Tag Archives: Control of land and natural resources

Environmentalists killed 2018 by country and sector. Credit: Global Witness.

How governments and business silence land and environmental defenders

Enemies of the State: How governments and business silence land and environmental defenders Global Witness July 2019

Calls to protect the planet are growing louder – but around the world, those defending their land and our environment are being silenced. More than three such people were murdered on average every week in 2018, with attacks driven by destructive industries like mining, logging and agribusiness. This year, our annual report on the killings of land and environmental defenders also reveals how countless more people were threatened, arrested or thrown in jail for daring to oppose the governments or companies seeking to profit from their land. These are ordinary people trying to protect their homes and livelihoods, and standing up for the health of our planet. Often their land is violently grabbed to produce goods used and consumed across the world every day, from food, to mobile phones, to jewellery. Continue reading.

Access full report.

Graphic. Environmentalists killed 2018 by country and sector. Credit: Global Witness.

Photo: Hamilton Lopes and his daughter, members of the Guarani indigenous community, stand in front of their hut. Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

Control of land and natural resources 2019

Bitter aftertaste? Food companies could face costly disputes over land in Africa Adela Suliman Thompson Reuters Foundation February 24, 2019

Brazil to open indigenous reserves to mining without indigenous consent Sue Branford and Maurício Torres Mongabay March 14, 2019

Brazil agriculture minister wants to open indigenous land to commercial farming Jake Spring and Anthony Boadle Reuters January 18, 2019

Indigenous people, the first victims of Brazil’s new far-right government Mario Osava Inter Press Service January 10, 2019

Photo: Hamilton Lopes and his daughter, members of the Guarani indigenous community, stand in front of their hut, where their family lives a precarious existence on land that has not been demarcated, where they face threats of expulsion, on Brazil’s border with Paraguay. Large landowners seize the lands of the Guarani, the second-largest native community in the country, causing a large number of murders and suicides of indigenous people. Credit: Mario Osava/IPS See original article.

Argentina’s indigenous people fight for land rights Daniel Gutman Irin News January 12, 2019

Image: Mary Tembo displays her homegrown organic seeds at her farm in Chongwe, Zambia. Credit: Timothy A. Wise
Image: Mary Tembo displays her homegrown organic seeds at her farm in Chongwe, Zambia. Credit: Timothy A. Wise

Image: Mary Tembo displays her homegrown organic seeds at her farm in Chongwe, Zambia.
In December, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly approved the 
Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas The declaration formally extends human rights protections to farmers whose “seed sovereignty” is threatened by government and corporate practices. Credit: Timothy A. Wise

U.N. backs seed sovereignty in landmark peasants’ rights declaration Timothy Wise Foodtank December, 2018
“On December 17, the United Nations General Assembly took a quiet but historic vote, approving the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas, by a vote of 121-8 with 52 abstentions. The declaration, which was the product of some 17 years of diplomatic work led by the international peasant alliance La Via Campesina, formally extends human rights protections to farmers whose “seed sovereignty” is threatened by government and corporate practices. ”

Photo: Activist Rigoberto Lima Choc at a press conference, three months before he was murdered. Credit Global Witness

Land and environmental defenders murdered in 2017

Global Witness July 24, 2018

Photo:  Activist Rigoberto Lima Choc at a press conference, three months before he was murdered.  On 18th September 2015,  Lima was shot dead in broad daylight opposite the courthouse in Sayaxché, Guatemala. On the same day, three other activists  – Hermelindo Asij, Lorenzo Pérez and Manuel Mendoza – were kidnapped after allegedly  receiving threats that they would be burned alive. Lima Choc and his colleagues were the first to document the catastrophic environmental destruction caused by palm oil company REPSA in the Río de la Pasión. Credit: Global Witness


