Honoring Homero Gomez Gonzales- Activist who fought to protect monarch butterflies
This week Homero Gomez, a leading activist for monarch butterflies in Mexico, was found dead in a well in Michoacan. Homero was an outspoken advocate for the monarch and fought for the protection of their vital overwintering habitat in Michoacan state, where millions of butterflies journey each year from Canada seeking the shelter and warmth of old-growth trees. Though cause of death is still not known, Gomez disappearance one week prior to his death led to speculation of his being a target of illegal logging operations in the area.
Michoacan state is home to Mexico's largest butterfly reserve, El Rosario Ocampo Michoacan, which is world heritage site. The area is highly contested though, as rival drug gangs battle for control of smuggling routes, and logging companies and avocado growers alike eye the region for its economic potential.
Homero Gomez, logger turned monarch activist, created an additional monarch preserve in the area in November 2019. Shortly before his disappearance, he is seen on a twitter video inviting people to come experience the wonder of the monarchs at their overwintering site.