Latin America's environmental activists rarely make the global news unless it's a tragedy, they live in fear as they navigate through one of the world’s deadliest regions for environmental human rights defenders. Three out of four assassinations of environmental defenders take place in Latin America. Since the last year of the pandemic alone, over 222 environmental defenders have been reported killed during resource extraction and pollution conflicts worldwide: 40 percent were indigenous defenders of the Amazon. For the last 20 years that I've been working in environmental protection I'm reminded of the sad reality these Latin activists continue to face and their lives have had an impact on my life and views on environmental protection. They will forever be remembered for the courage and determination.
A leader from the Unipacuyacu indigenous community in Peru and outspoken defender of indigenous rights and territory
An environmentalist who fought to preserve the Amazon rainforest, and advocated for the human rights of Brazilian peasants and Indigenous peoples
Vice president of the Management Committee of the Tambopata National Reserve
A teenager from the Guarani Kaiowá indigenous people of the Guapo'y village in Amambai, in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, faced death threats, according to messages exchanged on Facebook, to kill students and children in the classroom at the school located inside the Amambai Reserve where 12 thousand people live.
A member of the Nasa Indigenous Guard of Las Delicias reservation in Buenos Aires, Cauca, Colombia and bodyguard of Fabian Camacho, an Indigenous governor. Guillermo was the 1,287th social leader killed since the signing of the peace agreements.
A 24 year-old Indigenous defender, member of the Molleturo Parish in Ecuador and anti-mining activist. She was murdered by people associated with illegal mining in the communities of Río Blanco, Cochapamba and Yumate, Ecuador She was five months pregnant.
Asháninka leader Estela Casanto Mauricio was assassinated after years of being threatened for her defense of indigenous land rights.
In Memoriam: Remembering the Latin Environmental Heroes and defenders who were assasinated in Latin America
A rainforest activist from one of Brazil’s leading Indigenous protection groups was killed after participating in an Amazon assembly organized by the murdered Indigenous specialist Bruno Pereira.