A new report by Global Witness found that 164 people were killed in 2018 for trying to protect the environment. The Philippines ranks top of the list with 30 deaths, while in Guatemala the number of deaths jumped by more than four times. The number of recorded deaths also rose sharply in India.
Global Witness says activists who are being targeted are defending land and resources that are being exploited for consumer-driven items such as cellphones and jewelry, as well as food. The highest increase in last year’s numbers is attributed to killings of water defenders, which includes conflicts over hydropower in Guatemala.
Indigenous groups are at particular risk of being targeted. Last week, tribal leader Emyra Wajapi was stabbed to death in Brazil by gold miners in the remote village of Amapá. We’ll have more on what happened in Brazil with Carlos Rittl, executive secretary of Climate Observatory, later in the broadcast. Click here to see our recent interview with Luis Gilberto Murillo about activist murders in Colombia.