Monarch Butterfly Activists Murdered in Mexico

February 6, 2020

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My team and I at Ocean Futures Society are mourning the loss of two people who worked to protect a monarch butterfly reserve near the town of Ocampo in the Mexican State of Michoacán. Hector Gomez, who managed the El Rosario sanctuary, which is part of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, was reported missing on January 13th and his body was found on January 30th, 2020. An autopsy revealed he was murdered. And, the body of Raúl Hernández, who worked as a tour guide at a butterfly sanctuary, was found beaten and with a fatal head injury two days later.

Both men campaigned for the conservation of monarch butterflies and the pine and fir forests where they hibernate. The sanctuary opened in November as part of a strategy to stop illegal logging in the area, which is critical habitat for the species.

They appear to have been murdered to silence their calls to protect the monarchs and the forest, and they were likely murdered by criminal gangs who kill anyone who could interfere with their illegal activities.

The Earth is our life support system that is responsible for the quality of our lives. We are so saddened that these brave men lost their lives and we offer our sincere condolences to their families, friends and coworkers. They are environmental heroes that were sharing the beauty of the monarch butterflies with the world for all to see and to help protect. Let us honor them for their work and lets let the world know that the monarchs and the forests near Ocampo Mexico should be protected now and for future generations.

We hope that Mexican authorities will bring their killers to justice and will immediately work to protect the butterflies, the forest and everyone who is trying to defend these valuable resources.

Protect The Ocean And You Protect Yourself.


Jean-Michel Cousteau
President, Ocean Futures Society

Some videos from the Twitter account of Hector Gomez

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