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Wednesday, January 25, 2017


by Devon Balwit 

Isidro Baldenegro (d. 2017), a subsistence farmer and community leader of Mexico’s indigenous Tarahumara people in the country’s Sierra Madre mountain region was jailed for 15 months for organizing protests against illegal logging and his work to defend the forests, lands and rights of indigenous people.
Goldman prize winner Isidro Baldenegro López, who was known for his activism against illegal logging, was shot dead months after Berta Cáceres was murdered 
The Guardian, January 18, 2017

Congratulations, you have won a prize!
Even now, we are preparing your bullet;
someone is digging your grave.

We thank you for raising your head above
the parapet, helping our assassins, for walking
ahead of the crowd, for speaking out.

Even as you topple, we are felling your trees,
damming your ancestral waters, wringing
profit from all that is profitable.

And do not worry; we have our eyes on your sons
and daughters, already seeking the next winner,
attentive, proactive, ready to reward passion.

Devon Balwit is a writer and teacher from Portland, OR. She has two chapbooks forthcoming—how the blessed travel from Maverick Duck Press and Forms Most Marvelous from dancing girl press. Her recent work has found many homes, both on-line and in print.