London, Sept. 13 (EFE) – A report released Wednesday by Global Witness found that nearly nine out of 10 killings of land and environmental defenders worldwide in 2022 occurred in Latin America.
Among its findings, the report shows that at least 177 activists were killed last year, bringing the total number of land defenders killed between 2012 and 2022 to 1,910.
Presenting the report, Laura Furones, senior advisor to the Land and Environmental Defenders Campaign, said that “as in previous years,” the situation in Latin America remains “particularly worrying.”
Furones noted that 11 of the 18 countries where cases were documented were in this region, and that Colombia was “particularly affected by this serious problem,” with 60 lethal attacks recorded there, more than a third of the killings recorded worldwide.
Since 2012, at least 382 land or climate activists have been killed in Colombia, also making it the country with the highest number of reported murders of land defenders worldwide.
Other countries with high rates of lethal attacks last year were Brazil, with 34 murders; Mexico, with 31; and Honduras, with 14.
Outside the region, 11 defenders were killed in the Philippines.
The report’s findings come ahead of COP28 in the United Arab Emirates in November, which will take stock of progress in implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Shurti Suresh, the organization’s Co-Director of Campaigns, said “governments around the world must urgently address the senseless killings of those who stand up for our planet, including for the protection of its most precious ecosystems which have a critical role to play in tackling the climate emergency”.
THE AMAZON, ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACES
The Amazon is one of the most dangerous places in the world for climate activists, with 39 murders recorded by the organization last year, more than one in five of the world’s total.
The report also documented cases of Indigenous rainforest communities threatened by activities such as gold mining and logging.
Companies based in the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States have been linked to human rights abuses against these communities, and gold illegally mined from Kayapó land in Brazil has been found in the supply chains of Italian precious metals refinery Chimet and mining company Serabi Gold.EFE