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The use for the environment and nature can be life -threatening: According to the non -governmental organization Global Witness, 200 environmentalists were killed in the past year. That was a slight decline compared to 2020, when 227 activists were killed, as the group announced when it was presented by their annual report on Thursday.

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over three quarters of all fatal attacks were registered in Latin America. The most dangerous country for conservationists was Mexico with 54 killings, followed by Colombia (33) and Brazil (26). In particular, activists who work against mining and energy projects, agriculture and lumberjacks live dangerously. Most of the killings would never be informed, the organization reported.

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“Violence, Criminalization and Human“

”All over the world, indigenous, environmental activists and conservationists risk their lives in the fight against climate change and the loss of biological diversity,” said a spokeswoman for Global Witness, Shruti Suresh. "They play a crucial role as the first line of defense against the ecological

collapse, but are attacked themselves and are violent, criminalization and harassment exposed to repressive governments and companies that are more profit than people and the environment.»

The organization has been documenting violence against environmentalists for ten years. A total of 1733 activists were killed during this period - this corresponds to a murder every two days. The countries with most fatal attacks on conservationists were Brazil, Colombia and the Philippines. Especially indigenous people are always a target: they make up 40 percent of the victims, even though they only represent 5 percent of the world's population.

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"Companies directly for human rights violations"

"We need more attention to the situation of environmental activists," said Filipino Environmentalists Jon Bonafacio. "The companies, but also the banks that finance the projects, have to be held responsible for human rights violations," he said.

around the iron ore mine Peña Colorada in the west of Mexico, for example, residents have been fighting against displacement and environmental destruction for decades. «The indigenous population has never been moved into the planning. Now there is a lack of water because the mine consumes everything, »said a lawyer who represents the indigenous village communities and did not want to be named for security reasons. "Anyone who works against the mine will be kidnapped and murdered."

in April 2021, for example, was killed by José Santos Isaac Chávez. The indigenous one was the only candidate for the local council who spoke openly against the mine for multinational corporations Arcelor Mittal and Ternium. He was found dead in his car with torture traces.

«Police No High Aid»

behind the violence, according to the lawyer, is the drug cartel Jalalco Nueva Generación. The group is currently considered the most powerful criminal syndicate in the Latin American country and, in addition to drug trafficking, is also involved in illegal mining.

"The local authorities and the urban police are not a great help because they are partially under a ceiling with the cartel," said the lawyer. He called for a greater presence of the national guard and consistent investigations into the acts carried out: "Punishment must stop."

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