Image Above: Gonzalo Cardona Molina alongside Yellow Eared Parrot
Over the past year or so I’ve noticed an influx of what I thought to be an unconventional conflict. Headlines that mourned a death of a beloved conservationist at the hands of drug cartels. Why? It’s difficult to wrap your head around the idea that individuals who are at peace with nature would somehow be embroiled with the likes of drug cartels.
Further research into the subject proved to me that the clash of such opposite forces, has been a decades long battle. Countless lives, both human and animals alike, sacrificed in the name of drugs, notoriety, and the all-mighty dollar.
Monarch Butterfly Activist Gomez Gonzales
Earlier this year, two men who spent their lives protecting a monarch butterfly preserve in El Rosario, Mexico, were found dead. One of the men, Gomez Gonzalez was a powerful advocate for the plight of the monarch butterflies. He fought relentlessly to protect the migratory routes of the butterflies. Gonzalez’ body was found at the bottom of holding pond in an agricultural area. His cause of death: “mechanical asphyxiation by drowning of a person with head trauma” according to Michoacán prosecutors.
Just this past January in Medellin, Colombia, 55-year-old Gonzalo Cardona Molina, was found dead three days later after his daily vigil of an endangered yellow-eared parrot. His body was located in a shallow grave with two pullets in his chest. According to reports, Molina’s death is the latest in a surge of murders of environmentalists in the country.
If you go back even further to 2014, unsettling developments were already taking shape in the conservation efforts of the ever elusive, and highly endangered Vaquita. A species of dolphin that is believed to be the smallest and least studied of the dolphin family. Illegal fishing and poaching have laid waste to the nearly extinct species.
Vaquita caught in fishing net.
Public outcries of these crimes have often been met with deaf ears or fear from retaliation of cartels.
However, there are still ways that we can help and do our part. Share America has listed 10 simple ways we can all contribute. Follow the link here.
Check these documentaries/artcles out for further details and stories:
- “He tried to save a rare parrot. It cost him his life” – Megan Janetsky
- “Drug Cartels Vs The Cutest Mammal in the Sea” by Vicki Croke