A Mexican court on Friday dismissed burglary charges against Ildefonso Zamora, an anti-logging activist who had been imprisoned since November 2015, the Associated Press reported.
Amnesty International had alleged Zamora had been accused in the July 2012 burglary due to his anti-logging activities. Zamora is being “punished for speaking out against the damage being done to his community’s territory and environment,” Amnesty International said in a statement earlier this year.
In 2007, Zamora’s son Aldo was murdered another son, Misael, was injured in what Zamora said was an attack by illegal loggers. Zamora has said he received threats before the attack and it was never investigated afterward.
Zamora has been fighting the logging in the mountains outside Mexico City for over a decade.
“I work to stop illegal logging, and that has cost me dearly: my son’s life and my freedom,” Zamora told Amnesty International earlier this year. “I want to continue working for my community because illegal logging is destroying large parts of the planet earth.”
Illegal logging destroys about 64,000 acres of forest, according to Reuters in 2007, but environmental activists say that number is far too low. Illegal logging is extremely lucrative in Mexico, with Greenpeace estimating that half of all the timber logged in Mexico is done illegally.