200 people killed while defending the environment

News 13 July, 2017
  • AFP

    Jean Balthazard

    Thursday, 13 July, 2017 10:28

    Thursday, 13 July, 2017 10:46

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    At least 200 people are dead in 2016, then they were defending the environment in the face of mining, forestry and agriculture. A record number, according to the report published on Thursday by the organisation Global Witness.

    Brazil has recorded the largest number of deaths, with 49. British (37), the Philippines (28) and India (16) are the other most affected countries. Honduras, where 14 people have been killed in 2016, remains the deadliest country in the per capita since the last decade.


    In 2016, the nearly 200 murders have been recorded in 24 countries. The trend is increasing, therefore, since, in 2015, the NGO has documented 185 murders in 16 countries. These figures, however, could be higher, estimated Global Witness, since a lot of homicides are not reported to the police, especially in rural areas. The mining sector is the one that is the most dangerous. At least thirty-three people have been killed after opposing mining projects and petroleum. Of all the victims, almost half (40%) were from the indigenous populations.

    A problem far from being solved

    According to the NGOS, government bodies and private companies fail when it comes time to tackle the main cause of this problem. They required projects to the local communities without having obtained their prior consent.

    “Almost 1000 murders have been documented by Global Witness since 2010, while many others have suffered threats, attacks, harassment, stigmatization, surveillance, and arrests. The governments are clearly not able to protect the activists and the lack of accountability of the authorities leaves the field open to other violations in the future”, one can read in the report.

    It is difficult to reach in all cases the persons at the origin of the crimes for lack of judicial procedures. The NGO holds, however, evidence enough substantiated to assert that the police and military forces have committed at least 43 dead. The private sector, which brings together, among others, the security guards and the hired killers is associated with 52 murders.

    Here is a video with some testimonials of people who are fighting to protect their land: