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Protecting Land And The Environment Can Be Deadly

Global Witness, a nonprofit, tracks the killings of environmental protectors, and its latest annual data suggests 2016 was the deadliest yet.
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Protecting Land And The Environment Can Be Deadly

Some people are killed for protecting the land and the environment.

And nonprofit Global Witness says the numbers have risen since 2010.

The group found at least 200 environmental protectors died worldwide in 2016. It says that's the deadliest year so far.

That year, 60 percent of deaths were in Latin America.

Defenders guard indigenous land or fight against logging and other resource-heavy industries, like those against the Dakota Access pipeline did. Some protectors are even park rangers.

They also peacefully protest, petition the government or track poaching.

Global Witness says the deaths often result from land disputes, corruption or penalization of activists.

The organization says tracking those linked to the deaths is difficult. But in some cases, Global Witness has accused military, police and even poachers.

The group didn't detail exactly how the killings it tracked happened, but it did interview some who cited beatings and police brutality.

So what's a solution? Global Witness says more supportive legislation for protectors could help and that those who break the laws should be held accountable.