Environmental activists are being murdered with increasing frequency, particularly in semi-colonial countries. Below are the stories of eight people who took on powerful companies and imperialist interests and paid with their lives.
Four people are killed every week over climate and land disputes at the hands of state forces and hired assassins who defend the interests of big corporations, large landowners, and the government. According to the 2019 Global Witness Report, which tracks such harassment, enforced disappearances and murders of activists across the world, 164 environmental activists were murdered in 2018. Although this is a drop from the previous year’s count of 207 deaths, the report details how violence and coercion has spiked as coalitions of private security forces, contract killers, and state forces have looked to systematically silence those who are on the frontlines of the climate crisis and dare to take on bourgeois governments and capitalists.
The stories of environmental fighters are often ignored, forgotten, and silenced by the mainstream media. After all, these people are often fighting against U.S. corporations. As we contemplate how to solve the climate crisis, it is important to remember that the places hit by environmental disasters have been and will be semi-colonial countries first, and that there are people in those countries who are fighting and dying in the struggle against climate catastrophe.
Here, we take a moment to recognize seven of the inexhaustible list of environmental activists who’ve lost their lives in the fight against climate change during the past decade:
Berta Cáceres, 2016, Honduras ….
Image by Friends of the Earth Europe