Costa Rica: Evidence shows increase of violence & killing of indigenous human rights defenders in Central America

Author: Alexander Villegas & Frances Robles, The New York Times, Published on: 9 March 2020

"Conflicts Over Indigenous Land Grow More Violent in Central America", 9 March 2020

...Mr Rivera’s death came just a few weeks after another Indigenous man in a nearby town was shot in a dispute over land, and a year after a land rights leader in that town was gunned down in his home [in Costa Rica]... Over the past five years, conflicts over land and natural resources in the region have led to about 200 confrontations and the deaths of 60 Indigenous people, according to the Business & Human Rights Resource Center...  Four Indigenous people were killed in an attack in Nicaragua in January, and at least a dozen more died in Colombia in just the first two weeks of this year, according to the United Nations. The deaths in Latin America are the result of increasingly violent clashes between people who have lived on the land for thousands of years and settlers who have arrived much more recently. From Mexico to Brazil, Indigenous tribes moving against stop ranchers, loggers, miners and other business interests — sometimes aggressively — are hoping to reclaim their community land. Sometimes, they are dying for it. And when they do, the newcomers to Indigenous lands rarely seem to pay a legal price. Worldwide, Central and South American Indigenous groups are the most under attack... The [recent] killings have been all the more alarming in Costa Rica, which has escaped the rampant violence elsewhere in Central America.

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