Report by Global Witness reveals record number of land & environmental defenders were killed in 2015

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Article
21 June 2016

Full report: "On Dangerous Ground"

Author: Global Witness

2015 was the worst year on record for killings of land and environmental defenders…On average, more than three people were killed every week in 2015…The worst hit countries were Brazil (50 killings), the Philippines (33) and Colombia (26). Mining was the industry most linked to killings of land and environmental defenders with 42 deaths in 2015. Agribusiness, hydroelectric dams and logging were also key drivers of violence…[C]ollusion between state and corporate interests shield many of those responsible for the killings. In cases that are well documented we found 16 were related to paramilitary groups, 13 to the army, 11 to the police and 11 to private security – strongly implying state or company links to the killings…Our findings highlight…while impunity for perpetrators prevails, the criminalization of activists is becoming more commonplace, particularly in African countries. Governments and powerful business interests use their influence to marginalise defenders and turn public opinion against them…This report…calls for urgent, meaningful action to end the rising tide of violence…[Also refers to Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti, Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Cargill, Hidro Santa Cruz, Las Bambas, Louis Dreyfus, Repsa, and Rio Tinto.]

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Article
21 June 2016

Global Witness calls for govt. action to prevent violence against defenders, including investigating corporate links

Author: Global Witness

"2015 sees unprecedented killings of environmental activists," 20 Jun 2016

…Global Witness…’s new report, On Dangerous Ground, documents 185 known deaths worldwide last year – by far the highest annual death toll on record…“As demand for products like minerals, timber and palm oil continues, governments, companies and criminal gangs are seizing land in defiance of the people who live on it,” said Global Witness campaign leader Billy Kyte. “Communities that take a stand are increasingly finding themselves in the firing line of companies’ private security, state forces and…contract killers...” On Dangerous Ground sheds light on the particular vulnerability of indigenous people, whose weak land rights and geographic isolation make them frequent targets of land and resource grabbing…Global Witness is calling on governments in affected countries to:

  • Increase protection for land and environmental activists…
  • Investigate crimes, including their corporate and political masterminds…and bring perpetrators to justice
  • Support activists’ right to say no to projects…and ensure that companies are proactively seeking their consent
  • Resolve the underlying causes of violence against defenders…

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Article
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Author: Maiana Diniz, Agência Brasil (Brazil)

“Brasil lidera ranking de mortes de ambientalistas em 2015, diz ONG”, 20/06/2016

O Brasil está no topo da lista dos países onde mais ativistas ambientais e da terra foram mortos em 2015, com 50 casos, segundo o levantamento Em terreno perigoso, divulgado...[em 20 de junho]...pela ...Global Witness...Em todo o mundo, foram 185 ativistas...[,]...maior número de mortes por ano de ambientalistas já registrado pela entidade...[A]s principais causas de morte...[:]...envolvimento...em conflitos contra a atividade de mineração..., agronegócio..., exploração madeireira...e projetos de energia hidrelétrica...Entre os assassinatos no Brasil está o do líder comunitário Antônio Isídio Pereira da Silva, encontrado morto na véspera do Natal...[em]...Vergel...“...[Ele]…sofreu ameaças de morte...por denunciar a exploração ilegal de madeira em suas terras. A polícia nunca investigou o assassinato dele”, denuncia a Global Witness...A vulnerabilidade dos povos indígenas em conflitos agrários, agravada por muitos casos de posse precária da terra e isolamento geográfico,..[gerou]...cerca de 40% das vítimas...No Brasil, o relatório cita o caso do Guarani-Kaiowá Simeão Vilhalva,...morto...[em]...Antônio João...quando...fazendeiros tent[aram]...retomar à força fazendas ocupadas por indígenas em...área que faz parte da Terra Indígena Nhanderu Marangatu...[O]s interesses em comum de governos e empresas muitas vezes protegem os responsáveis pelas mortes de ativistas...[A]...Global Witness pede providências dos governos dos países envolvidos e aponta caminhos para diminuir o número de mortes...

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Report
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Author: Global Witness

En 2015 más de tres personas a la semana murieron asesinadas por defender su tierra, sus bosques y sus ríos frente a industrias destructivas, según afirma Global Witness. En el informe más reciente de esta organización, titulado En terreno peligroso, se documentan 185 muertes que se sabe que acaecieron el año pasado por todo el mundo, una cifra que supone, con mucho, la cifra anual de víctimas mortales más alta jamás registrada, además de un aumento del 59 % respecto a 2014. Las graves restricciones informativas que existen implican que, sin duda, la cifra real es aún mayor. En 2015 los países más mortíferos para los activistas de la tierra y el medio ambiente fueron Brasil, con 50 muertes, y Filipinas, con 33, que representan cifras nunca vistas en estos países, seguidos de Colombia (con 26 muertes), Perú (12), Nicaragua (12) y la República Democrática del Congo (11). Entre las principales causas de estos asesinatos se encontraban la minería (en 42 casos), la agroindustria (20), la tala (15) y los proyectos hidroeléctricos (15).

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