Global Witness highlights attacks on human rights defenders

29 July 2018

In its latest annual report on the situation of human rights defenders worldwide, Global Witness reveals that 2017 was the deadliest year yet for environmental and land defenders. It documented a total of 207 killings, the vast majority in Latin America. Brazil had the biggest number (with 54 killings), followed by Colombia (24), and Mexico (15). Peru is in fourth place in the Americas region and seventh worldwide, with eight killings documented last year compared to just two recorded in 2016.

As well as environmentalists, those killed were mostly indigenous and community leaders defending their land, homes and communities from mining, agribusiness and other powerful interests. Global Witness highlights agribusiness, including coffee, palm oil and banana plantations, as the industry most closely associated with these attacks.

It asks us to join their call in demanding our governments and companies ensure that the products we use are not fuelling human rights abuses. “When rich tropical forest is levelled for monoculture crops, delicate ecosystems that could capture carbon emissions are lost forever”, it writes “when open land is turned over for mining, soil and freshwater are poisoned, jeopardising the health and the future of nearby communities”.

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  • PSG Aims

    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

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    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

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