Amnesty International stated Wednesday that at least 20 Latin American human rights defenders and four journalists were killed in January 2022 alone.
In a statement, Amnesty International explained how these killings signal a frightening future for human rights defenders and journalists. Human rights defenders were killed in four countries. There were 13 killed in Colombia, three killed in Brazil, three killed in Honduras, and one killed in Mexico. Additionally, four journalists were killed in Mexico, which Amnesty International called the most lethal country on the continent for practicing journalism.
Of the 20 human rights defenders killed, 18 were engaged in defending human rights related to access to land and the protection of territories and the environment. The human rights defenders were members of indigenous communities, fighters for feminicide justice, environmental defenders, and labor activists.
Americas Director at Amnesty International Erika Guevara-Rosas stated: “We must build a future where defending human rights in this continent does not mean risking one’s life. It is imperative that states take urgent measures to guarantee a safe and conducive space for the defence of human rights and independent journalism in the region, and that these cease to be lethal activities.”