Roughly 200 environmental and land defense activists were killed around the world in 2021 fighting resource exploitation and in land disputes, reports the Associated Press. Mexico was listed as the deadliest country in the annual report by nongovernmental organization Global Witness with 54 killings, the third consecutive year of increases for the country and a jump from 30 such activists killed in 2020.
More than three-quarters of the killings took place in Latin America, where Colombia, Brazil and Nicaragua also logged double-digit tallies. Conflicts over mining were tied to 27 deaths worldwide, the most for any sector. Global Witness called on governments to enforce laws that protect activists and require informed consent from Indigenous groups, while also requiring companies to be accountable throughout their global operations and have zero tolerance for attacks on land defenders.