June 2021.

The murder of Indigenous land defenders often conjures up images of Amazon activists killed deep in the jungle — and Colombia and Brazil still account for many of the deaths. But according to a report by the nongovernmental group Global Witness, Mexico saw 54 activists killed in 2021, compared to 33 in Colombia and 26 in Brazil. The group recorded the deaths of 200 activists worldwide in 2021.

Latin America accounted for over two-thirds of those slayings — often of the bravest and most well-respected people in their communities.

That was the case with Tómas Rojo, who authorities claim was killed by a local drug gang that wanted the money the Yaquis sometimes earn by collecting tolls at informal highway checkpoints."

Mark Stevenson reports for the Associated Press September 29, 2022.

Source: AP, 09/29/2022