Santiago Maldonado, Argentina
Rafael Nahuel, Argentina
Ceará, Brazil
Roberto Santos Araújo, Brazil
Elivelton Castelo Nascimento, Brazil
José Caneta Gavião, Brazil
Sônia Vicente Cacau Gavião, Brazil
Orestes Rodrigues de Castro, Brazil
Renato Souza Benevides, Brazil
Xukuru‐Kariri Damião Lima da Silva (Dão), Brazil
Waldomiro Costa Pereira, Brazil
Raimundo Silva (Umbico), Brazil
Aldo Aparecido Carlini, Brazil
Edson Alves Antunes, Brazil
Ezequias Santos de Oliveira, Brazil
Fábio Rodrigues dos Santos, Brazil
Francisco Chaves da Silva, Brazil
Izaul Brito dos Santos, Brazil
Samuel Antônio da Cunha, Brazil
Sebastião Ferreira de Souza, Brazil
Valmir Rangeu do Nascimento, Brazil
Silvino Nunes Gouveia, Brazil
Kátia Martins, Brazil
Etevaldo Soares Costa, Brazil
Paulo Sérgio Bento Oliveira, Brazil
Weldson Pereira da Silva, Brazil
Nelson Souza Milhomem, Brazil
Weclebson Pereira Milhomem, Brazil
Ozeir Rodrigues da Silva, Brazil
Jane Julia de Oliveira, Brazil
Regivaldo Pereira da Silva, Brazil
Ronaldo Pereira de Souza, Brazil
Bruno Henrique Pereira Gomes, Brazil
Antonio Pereira Milhomem, Brazil
Hércules Santos de Oliveira, Brazil
Valdenir Juventino Izidoro (Lobo), Brazil
Manoel Quintino da Silva Kaxarari, Brazil
Ademir de Souza Pereira, Brazil
Rosenilton de Almeida, Brazil
Raimundo Mota de Souza Junior, Brazil
Lindomar Fernandes Martins, Brazil
Manoel Índio Arruda, Brazil
Maria da Lurdes Fernandes Silva, Brazil
Adeilton Brito de Souza, Brazil
Amauri Pereira Silva, Brazil
Cosme Rosário da Conceição, Brazil
Gildásio Bispo das Neves, Brazil
Marcos Pereira Silva, Brazil
Valdir Pereira Silva, Brazil
Edilson Pereira dos Santos, Brazil
Jorge Matias da Silva, Brazil
Eraldo Moreira Luz, Brazil
Flávio Gabriel Pacífico dos Santos, Brazil
João Ferreira dos Santos, Brazil
Hugo Rabelo Leite, Brazil
Flávio Lima de Souza, Brazil
Marinalva Silva de Souza, Brazil
Jairo Feitosa Pereira, Brazil
Fernando Pereira, Brazil


