The foreign media reported about the case of Liviu Pop, the forester in Maramures, northern Romania, who was killed last week. BBC, the public TV in UK, published an extensive story about this case, also reminding that six Romanian foresters had been killed in the past two years “as battle over logging turns violent”.
The dead body of forester Liviu Pop was discovered in a ravine in a forest near Strâmbu Băiuț, last Wednesday. He was shot and had multiple signs of assault on his body, internal injuries and a broken leg. The first suspects are the lumberjacks, but authorities have not identified yet the aggressors.
Strambu Baiut is considered one of the last virgin secular forest in Romania.
Romsilva, the National Forest Authority, confirms that forester shot in Maramures was trying to prevent an illegal woodcutting, reporting that since early this year 16 foresters had been attacked, while there had been almost 170 overall in the past 5 years.
Liviu Pop was employed at the Maramures Forestry Directorate for 7 years. He was married and had three minor children.
Prosecutors claim they have not identified yet the people who murdered him, but sources close to the investigation told journalists that there are three suspects, the people who last saw the forester alive. Locals said that one of these suspects is the nephew of the first-prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office upon the Court in Targu Lapus.
Liviu Pop is the second forester killed in Romania in less than a month.
“The two deaths have heightened fears for the safety of those whose job it is to protect the forests of this eastern EU country.
Romania is home to more than half of Europe’s last remaining old-growth and primeval forests — valuable ecosystems home to bears, wolves, lynx, and wildcat,” the BBC journalist wrote.
Another forester, Raducu Gorcioaia, 50, was found dead in his car last month, a short distance away from an illegal logging site in Pascani forest district in northeastern country. The forest ranger had suffered serious head injuries reportedly caused by an axe. Three people, including two teenagers, are suspects in the case.
Illegal logging has been increasing at an alarming pace in Romania in the past year, with international and Romanian NGOs launching repeated warnings.