Mining opponent assassinated in Veracruz, Mexico
The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has condemned the assassination of Mexican environmental activist Adán Vez Lira, who was shot April 8 while riding his motorcycle in the municipality of Actopan, Veracruz. Vez Lira worked with the Veracruz Assembly for Environmental Defense Initiatives (LAVIDA) to oppose mining operations that threaten local water sources. Gold and silver exploitation by the Canadian-based Almaden Minerals and Candelaria Mining are encroaching on the borders of La Mancha Ecological Reserve and contaminating springs and wells in the villages of Actopan and Alto Lucero.
Vez Lira was the third environmentalist killed in Mexico this year. On March 23, Isaac Medardo Herrera Avilés was slain by armed men who invaded his home in Jiutepec, Morelos. He had been leading the fight against a housing complex that threatens Los Venados, a private nature reserve, and water sources used by local communities. His slaying was also condemned by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.