Ecologist crucifies self in Veracruz

From La Jornada, June 6, via Chiapas95 (our translation). Amazingly, this seems to have made no international media. Now, how did this guy survive to go on a hunger strike after being nailed to a cross?

Veracruz, June 5. An eldrely sympathizer of the ecologist organization Greenpeace crucified himself in the historic center of this city to protest the “silent complicity” of the three levels of government before the destruction of the forests and mangroves in Veracruz [state] and the contamination of the rivers and lagoon systems.

He accused the construction empresario Valentin Ruiz Ortiz of having destroyed more than 100 hectares of mangroves in Boca del Rio with his plan to build the El Dorado housing complex.

At 9 AM, Sergio Manuel Vargas Mortera, 60, installed himself on Avenida Independencia, the principal artery of the port’s histric center, and, with the aid of a doctor, nailed himself to a wooden cross.

He announced that he will maintan a hunger strike until the municipal, state and federal authorities “clear the books” of all public complaints of ecological damage.

This act, he said, has the objective of reproaching the federal government, the state governor Fidel Herrera Beltran, and the Veracruz mayors, principally those of the port city and Boca del Rio, the PANistas Julen Rementeria y Francisco Gutierrez de Velasco, respectively, for their apathy in attending to environmental problems.

He said that while Veracruz is rich in ecological reserves, they are being devastated while “the politicians maintain a complicit silenmce. For 30 years I have made official complaints, sought support at different levels of government, but they have never listened to me. We will see if my crucifixion will cause them to pay attention and end the ecocide.”

Vargas Mortera posed as an “immediate and grave” example un ejemplo the destruction of the mangroves in Boca del Rio and Alvarado, where protection of the ecological reserve has been sacrificed to the “whims” of developers like Valentin Ruiz Ortiz, who is building the El Dorado complex, which will be one of the most luxurious in the state.

“This man is a jackal. He has destroyed more than 100 hectares of mangrove to build lxury homes at the cost of the natural wealth, and the authorities have permitted it,” he announced.

In this protest, on World Environment Day, he also raised the demands of ecologists of the rainforest region of Los Tuxtlas, for protection of the zone.

See our last posts on Mexico and Veracruz.