BY TRACY-JO SMITH
A LEADING member of a campaign against the deforestation of a region in Honduras by international logging groups was murdered, it has emerged.
Carlos Arturo Reyes Mendez, 21, who worked for the international Church charity Caritas was on a "death list" for many months. He had been forced to flee his house as a result of intimidation and threats. His death came after the march for the defence of life in June, in which 30,000 people walked 200 km to the capital, Tegucigalpa.
The Church in Honduras is one of the major players in the environmental movement, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa took part in last month's march and offered to act as a mediator with the president to try to ensure greater government action in defence of the region's forests. Cardinal Rodriguez is due to give a keynote speech in London for Cafod later this year.
National and international timber companies log at least 150,000 hectares of forest a year for export to North America and Europe. Al least two thirds of the original forest in the Olancho region has been lost over the last decade, with as many as 10,000 logger-, currently working in the area