An environmental activist is murdered every two days, according to the annual report of the organization Global Witness. A total of 177 activists lost their lives in 2022, 38% of the victims were indigenous and 88% of the lethal attacks were committed in Latin America, mainly in the Amazon.
Colombia once again leads the world ranking with 60 murders, followed by Brazil (36), Mexico (34), Honduras (14) and the Philippines (11). The death of the Brazilian activist Bruno Araujo Pereira and the British journalist Dom Philips, in June 2022, was the news that went around the world, although similar events are relatively common in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
It is estimated that 1,910 environmental activists have died in the last decade, at the hands of organized crime, poachers or in events related to land grabbing and forestry and mining operations.
“For too long, those responsible for these attacks on environmental defenders have gone unpunished of these murders,” denounces Shrutti Suresh, co-campaign director of Global Witness. “Despite being threatened by irresponsible actions by corporations and governments, this global movement of people defending their homes and communities remains strong and cannot be silenced”.
In Latin America, a total of 1,335 activists have died in the last decade. The problem is especially worrying in Colombia, which by far leads the world ranking with 382 deaths since 2012. According to an analysis by the Somos Defensores Program, only 5.2% of the cases have reached court. In Mexico, 90% of cases against activists and journalists are listed as “unresolved.”