Aldemar Parra García, Colombia
José Yeimer Cartagena, Colombia
Edmiro León Alzate Londoño, Colombia
Yoryanis Isabel Bernal Varela, Colombia
Edilberto Cantillo Meza, Colombia
Falver Cerón Gómez, Colombia
Eder Cuetia Conda, Colombia
Ruth Alicia Lopez Guisao, Colombia
Javier Oteca Pilcué, Colombia
Gerson Acosta Salazar, Colombia
Nelson Fabra Díaz, Colombia
Jorge Arbey Chantré Achipiz, Colombia
Daniel Felipe Castro Basto, Colombia
Mario Andrés Calle Correa, Colombia
Ezequiel Rangel Romano, Colombia
Luis Edilson Arango Gallego, Colombia
Manuel Ramírez Mosquera, Colombia
Esquivel Manyoma, Colombia
Efigenia Vasquez Astudillo, Colombia
Oscar Ferney Tenorio, Colombia
Aulio Isarama Forastero, Colombia
Mario Jacanamijoy, Colombia
Mario Castaño Bravo, Colombia
Hernán Bedoya, Colombia
Joël Meriko Ari, DRC
Gerome Bolimola Afokao, DRC
Tims Nalola Butinda, DRC
Léopold Gukiya Ngbekusa, DRC
Patrick Kisembo N’singa, DRC
Sudi Koko, DRC
Antopo Selemani, DRC
Lokana Tingiti, DRC
Dudunyabo Machongani Célestin, DRC
Charles Paluku Syaira, DRC
Jonas Paluku Malyani, DRC
Pacifique Musubao Fikirini, DRC
Christian Mbone Nakulire, DRC
Luís Manuel Medina, Dominican Republic
Leo Martínez, Dominican Republic
Laura Leonor Vásquez Pineda, Guatemala
Sebastián Alonso, Guatemala
Carlos Maaz Coc, Guatemala
José de los Santos Sevilla, Honduras
José Alfredo Rodríguez, Honduras
Silvino Zapata, Honduras
Leodan Mancías, Honduras
Héctor Noé Cárcamo Castellanos, Honduras
Alamgeer Sheikh, India
Mafizul Khan, India
Daulat Ram Lader, India
Dharmendra Vala, India
Jailal Rathia, India
Pehelwan Singh, India
Lalita, India
Uday Yadav, India
Niranjan Yadav, India
Vimlesh Yadav, India
Sharath Madivala, India
Duba Issa, Kenya
Roba Duba, Kenya
Friday Pyne, Liberia
Marciano Martínez Cruz, Mexico
Rafael Hernández Cisneros, Mexico
Isidro Baldenegro López, Mexico
Juan Ontiveros Ramos, Mexico
Benjamín Juárez José, Mexico
José Carlos Jiménez Crisóstomo, Mexico
Luis Gustavo Hernández Cohenete, Mexico
Francisco Jiménez Alejandre, Mexico
Santiago Luna Crisanto, Mexico
Miguel Ángel Vázquez Torres, Mexico
Agustín Vázquez Torres, Mexico
Rodrigo Guadalupe Huet Gómez, Mexico
Pablo Andrés Jiménez, Mexico
Gabriel Ramos Olivera, Mexico
Felipe Ramírez, Mexico
Hussen Antônio Laitone, Mozambique
Lung Jarm Phe, Myanmar
Htay Aung, Myanmar
Camilo Frank López, Nicaragua
Celedonia Zalazar Point, Nicaragua
Tito José González Bendles, Nicaragua
Felipe Pérez Gamboa, Nicaragua
Inspector Manzoor, Pakistan
Constable Mushtaq, Pakistan
Elías Gamonal Mozombite, Peru
Jorge Calderón Campos, Peru
Orlando Burillo Mendoza, Peru
Feliciano Córdova Abad, Peru
Alcides Córdova López, Peru
José Edil Córdova López, Peru
Jhony Cáceres González, Peru
José Napoleón Tarrillo Astonitas, Peru
Datu Venie Diamante, Philippines
Mario Contaoi, Philippines
Veronico “Nico” Delamante, Philippines
Alexander Ceballos, Philippines
Wencislao Pacquiao, Philippines
Renato Anglao, Philippines
Alejandro Laya‐Og, Philippines
Orlando Eslana, Philippines
Mia Manuelita Mascariñas‐Green, Philippines
Edweno ‘Edwin’ Catog, Philippines
Willerme Agorde, Philippines
Gilbert Bancat, Philippines
Ramon Dagaas Pesadilla, Philippines
Leonila Tapdasan Pesadilla, Philippines
Pedro Pandagay, Philippines
Cora Molave Lina, Philippines
Arman Almonicar, Philippines
Arlyn Almonicar, Philippines
Danilo Ruiz Nadal, Philippines
Bernardo Calan Ripdos, Philippines
Jerry Cuyos, Philippines
Jocel Rosales, Philippines
Rodolf Tagalog Jr., Philippines
Federico “Pande” Plaza, Philippines
Lito Casalla, Philippines
Ande Latuan, Philippines
Carolina Arado, Philippines
Boy Cañete, Philippines
Roger “Titing” Timboco, Philippines
Lomer Gerodias, Philippines
Engracio de los Reyes, Philippines
Obillo Bay‐ao, Philippines
Ruben Arzaga, Philippines
Webby Argabio, Philippines
Perfecto Hoyle, Philippines
Elisa Badayos, Philippines
Eleuterio Moises, Philippines
Lando Moreno, Philippines
Rodrigo Timoteo, Philippines
Datu Victor Danyan, Philippines
Victor Danyan Jr., Philippines
Artemio Danyan, Philippines
Pato Celardo, Philippines
Samuel Angkoy, Philippines
To Diamante, Philippines
Bobot Lagase, Philippines
Mateng Bantel, Philippines
Marcelito “Tito” Paez, Philippines
Xavier Ribes Villas, Spain
David Iglesias Díez, Spain
Wayne Lotter, Tanzania
Aysin Ulvi Büyüknohutçu, Turkey
Ali Ulvi Büyüknohutçu, Turkey
Freddy Menare, Venezuela
Rodrick Ngulube, Zambia

Source: At what cost: Irresponsible business and the murder of land and environmental defenders in 2017  Global Witness pp. 4-5

Photo: Beata Cáceres in 2016 sitting next to the Gualcarque river, which she defended against construction of a mega-dam project, a defense which resulted in her murder. Credit © Goldman Environmental Prize

Seven convicted in murder of Berta Cáceres, Honduran environmentalist

In Honduras, seven men were found guilty of killing Berta Cáceres, who led the fight against building a large dam which would have submerged the land where her community lived.  Her family criticized the prosecution for not following evidence that implicated people higher up in the firm building the dam in ordering her murder.

Seven convicted in killing of prominent Honduran environmentalist Elisabeth Malkin New York Times November 19, 2018

Photo: Berta Cáceres in 2016 sitting next to the Gualcarque river, which she defended against construction of a mega-dam project, a defense which resulted in her murder in that year. Credit © Goldman Environmental Prize Continue reading