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Record number of activists killed in 2019 defending the environment, Indigenous lands

At least 212 environmental campaigners and land defenders, 40 percent of them from indigenous communities, were killed last year as they sought to protect their territories from incursions by mining interests, agribusiness, timber companies, and oil and gas corporations, according to the international watchdog, Global Witness. That’s the highest number of such killings on record for a single year.

According to Global Witness’s annual report, two countries — Columbia, with 64 murders, and the Philippines, with 43 murders — accounted for half of the killings of environmental and indigenous activists. More than two-thirds of the killings took place in Latin American, with 33 murders in the Amazon region alone.

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