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Isidro Baldenegro Lopez

The Goldman Environmental Prize

Isidro Baldenegro Lopez was a farmer and community leader of Mexico’s indigenous Tarahumara people in the country’s Sierra Madre mountain region. He spent much of his life defending old growth forests from devastating logging in a region torn by violence, corruption and drug-trafficking. Isidro Baldenegro Lopez was a recepient of the 2005 Goldman Prize. He was assassinated in January 2017.


Human rights defenders (HRDs) and journalists in Mexico are subject to intimidation, legal harassment, arbitrary detention, death threats, acts of physical aggression, enforced disappearances and killings as a result of their activities in defence of human rights and the exercise of freedom of expression and journalism.

Disappearances are endemic in Mexico, often happening with collusion from the state. HRDs working on the issue face serious risk, up to and including death. HRDs working in the defence of territory, particularly indigenous territory, face a similar level of risk. They are criminalised, imprisoned, defamed, and often killed. Journalists working on any of these issues, or issues related to the drugs trade and the government's complicity in this, also run the risk of losing their lives.