Latin America Is a Dangerous Place For Environmental Activists

April 24th, 2022 - by TeleSUR

75% of the murders of  human rights activists and environmentalists in 2020 took place in this region


(April 22, 2022) — On the Day of the Earth, Latin Americans remember the environmental activists murdered or harassed for defending their people’s rights over natural resources and a life without pollution.

According to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), 75 percent of the murders of the human rights and environmental activists that occurred in the world in 2020 took place in Latin America.

In that year, the Latin American cases, which were mainly linked to the rejection of the activities of transnational corporations, were registered in Colombia (65) Mexico (30), Brazil (20), Honduras (17), and Guatemala (13).

In Sept. 2020, for instance, Mexican Indigenous environmentalist leader Oscar Eyraud Adams was assassinated for fighting industries that prompted water scarcity in Baja California.

Later, in Feb. 2021, Brazilian teacher Isac Tembe was killed for opposing the escalation of logging activities in the Amazon rainforest. In Jan. 2022, Honduran environmentalist Melvin Mejia was shot dead for fighting to defend the Tolupan lands from international companies.

To counteract such situation, the UNHRC urged regional authorities to adopt policies that guarantee not only the integral sanction of all crimes against environmental leaders but also the prevention and integral reparation of the victims’ relatives.

“Authorities are primarily responsible for the investigation of these crimes. If they do not assume such obligations, environmentalist struggles will continue to be bathed in blood,” the UN Council stated.