Body of Mexican butterfly conservationist found in well

National/World News

People mourn next to the coffin with the remains of Mexican environmentalist Homero Gomez, during his funeral in El Rosario village, Ocampo municipality, Michoacan State, Mexico, on January 30, 2020. – Renowned Mexican environmentalist Homero Gomez, a strenuous defender of the monarch butterfly, was found dead in a well in the state of Michoacan (center-west), local authorities said Wednesday. (Photo by Enrique Castro / AFP) (Photo by ENRIQUE CASTRO/AFP via Getty Images)

The body of a missing Mexican butterfly conservationist and activist was found in a well, authorities confirmed Wednesday.

Homero Gomez Gonzalez, 55, had been missing since January 13, police told CNN Espanol. He was found in Ocampo, Michoacán state, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said during a Thursday press conference.

Lopez Obrador called Gomez’s death “lamentable and painful” and vowed to continue to fight criminal groups believed to be behind his disappearance and death.

An official autopsy will be released at a later date, but a state official said Gomez’s body showed signs of asphyxiation.

People carry the coffin with the remains of Mexican environmentalist Homero Gomez, during his funeral procession in El Rosario village, Ocampo municipality, Michoacan State, Mexico, on January 30, 2020. – Renowned Mexican environmentalist Homero Gomez, a strenuous defender of the monarch butterfly, was found dead in a well in the state of Michoacan (center-west), local authorities said Wednesday. (Photo by Enrique Castro / AFP) (Photo by ENRIQUE CASTRO/AFP via Getty Images)

Mexico’s State Commission for Human Rights said they believe Gomez, known as the “Defender of the Monarch Butterfly,” might have come into conflict with illegal loggers while carrying out his conservation work.

“The latest survey of monarch butterfly habitat in Mexico is a testament to the power of conservation. The area of forest occupied by hibernating monarch butterflies in Mexico has increased by 144% in relation to last year’s survey — the biggest growth in the past 12 years,” the World Wildlife Fund reported.

Gomez would post videos of himself with the thousands of Monarch butterflies in the sanctuary he created, El Rosario Sanctuary in Ocampo.

“Today, the butterflies are flying around looking for water as they do nearly every day before they head home,” Gomez said the day before he disappeared.

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