More than 300 human rights defenders working to protect the environment, free speech, LGBTQ+ rights and indigenous lands in 31 countries were killed in 2019, a new report reveals.
Two-thirds of the total killings took place in Latin America where impunity from prosecution is the norm.
Colombia, where targeted violence against community leaders opposing environmentally destructive mega-projects has spiraled since the 2016 peace accords, was the bloodiest nation with 106 murders in 2019. The Philippines was the second deadliest country with 43 killings, followed by Honduras, Brazil and Mexico.
2019 was characterized by waves of social uprisings demanding political and economic changes across the globe from Iraq and Lebanon in the Middle East to Hong Kong and India in Asia and Chile in the Americas.
The report by Front Line Defenders (FLD) details the physical assaults, defamation campaigns, digital security threats, judicial harassment, and gender-based attacks faced by human rights defenders across the world, who were on the frontline of protests against deep seated inequalities, corruption and authoritarianism.