This number makes 2019 the most dangerous year in history for activists defending land and water resources from mining, agricultural and fossil fuel interests.
According to Global Witness, advocates stand against the abuse of the environment and human rights that result from the use of natural resources.
Colombia was the deadliest country in 649 with 64 homicides – 24 of them in 2018 – and last year it was 30% of the world’s total.
Also on the list were the Philippines with 43 murders. Brazil had 24 and almost 90% of the killings took place in the Amazon region.
Seven of the ten worst affected countries are in Latin America, where more than two-thirds of all homicides have taken place. Since Global Witness began collecting data in 2012, the region has been hardest hit.
It is also home to Honduras, the country with the largest percentage increase in homicides, which jumped from four in 2018 to 14 last year.
Europe remains the least affected region, with two murders of illegal logging in Romania. Seven homicides have been reported in Africa, but case verification is a problem in the region.
Mining was the deadliest sector, killing 50 people, followed by agriculture with 34 people.
Asia has been a hotspot for agribusiness attacks, accounting for 85% of the world’s total. Of this number, almost 90% took place in the Philippines.
There were also 24 homicides in logging, an 85% increase over 2018 and the largest increase in any sector.
According to the report, many fighters are silenced by arrests, lawsuits, threats and violent attacks, and indigenous peoples are disproportionately affected.
In 2019, 40% of indigenous advocates were killed, despite the fact that these communities represent only 5% of the world’s population.
According to Global Witness, lawyers face a specific set of threats. Women make up 10% of those killed in 2019 but also face fraudulent campaigns using sexist or sexual content, as well as sexual violence, the NGO said.
Global Witness emphasized the work that advocates are doing to combat climate change and oppose carbon-intensive industries.
“Agriculture and oil, gas and mining have continued to be the biggest drivers of attacks on land and environmental advocates – and at the same time they are sectors that are pushing us further to flee climate change through deforestation and increasing carbon emissions,” said Rachel Cox, Global Campaign Participant. Witness, he said in a press release.
“If we really want to make ecological recovery plans that emphasize people’s safety, health and well-being, we must address the root causes of the attacks on lawyers and follow their leadership in protecting the environment and stopping the climate. break.”
The report also highlights some of the successes advocates around the world have made and appreciates their resilience.
One example is the indigenous community of Dayak Iban in central Borneo, Indonesia, which now legally owns 10,000 hectares of land after a decade-long struggle.
Another is the indigenous Waorani tribe in Ecuador, which has won a dominant decision banning the government from selling its land for oil and gas exploration.