At least 200 people were murdered last year for protecting the land, water, and wildlife in their communities, including five park rangers in Africa’s Virunga National Park, which is home to some of the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas.
These rarely prosecuted murders are being documented in more countries than ever before - 24 countries this year compared to 16 in 2015. Together with criminalizing and aggressively prosecuting protesters, the result is suppression of environmentalists, a new report by the nonprofit group Global Witness argues. Global Witness is a London and Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group that works on the intersection of natural resource extraction and human rights.
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In most of the world, indigenous peoples have lived in harmony with their environments for millennia. It was not until European colonial powers and their US descendants arrived that their lands and resources started to get destroyed.
This destruction and these murders are OUR legacy to the world. And it cannot stop unless we control OUR lust for wealth and the ravenous corporations we have loosed upon the world.