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Latin America: Study about violence towards land and environmental defenders finds 1,356 cases of attacks

Author: Editorial Board, Deutsche Welle, Published on: 7 May 2019

[Excerpt translation from Spanish provided by Business and Human Rights Resource Centre]

Protecting the rainforests, mountains, forests and rivers in Latin America has never been so dangerous. Six out of the 10 most hostile countries for leaders and communities that defend the environment and their ancestral lands cited in the report (that the Special Rapporteur Michel Forst presented to the United Nations in 2016), are in Latin America. Because of this, a team of 30 journalists, developers and photo/videographers from seven countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru) are coming together to inquire over episodes of violence against environmental leaders and their communities. The results of this investigative project are a database with 1,356 victimising incidents in ten years (2009-2018) and 16 reports in depth…What did we find? …In our investigation we found 1,179 victimising evens against men and women and 177 against communities or organizations that defend the environment and the land. 81,7% are concentrated on men, perhaps because they are traditionally the ones who have exercised their community leadership positions, although we also found 216 attacks against women – including those who will read the story about Saweto in Peru and Patricia Gualinga in Ecuador. [Refers to AngloGold Ashanti, Cerro Matoso (part of South21, part of BHP Billiton); Compañía General de Combustibles (part of South Cross); Compañia Guatemalteca de Níquel (part of Solway Group); ConocoPhillips; Drummond; EPM, Empresas Públicas de Medellín; y ExplorCobres SA (part of corriente Resources, part of Tongling Nonferrous Metals y China Railway Construction)

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Related companies: AngloGold Ashanti BHP Billiton Cerro Matoso (part of South32) China Railway Construction Colombia Natural Resources, CNR (part of Murray Energy) Compañía General de Combustibles (part of Southern Cross) Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN) (part of Solway Group) Corriente Resources (joint venture Tongling Nonferrous Metals, China Railway Construction Corporation & CRCC-Tongguan Investment) Drummond EPM (Empresas Públicas de Medellín) Explorcobres, EXSA (part of Corriente Resources) Glencore Murray Energy Prodeco (part of Glencore) Solway Group South32 Southern Cross Tongling Nonferrous Metals (SOE)