Defenders of the earth: global killings of land and environmental defenders in 2016
Global Witness, an international organization whose aim is to expose links between the demand for natural resources, corruption, armed conflict and environmental destruction, released a report that showed that environment and land rights activists faced heightened risk - there were, across the world, at least 200 activists killed in 2016 alone. Disturbingly, the trend is both growing (up from 185 in 2015) and spreading, with murders reported in 24 countries compared to 16 in 2015. The report documents a threefold increase in India, for example, as police brutality and state suppression of activist worsens. Latin America remains the worst affected region, home to 60% of murders, a press release from Global Witness said.