Jaime Jiménez Ruiz, defender of Río Verde, in Oaxaca. THE COUNTRY
Environmentalist Jaime Jiménez Ruiz, who was opposed to the construction of hydroelectric projects in Río Verde, Oaxaca, was assassinated Sunday afternoon without opening an investigation folder to determine the causes of the crime.
The incident occurred in the municipality of Santiago Jamiltepec, an indigenous region rich in gold and silver mines.
With the Jiménez Ruiz homicide, Oaxaca now has five activists killed so far this year according to figures from human rights organizations, in one of the most dangerous countries for environmentalists.
Jiménez, who was a municipal agent in the town of Paso de la Reina, in the south of the state, was also a member of the movement for the defense of the Río Verde, where the company Enersi SA plans the construction of a dam.
In January 2020, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared that “no new dams will be built, the Paso de la Reina dam will not be built in Oaxaca,” but activists in the area maintain complaints about hydroelectric and extractivist projects.
Fidel Heras, the Mexican environmentalist who returned from the US to defend his river and was killed
Four other activists who defend the resources of the place have been victims of homicide so far this year.
On January 23, Fidel Heras Cruz was assassinated in the community known as La Esperanza.
Cruz was a defender of indigenous territories.
The Alternative Education Services agency (Educa) has also denounced the murders, between March 14 and 15, of Raymundo Robles Riaño, substitute for the municipal agent, Noé Robles Cruz and Gerardo Mendoza Reyes.
These crimes, according to the organization, remain in impunity.
"With this new crime against a citizen of Paso de la Reina, insecurity continues to increase in the community of just 500 inhabitants," Educa warns.
The inhabitants of Paso de la Reina have maintained for several years a peaceful struggle against the hydroelectric projects endorsed by the State Government.
Environmental defenders in this area do not have security measures in place despite the constant threat they face.
“The situation in matters of security and human rights in the State is worrying, between the change of the head of the Prosecutor's Office, the stoppage of the state police and the delay in the performance of federal and state officials, there are no conditions that guarantee the exercise of rights, even more so when the electoral process is in full swing ", they denounce from Educa.
Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for activists, human rights defenders and journalists.
Last year 14 environmental and LGBTI community activists were murdered and so far the López Obrador government has added 30 activists killed.
The violence has overtaken the authorities, who have not been able to stop it: in 2019 there were 35,000 homicides, making it the most violent year in recent Mexican history.
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