Record Numbers Of Activists Were Killed Last Year

Berta Cáceres, a Honduran environmental activist and winner of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, was shot dead in 2016 over her opposition to a hydroelectric dam.


Record 212 land and environment activists killed last year

The Guardian 28 July 2020

Patrick Greenfield and Jonathan Watts

A record number of people were killed last year for defending their land and environment, according to research that highlights the routine murder of activists who oppose extractive industries driving the climate crisis and the destruction of nature.

More than four defenders were killed every week in 2019, according to an annual death toll compiled by the independent watchdog Global Witness, amid growing evidence of opportunistic killings during the Covid-19 lockdown in which activists were left as “sitting ducks” in their own homes.

Colombia and the Philippines accounted for half of the 212 people killed last year, a surge of nearly 30% from 164 deaths in 2018 and 11 more than the previous record in 2017. Most killings went unpunished and the true number of deaths is likely to be much higher as many go undocumented.

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