Guatemala: ecologist assassinated at Lake Izabal

Guatemalan community leader and environmental advocate Sofía Vidal Osorio was slain by unknown gunmen Aug. 17 at Morales, Izabal department. Vidal served as the elected leader of the community of La Ceiba, and was coordinator of the Inter-Comunitarian Council for the Sierra Caral Special Protected Area, an advocacy group seeking creation of a reserve to save the threatened forests of the small mountain range overlooking Lake Izabal. She had three times testified before Guatemala’s congress in favor of declaring the protected area. Guatemala’s Foundation for Eco-Development and Conservation (FUNDAECO) is calling on the government to declare the reserve in honor of Vidal, and take measures to end the state of lawlessness in the region. (National Council of Protected Areas—CONAP, Guatemala, Aug. 21)

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