Raúl Hernández Romero, 44-year-old environmentalist, tour guide and manager at a monarch butterfly sanctuary in Michoacán, Mexico was found dead on Saturday, according to local reports.
This tragic update follows last Wednesday’s news of Homero Gómez González’s death. Hernández is now the second casualty in the local community of conservationists. Although his cause of death is unknown, BBC reports that Hernández’s body had a head injury and visible signs of torture.
Hernández was reported missing on January 27. He was last seen leaving his home in El Hongo, but his body was found atop a hill in the El Campanario monarch butterfly sanctuary where Gómez González also worked. Gómez González’s funeral was on Friday, just a day before Hernández was found.
There is no confirmed link between the two deaths nor their shared passion.
Both men, referred to as “activists” by many, devoted their time to protecting the monarch butterfly – a unique orange and black species that travel for thousands of miles to take respite in Mexico during the winter season. Their work, though seemingly harmless, stood in the way of those who want to impose on the monarch butterflies home with illegal logging.
Greenpeace condemned Gómez’s murder on Thursday with a statement that assesses the issue at large. It’s unfortunate that “the defense of the territory, natural resources and biodiversity turns activists into victims of prosecution, threats and cowardly acts like taking their lives,” they wrote in Spanish. “We demand justice and peace.”