People who speak out to defend land, water and forests in Latin America are seeking to protect the human rights and well-being of their communities. Yet, they face unprecedented attacks and killings in return. Indigenous people and racial minorities experience the greatest danger, while women defenders face gender-specific forms of aggression including sexual violence and threats against their children.
It's a terrifying situation, emblemized by the murder of Lenca Indigenous water defender, Berta Cáceres in Honduras. But the killing of Berta is no isolated case. The toll of earth defenders lost to deadly violence continues to grow in Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and other countries in Latin America. It's the most deadly region in the world to speak out about irresponsible logging, mining and dam projects that threaten the environment on which so many depend.
Despite the danger, earth defenders and their communities throughout Latin America are not giving up. There is too much on the line. They continue to speak out in defence of environmental human rights and to seek solidarity in countries like ours.