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11 Aug 2020

International Land Coalition (ILC) with Asian NGO Coalition (ANGOC), Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular (CINEP), Global Witness, International Working Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), Natural Justice URG-LAC: Universal Rights Group Latin America & The Access Initiative Latin America

Indigenous day 2020: COVID-19 outbreak exacerbates threats to indigenous & other land & environmental defenders, says global coalition

'Case study: risks to indigenous and other land and environmental defenders heightened during Covid', August 07, 2020

…The Defending Land and Environmental Defenders Coalition… have been collecting reports of threats, harassment and attacks on land and environmental defenders since May… threats against land and environmental defenders have not slowed during the pandemic; instead, new types of risks have emerged; and in the current context, indigenous peoples are particularly exposed to threats and attacks… While protests were banned, controversial infrastructure and development projects were allowed to advance … In April, in the Philippines … police officers … arrested an indigenous leader for preventing access to a mining operation that locals claim is contaminating their water supply… In Indonesia, a suspended judiciary left three indigenous farmers in Central Kalimantan waiting for a hearing after being arrested for stealing fruit from a plantation company they accuse of grabbing their land… Throughout the lockdown, reports from Colombia documented how armed groups threatened indigenous communities who attempted to protect themselves. In Magdalena, Sierra Nevada’s Kogui indigenous people denounced that armed individuals engaged in “illegal” mining on their lands without any action by the authorities… This is an opportunity for state and private actors to formalize their commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to violence against defenders in their operations…