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19 Sep 2023

Global: At least 177 land and environmental defenders around the world were killed last year, according to Global Witness

Global Witness

Global Witness has just launched its report "Standing firm - The Land and Environmental Defenders on the frontlines of the climate crisis". Main findings include:

  • At least 177 land and environmental defenders around the world were killed last year, taking the total number of defenders killed between 2012 and 2022 to 1,910;
  • Almost nine in 10 recorded killings in 2022 were in Latin America, with more than a third of all fatal attacks taking place in Colombia – more than any other country;
  • One in five murders of defenders worldwide took place in the Amazon Rainforest, with violence, torture and threats a shared reality for communities across the region;
  • As well as lethal attacks, defenders are also being increasingly subject to criminalisation as a strategy for silencing those who speak out, with laws being weaponised against them;
  • 10 killings were linked to agribusiness, while mining was connected with eight cases, followed by logging, with four;
  • Female defenders were subjected to 11% of the total number of lethal attacks. 36% of the defenders murdered were Indigenous peoples and 7% were Afro-descendants.