first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Activism, agribusiness, Agriculture, Endangered Environmentalists, Environment, Environmental Activism, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Mining, Murdered Activists, Research According to a new report by London-based NGO Global Witness, 207 activists were killed in 2017, the highest total number since the group started tracking violence against “land and environmental defenders” around the world. Previous reports documented 185 murdered activists in 2015 and 200 in 2016.Latin America is still the most dangerous place on Earth to protest the destruction of the environment and violations of land rights, with 60 percent of the killings in 2017 occurring there. In particular, Mexico saw a large increase in murders last year, from three to 15. And Brazil alone was the site of 57 murdered activists — the most deaths Global Witness has ever recorded over the course of one year in a single country.But Latin America is hardly alone: every region of Earth saw a growing number of attacks against activists in 2017. The number of indigenous leaders, community activists, and environmentalists killed every year while protecting their lands and communities from agribusiness, mining, and other industries continues to rise.According to a new report by London-based NGO Global Witness, 207 activists were killed in 2017, the highest total number since the group started tracking violence against “land and environmental defenders” around the world. Previous reports documented 185 murdered activists in 2015 and 200 in 2016.Latin America is still the most dangerous place on Earth to protest the destruction of the environment and violations of land rights, with 60 percent of the killings in 2017 occurring there. In particular, Mexico saw a large increase in murders last year, from three to 15. And Brazil alone was the site of 57 murdered activists — the most deaths Global Witness has ever recorded over the course of one year in a single country.The group reports that seven “massacres,” involving four or more murders at the same time, occurred last year. “In one of the largest-scale attacks of 2017, Gamela indigenous people were assaulted in Brazil,” the report states. “Machetes and rifles were used in an attempt to forcibly seize control of their land, leaving 22 severely injured, some with their hands cut off. Months later, nobody had faced justice for this appalling incident, reflecting a wider culture of impunity and inaction to support defenders by the Brazilian government.”While no one was killed in that particular attack, indigenous activists represent a disproportionate number of those killed every year. For instance, 13 of the 15 people killed in Mexico were indigenous people defending their ancestral lands. Though the number of indigenous people killed in 2017 was just 25 percent of the total, down from 40 percent in 2016, indigenous groups account for 5 percent of the global population, meaning they are still “massively overrepresented among defenders killed,” Global Witness found.Latin America is hardly alone: every region of Earth saw a growing number of attacks against activists in 2017.Per the report, 48 “defenders” were killed in the Philippines last year, the most ever in any Asian country. In one especially tragic incident, eight members of the Taboli-manubo community in the Philippines who opposed a coffee plantation on their land were murdered in a single attack.“President Duterte’s aggressively anti-human-rights stance and a renewed military presence in resource-rich regions are fuelling the violence,” the authors of the report write. “Almost half of the killings in the Philippines were linked to struggles against agribusiness.”Another 19 people were killed in Africa, 17 of whom lost their lives “while defending protected areas against poachers and illegal miners,” the report notes. 12 of those murders were in the Democratic Republic of Congo.Whereas the mining industry was connected to the most attacks in the past, that is no longer the case. “Agribusiness was the most dangerous sector,” the report finds, “overtaking mining for the first time ever, with 46 defenders killed protesting against the way goods we consume are being produced.” Mining and oil operations were linked to 40 killings, poaching to 23, and logging to 23.While it is often difficult to identify the perpetrators of this violence because in many cases they are never brought to justice, Global Witness says it was able to link government security forces to 53 killings (militaries were linked to 30, and police 23). The group was able to connect criminal gangs, security guards, landowners, poachers, and other non-state actors to 90 murders.As alarming as the numbers Global Witness has reported are, the group says that they are only “the tip of the iceberg,” as limited data on killings means that several more likely went unrecorded.“Our data on killings is likely to be an underestimate, given that many murders go unreported, particularly in rural areas. Our methodology requires cases to be verified according to a strict set of criteria, which can’t always be met by a review of public information like newspaper reports or legal documents, nor through local contacts. Having a strict methodology means our figures don’t represent the scale of the problem, and we are working to improve this.”Ben Leather, a senior campaigner at Global Witness, said that while governments and businesses are often complicit in violence against activists, they also must be part of the solution.“Local activists are being murdered as governments and businesses value quick profit over human life,” Leather said in a statement. “Many of the products emerging from this bloodshed are on the shelves of our supermarkets. Governments, companies and investors have the duty and the power to support and protect defenders at risk, and to guarantee accountability wherever attacks occur. But more importantly, they can prevent these threats from emerging in the first place, by listening to local communities, respecting their rights, and ensuring that business is conducted responsibly.”Ramón Bedoya’s father was killed after protesting against palm oil and banana plantations on land stolen from his community, which are threatening the area’s biodiversity. Hernán Bedoya was one of 24 defenders killed in Colombia last year. Photo Credit: Thom Pierce / Guardian / Global Witness / UN Environment.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more