Two monarch butterfly advocates found dead in Mexico

These activists were fighting to protect monarch butterflies in Mexico, and they were both found dead within a few days…

These butterflies have lost two of their advocates

In Mexico, Homero Gómez González had helped to create the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, the largest reserve in the world dedicated to this species. But on January 29, 2020, after he’d been missing for over 10 days, he was found dead at the bottom of a well. According to the autopsy, he drowned after receiving a blow to the head.

A few days after his funeral, another body was found: that of Raúl Hernández, another butterfly reserve guide. He had multiple bruises as well as a head wound. To protect the butterflies, the sanctuary’s staff was fighting against illegal logging, notably through the establishment of patrols and reforestation programs with local farmers.

Another threat to the reserve: clashes between rival gangs, which are common in the state of Michoacán. This situation has prompted several NGOs, including Greenpeace, to possibly consider them as criminal cases.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries for environmentalists, between January and September 2019, at least 12 of them were murdered. At the moment, the exact causes of these two deaths remain a mystery.

“It cannot be that people devoted to social labor, people dedicated to protect the environment, people who protect the monarch butterfly is going through these things. With this loss, not only us, the relatives, lost a loved one. The whole world, the monarch butterfly and the forests lost a great protector.”, says Amado Gómez, the brother of Homero Gómez.