Mexico pressured to protect eco-activists after two murders last week

International human-rights groups yesterday urged the Mexican government to take action to protect the lives of environmental activists who are carrying out anti-logging campaigns. The plea comes on the heels of an attack last week on longtime activist Albertano Penalosa, which resulted in the murders of two of his sons. Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and Mexican human-rights groups say the attack was part of an ongoing effort by local political bosses to squelch environmental campaigns in the western state of Guerrero. The local conservation group Peasant Ecologists of the Petatlan Sierra, to which Penalosa belongs, hasn’t made many friends in the logging industry with its efforts to block roads and prevent the destruction of habitat and watersheds in an area where nearly 40 percent of the forest has already been destroyed. “This work is not just for us or for our family, but for everyone,” says Penalosa’s wife Reyna Mojica.