“Corruption in criminal justice systems too often shields governments and businesses responsible for these murders, and the guilty are rarely brought to justice,’’ she told The Associated Press. “Until the political will to stop these killings is found, until this corruption is rooted out, we’re likely to see hundreds more killings of human rights defenders, including many defending the environment.”
The threat to environmental defenders has risen steadily since Global Witness’s first report in 2012, when it counted 147 killings worldwide.
“They’re at risk because they find themselves living on or near something that some corporation is demanding,’’ Bill McKibben, a leading climate change author and a scholar in residence at Middlebury College in Vermont, wrote in a forward to the report. “Accountability is rarely accepted by the C-suite. But corporations need to be more accountable and they need to take action.”
Follow all AP stories on climate change and environmental issues at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-change.