In 2019, the Philippines posted 38 cases related to land disputes and 50 victims of killings—compared to 21 cases and 33 victims of killings recorded in the same period last year.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, File
Philippines named as deadliest country for farmers, IPs over land struggles anew
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - December 12, 2019 - 11:35am

MANILA, Philippines — For the third consecutive year, the Philippines was ranked as the deadliest nation for rural people asserting their right to land and resources by a human rights advocacy group.

At least 108 farmers, indigenous peoples and land activists from across the globe were killed from January to November 2019, PAN Asia Pacific said in a report.

In 2019, the Philippines posted 38 cases related to land disputes and 50 victims of killings—compared to 21 cases and 33 victims of killings recorded in the same period last year.

“[This] roughly translates to one Filipino land defender killed every week. This rate of death toll outpaces last year’s frequency of one land defender murdered every two weeks in the Philippines,” the group said.

Most of the monitored killings in the Philippines were allegedly carried out by police, military and paramility, PANAP added.

“The massacre of 14 farmers in Negros Oriental, an island province about 850 kilometers south of Manila, in the central Philippines, could not be a more alarming reminder of the worsening human rights situation Filipino farmers face,” the group said.

Killings were also concentrated in South American countries of Colombia with 27 victims and Brazil with nine victims, with most crimes linked to mining, plantation and logging industries.

Aside from killings, PANAP also documented 48 victims of arrest, detention and persecution, five victims of threats and physical assault related to land struggles in the Philippines.

The country also accounted for the most number of people in rural communities displaced due to land conflicts with 2,796 individuals.

A separate report by local environmental group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment said 46 environmental defenders were killed in 2019. Last year, the group documented 30 deaths.

A report published by international rights watchdog Global Witness last July also named the Philippines as the deadliest country in the world for environmental and land defenders.

LAND DISPUTES PHILIPPINES
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