A prominent environmental activist who opposed the building of a gas pipeline in his Mexico town has been murdered.
Samir Flores Soberanes was shot twice in the head at his Amilcingo home in the Morelos state just three days before a public referendum was set to be held on the project he vehemently opposed, the Proyecto Integral Morelos (PIM), which includes two thermoelectric plants and the gas pipeline, BBC reports. A note was found next to his body, reportedly containing a message which indicated the execution may be gang-related.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador spoke out against the violent murder, calling it “vile” and “cowardly.” He added, however, that the referendum on the pipeline would proceed on schedule.
“I’m very sorry about the murder,” he said. “The consultation we have to continue because it is a process that was already agreed to.”
The day before he was killed, Soberanes reportedly attended a public forum about the project in which he repeatedly challenged government representatives’ arguments. The pipeline is being sponsored by Mexico’s national electric company, and the project has been underway since 2011.
Soberanes and other activists believe that the pipeline will contaminate the water surrounding it and become harmful for the residents there.
TYT Newsroom with information from BBC