‘On Dangerous Ground’, an investigation by independent human rights agency Global Witness, says that 26 environmental activists were killed in Colombia last year, putting it in third place globally in terms of the number of deaths, behind only Brazil and the Philippines.
The report, which was released in June, said that 2015 was the “worst year on record”, with 185 killings worldwide, and that many of those murdered were from indigenous communities. It blames the mining industry and agribusiness for many of the deaths.
In Colombia it highlights some of the challenges in land reform and says the suspects are “paramilitary groups working in collusion with local political and business elites”.
They call on the government to fully investigate the deaths and to implement protective measures for land and environmental campaigners.
In other human rights news, Amnesty International have just released a statement reporting a recent death threat against a journalist and a cameraman, sent as a chat message and purporting to be from the ELN.
Amnesty International says “such threats only serve to undermine the invaluable work of journalists in Colombia, who have long been the target of human rights abuses and violations by all the actors in Colombia’s long running armed conflict”.
By Laura Sutcliffe