Nurse-turned activist Isela Gonzalez lives with bodyguards and constant threat in her fight against destructive economic interests
Not all land defenders fight in remote forests and coastlands. Some take the battle to the centres of power: to courtrooms, parliament buildings and corporate headquarters. The veneer of urban civility may be glossier here, but the struggle is no less dangerous. In some cases, it can be worse.
Isela Gonzalez has been threatened more times than she can remember by university-educated men in suits, whose business interests – in logging, mining, agriculture and narcotics – are challenged by her work as director of Alianza Sierra Madre to protect indigenous land rights in Mexico’s western Sierra Madre.