Environmental Activists all around the world are faced with some daunting statistics. Last year was the bloodiest year for these eco-warriors, as over 200 people were murdered. Protecting lands, forests, and rivers from mining, logging, and agriculture has proven to be a deadly job.

Indigenous people make up approximately 40% of the death toll. Protestors, lawyers, park rangers, and journalists are also at risk of being killed while protecting the environment. These clashes tend to occur over political, business, and criminal interests for natural resources. While last year's numbers were high, they did not include threats, abductions, physical or sexual assaults, arrests, or aggressive legal attacks that environmental activists face.

Death toll rising

In 2015, 185 deaths were reported among environmental activists in 16 different countries. Last year, the count rose to 200 murders in 24 countries. Not only did the murder rate rise, but it also spread quite rapidly. Mining was found to be the main culprit, with logging and agricultural projects coming in second and third. These reports came from Global Witness.

The first country on the list was Brazil with a staggering 49 murders last year. Many of these victims were indigenous people who were protecting their own ancestral land. The most consistently deadly country for environmental activists was Honduras. Since 2007, 127 murders have occurred there.

India has seen a 300% increase in their murder rate. Reports show that 16 activists were killed in 2016. Global Witness has named state suppression and police brutality as the key factors in the significant worldwide increase in murder rates.

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This is because almost half of the victims were killed during public protests.

Protesting on the home front

The United States recently saw a massive protest known as the People's Climate Movement. No one was murdered, but threats and arrests were quite common. President Trump has made it clear that climate change is not a primary concern. He gave the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) the green light even after President Obama halted the construction of the pipeline.

Environmental activists from all over the country have been flocking to Standing Rock to join hands with the local tribes. These protestors have seen a tremendous amount of abuse from the police. Peaceful protestors have been arrested, attacked, beaten, and one even lost her arm in an explosion.