Mexico Finally Releases an Indigenous Environmental Activist

In November 2015, Ildefonso Zamora Baldomero, a resident of the Indigenous Tlahuica community of San Juan Atzingoin southwest of Mexico City was arrested for peaceful activism against illegal logging. He was then charged for being participated in a burglary that happened in July 2012. Moreover, the prosecutor said during the investigation that there was no evidence of Zamora being part of any such incident, neither the evidence shows any trace of his presence during the burglary. Zamora over his arrests said that this protest has cost him the life of his son.

However, he was released on August 13 after nine months in prison. Amnesty and other human rights groups term this as a victory for justice. Mexico Researcher at Amnesty International, Carlos Zazueta said, “Campaigning against illegal logging is not a crime. Instead of prosecuting environmental activists for their peaceful activities, the Mexican authorities should ensure they are able to carry out their legitimate work without fear of reprisals.” Zazueta also said that the story of Zamora tells us that life of a human rights defender in Mexico is not by any means easy and it can land anyone in a jail. Amnesty has also asked authorities to make sure Zamora or his family members are not harassed in future.



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