Environmental activist committed to the defence of the indigenous community of Cherán – a region situated in the North Western part of the Mexican state of Michoacán, one of the hardest hit by the drug trafficking criminality – she strenuously fought to defend the woods from the illegal trafficking of organized crime. She founded the Ronda Comunitaria de Cherán, which worked as a forestal guard, and gave rise to the movement of the comuneros of Cherán: a municipality of 20,000 inhabitants, which, since 2008, has defended the land from the mafia gangs of Michoacán, to then declare itself an autonomous municipality in 2011 with a government established by the comunidad, without political parties. In the area of Cherán, precisely, the collusions between the parties, the mafia and police were so strong that, in 2011, the population – with the women on the front line – ran a revolt to expel the criminality outside its borders.
Guadalupe became a target of the ecological mafias and was murdered in Mexico in January 2018. The community demanded the condemnation of her murder as “gender-based violence”, due to the fact that her body was found without cloche and with signs of violence. Now it is the women who run the region of Cherán, with a judicial system that punishes with fines or social work those who commit irregularities.
The struggle to defend the environment has made Cherán a symbol of the defence of the territory and the natural resources in Mexico. This is a struggle that has already cost the lives of many people.