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Missing Mexican Environmentalists’ Families Accuse Mining Company of Complicity

HeadlineJan 31, 2023

In Mexico, relatives of two land defenders who’ve been missing since January 15 are demanding authorities investigate their abductions and bring them back alive. Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca, a human rights lawyer and environmentalist, and Antonio Díaz Valencia, an Aquila Indigenous leader, were last seen two weeks ago after leaving a community meeting in the state of Michoacán against mining in the region. Witnesses said the environmentalists were followed and threatened by a group of men; their vehicle was later found abandoned with several bullet holes. Their family members have accused transnational mining company Ternium of complicity in the kidnappings. The steel manufacturer has faced mounting opposition from community members who say Ternium’s mining operations have destroyed the environment, triggered health issues and brought violence to the region.

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