Environmental activist and her son slain in Mexico

An environmental activist who attempted to protect Mexican forests from drug traffickers has been slain along with her 10-year-old son, even though they were under police protection, her associates said Thursday.

Juventina Villa Mojica was killed Wednesday when about 30 gunmen intercepted her police convoy in the mineral-rich hills of southern Guerrero state, colleagues said. Her son, Rey, was also killed, and a 7-year-old daughter survived, the associates said.

Her death follows the recent slayings of at least 15 other local activists, including Villa’s husband last year, in increasingly violent Guerrero. Drug traffickers in the state covet the many virgin forests both for the profitable lumber they yield and the space to plant marijuana and other crops that can be used to produce narcotics.

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