Land defenders

On March 2, 2016, Berta Cáceres, Lenca indigenous leader and coordinator of the Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH), was murdered at her residence in La Esperanza, Honduras. According to the information available thus far, even after two years, little progress has been made in the investigation of the case. The public judicial hearings of the eight suspects detained as material perpetrators have been postponed on numerous occasions. The report issued in November 2017 by the International Advisory Group of Experts (GAIPE) revealed a lack of due diligence in the investigations, this includes the lack of processing other possible intellectual authors of the murder.
Berta Cáceres dedicated her life to defending the territorial and cultural rights of indigenous peoples, women, Garífuna peoples and the peasantry. She was recognized nationally and internationally as a defender of human rights and received the Goldman Prize in 2015 for her struggle in defending territory, natural assets and Mother Earth. In the last years leading up to her murder, she was the victim of persecution, intimidation, stigmatization and criminalization both by state and non-state actors, due to her work in the context of opposition to hydroelectric and extractive exploitation imposed on territories without free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples who live there.
Around the world, 197 people were killed in 2017 for defending or protecting land. … Land defenders are often private individuals and activists protecting nature reserves, natural wealth, and stand up against those who harm the environment.
Camp White Pine (CWP) – a resistance camp formed by people fighting the Mariner East 2 pipeline – sits on 27 acres of privately owned land in rural Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, population 45,634. The land defenders at CWP have come together to fight this pipeline as well as the fracking crisis in Pennsylvania and the mineral extraction industry as a whole.
Since the beginning, CWP, the Gerharts and the land defenders at the camp have been targets of harassment, surveillance, infiltration and threats of murder and rape. Elise Gerhart, as well as several of the land defenders, have been followed on numerous occasions and had photos of themselves, their cars and personal information placed on the Facebook group PA Progress, created by Nick Johnson, a social media professional hired by ETP-employed mercenary firm TigerSwan. (The group no longer exists.)
… as demand for products like timber, minerals and palm oil continues, governments, companies and criminal gangs are exploiting land with little regard for the people who live on it … Increasingly, communities that take a stand are finding themselves in the firing line of companies' private security, state forces and a thriving market for contract killers …
The 2015 death toll marked a 59 percent increase from 2014, and represented more than double the number of journalists killed for their work that same year.