DEFENDING LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS HAS BECOME AN INCREASINGLY DEADLY ENDEAVOR

THEY WERE KILLED by their own army. On December 3, while members of the Taboli-manubo people on the Philippine island of Mindanao were farming and doing housework, the army began shelling their neighborhood and spraying them with gunfire from all directions. Eight people were killed.

The dead included Datu Victor Danyan, a leader of protests against the expansion of a coffee plantation by an agribusiness firm, and four of his family members. Danyan had long been involved in resisting the company, Silvicultural Industries Inc., whose operation had taken over ancestral land and threatened the community’s livelihood. More were injured in the attack, and 200 were forced to evacuate the area, abandoning the fields they had sought to preserve. While the Taboli-manubo people believe the cause of the attack was their resistance to Silvicultural Industries, the Philippine army disputes this.

This was one of many attacks on land and environmental defenders in 2017 recorded by Global Witness, which defines such defenders as those who take peaceful action when land, forests, or rivers are encroached upon by industry, whether as members of the local community, or as activists, journalists, or lawyers. Tiếp tục đọc “DEFENDING LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS HAS BECOME AN INCREASINGLY DEADLY ENDEAVOR”