Latin America is by far the world’s most dangerous place to be an environmental defender. Almost 60 percent of the environmental killings recorded in 2017 took place in the region.
Mexico’s tropical forests, for example, have been ravaged by everything from illegal cattle ranching to avocado farming. In January 2017, Isidro Baldenegro López, a prominent indigenous activist who won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for his work protecting the forests of the Sierra Tarahumara mountain range in northern Mexico from logging, was shot dead.
…The Global Witness report records several massacres in countries such as Brazil and the Philippines ― in the latter country, the military reportedly killed at least eight indigenous people in December as they tried to protect their land from a coffee plantation.
Brazil remains the most deadly country for environmental activists, with 57 murders last year ― the highest ever recorded by any country. Twenty-two members of one tribe ― the Gamela ― were assaulted in one land-grabbing incident. Some had their hands cut off.