Global Witness: Land grabs deadly

2012-06-19 20:50
Land grabs in poor countries leads to deadly confrontations, an NGO has said. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Land grabs in poor countries leads to deadly confrontations, an NGO has said. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Environment
    This volume of "The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture" surveys the dynamic environmental forces... Now R886.00
    buy now
London - At least one person is being killed in an environmental dispute around the world each week as the battle for land, natural resources and forests becomes increasingly violent, a report said on Tuesday.

Global Witness, a human rights group focused on the exploitation of natural resources, said at least 106 people were killed in 2011 alone, nearly twice the death toll in 2009, in targeted attacks and clashes in resource-rich countries such as Brazil, Indonesia and Peru.

A total of 711 people were killed from 2002 to 2011 in such disputes, or more than one a week, it added, saying a culture of impunity pervaded which meant few convictions were made.

"It is a well-known paradox that many of the world's poorest countries are home to the resources that drive the global economy," the report said.

"Now, as the race to secure access to these resources intensifies, it is poor people and activists who increasingly find themselves in the firing line."

Violence

Natural resources deals were often agreed in secret between officials, political elites and companies, the report said, leaving people who lived off the land or forests affected without any rights or say in the process.

Those who did try to speak out were often punished with violence, forced evictions or killings.

"Killings took a variety of forms - including clashes between communities and state security forces, disappearances followed by confirmed deaths, deaths in custody, or one-off or multiple targeted assassinations," the report said.

The countries with the highest numbers of reported killings were Brazil, Peru, Colombia and the Philippines, where more than one murder per week took place, Global Witness said.

"Global Witness believes that these trends are symptomatic of the increasingly fierce competition for resources, and the brutality and injustice that come with it," it added.

"Land and forests are used for a range of purposes including intensive agriculture, mining, plantations, logging operations, urban expansion or hydropower projects."

In one case described in the report, Eliezer "Boy" Billanes, a community leader in the Philippines who campaigned against a new copper and gold mining project, was shot dead while buying a newspaper by two unidentified men riding a motorcycle.

Rule of law

His killing, in 2009, took place a few weeks after he reported being threatened by military forces in the area.

In another case - in April of this year - Chut Wutty, a Cambodian environmental activist, was shot dead by members of the Cambodian Military Police while carrying out field research into illegal logging and land seizures.

Global Witness said a government inquiry into his death was opened and closed within three days. It failed to address how or why he was killed, while banning anyone else from investigating the sell-off of the country's natural resources, the report said.

"If this problem is not addressed urgently, it is likely to get worse, particularly as we can expect more investments in countries with weak rule of law and land tenure rights," Global Witness said.

"This will mean more violent conflict over investment projects and disputes over land ownership, with potentially tragic consequences."
Read more on:    global witness  |  environment
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Oscar Pistorius
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may take extra pride in your work today. You have a need to shine and be respected so you may put the extra effort and TLC...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.