Mexican environmentalist stabbed to death

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Mexico – A Mexican biologist was stabbed to death near the nature reserve where she worked in the southern state of Chiapas, authorities said Friday, August 23 – the second environmentalist murdered there recently.

Greenpeace and other environmental groups condemned the killing of researcher Nora Lopez, 43, who headed a parrot protection program in the Aluxes Eco-Park, a private nature reserve outside the city of Palenque.

It is the same area where Jose Luis Alvarez Flores, an ecologist who worked to protect howler monkeys, was found murdered in June, a killing that also drew international condemnation.

According to government figures, 120 environmentalists have been killed in Mexico in the past 15 years, often in apparent retaliation for fighting mining, oil, or infrastructure projects.

"We demand the authorities make the murder of women and environmental activists in our country a national priority," Greenpeace and several other environmental groups said in a statement.

Lopez, whose work was focused on protecting the scarlet macaw, was found Wednesday, August 21, with multiple stab wounds at the hostel where she had been living in Palenque, said the Chiapas state prosecutor's office.

It said it had sent a special investigative team to the scene. – Rappler.com