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Brazil & Colombia: 2 more land rights defenders killed, adding to a number of other killings of defenders in region

"We must honour lost land defenders by fighting the system which killed them", 02 Mar 2018

As the Guardian and Global Witness revealed that almost four environmental defenders were murdered every week in 2017, War on Want learned of two more killings... On 24 January, Márcio “Marcinho” Matos, involved in the fight for rights of landless peasants in Bahia in north-east Brazil, was shot in front of his son. Three days later, Temístocles “don Temis” Machado, a prominent figure in the struggle of Afro-Colombian communities across the Colombian Pacific, was murdered in his home... Machado, of the Black Communities’ Process (PCN) and Matos of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) were tireless land defenders...Last year, Machado played a vital role in organising a three-week civic strike that brought Buenaventura to a grinding halt...In Brazil, a never-ending corruption scandal has unlocked the worst political crisis the country has seen since its transition to democracy... In this context, the MST – a 1.5-million-member movement – is one of the strongest social movements in Brazil, campaigning against the industrial export agriculture model...Many of the world’s largest extractive companies are registered in the UK and conduct their business through London, based on free trade agreements with numerous countries in the global south, including Colombia and Brazil.