Colombia is the second most dangerous country in the world for environmental activists, according to a new report by the British NGO Global Witness. Of 164 environmental defenders murdered worldwide in 2018, 24 were Colombian. The worst country was the Philippines, with Brazil in third.
Several killings occurred around opposition to mining projects, with 43 victims worldwide. Other people were targeted over their activism around agro-industry, water protection and deforestation.
It is not only environmental activists who face repression and violence in Colombia. In June, the International Trade Union Confederation released figures showing that trade unionist murders in Colombia more than doubled in 2018 and accounted for almost two-thirds of global cases (34 out of 53 cases).
Additionally, community leaders, LGBT activists, victims’ representatives and people working to implement the peace process have faced high levels of violence in Colombia. The United Nations has repeatedly stated that the most effective way of improving security is through full implementation of the 2016 peace agreement. However, the peace process continues to suffer from slow or non-implementation in many core areas.