CIEL: Center for International Environmental Law
August 9th, 2016
In Latin America, environmental human rights defenders (EHRDs) are increasingly targeted for raising concerns about the potential impacts of development projects on local communities’ livelihoods and environments. To address the threats faced by EHRDs in Latin America as they defend the right to a healthy environment, CIEL and Article 19 have published a report called A Deadly Shade of Green – Threats to Environmental Human Rights Defenders in Latin America.
A Deadly Shade of Green reveals threats against EHRDs in Latin America are on the rise. The report details how local governments and corporations are the most common perpetrators of human rights violations committed against EHRDs and have utilized various tactics to restrict the activism of EHRDs. These tactics range from surveillance and defamation campaigns, judicial harassment including false charges and arbitrary arrests, and physical attacks such as acts of torture and assassinations.
The report also finds that EHRDs were often targeted because of their outspokenness about the negative environmental and social impacts of extractive industries and development projects, which local governments and corporations often support. Governments and corporations have a vested economic interest in these kinds of projects because of their potential for profit, while indigenous communities on whose lands the development projects are often located are especially at risk. This volatile combination of vulnerability and profit is a persistent cause of conflicts that lead to human rights violations.
There is very little accountability for human rights violations committed against EHRDs, and impunity further escalates the repression.
Read more at CIEL.
Read the article here.