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[Video]: 185 environmentalists murdered in 2015

Salma Rahman | Updated on: 24 June 2016, 11:13 IST

Year 2015 was the most deadlist year for environmental activists with 185 deaths reported across 16 countries.

According to the report published by the UK-based watchdog Global witness the figures accounted to a drastic increase in the attacks by nearly 60 percent over the previous year.

Most fatal country was Brazil with a record of 50 deaths. The Philippines was second with 33.

Colombia recorded 26 murders; Peru had 12; Nicaragua, 12; and Democratic Republic of Congo had 11 reported cases of deaths.

"As demand for products like minerals, timber and palm oil continues, governments, companies and criminal gangs are seizing land in defiance of the people who live on it," said Billy Kyte, a senior campaigner for Global Witness and author of the report told the Guardian.

"Communities that take a stand are increasingly finding themselves in the firing line of companies' private security, state forces and a thriving market for contract killers. For every killing we document, many others go unreported. Governments must urgently intervene to stop this spiraling violence."

Maximum number of deaths, 42,reportedly happened during the protest against the mining industry.

Agribusiness, hydroelectric dams and logging were also key drivers of violence, Global Witness found.

In Brazil the struggle was mostly centered around the protection of Amazon forests where illegal logging is flourishing.

In Phillipines activist Michelle Campos, a member of the indigenous Lumad people from the southern Philippines, saw her grandfather and father being executed publically by a paramilitary group, while protecting their ancestral land against mining.

As per the report, worst effected were the indigenous people suffering under weak land rights and geographic isolation, making them vulnerable to land grabbing.

In Brazil the struggle was mostly centered around the protection of Amazon forests where illegal logging is flourishing.

Activist Michelle Campos, a member of the indigenous Lumad people from the southern Philippines, saw her grandfather and father being executed publically by a paramilitary group, while protecting their ancestral land against mining.

As per the report, worst effected were the indigenous people suffering under weak land rights and geographic isolation, making them vulnerable to land grabbing.

First published: 24 June 2016, 11:13 IST
 
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