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Stopping violence against land defenders, main challenge for 2023: environmentalists

Mexico is considered one of the most dangerous places for environmental and land defenders, according to the Global Witness report published in September 2022. From 2012 to 2021, the country registered 154 lethal aggressions against defenders; 131 of them occurred between 2017 and 2021. Only in 2021, Mexico became the most violent nation against those who defend the environment and territory by registering 54 cases, in accordance to data from the Global Witness report.

Tomás Severino Ortega, director of the non-governmental organization Cultura Ecológica and the Mexico Access Initiative, mentions that one of the country’s great challenges for 2023 will be to slow down violence against environmental and territorial defenders.

And for this, he emphasizes, Mexico will have to work on the implementation of the Escazú Agreement, the Latin American and Caribbean treaty that became effective in April 2021 and which, for the first time, recognizes human rights defenders in environmental issues and obliges States to protect them.

Article 9 of Escazú states that “a safe and favorable environment in which individuals, groups and organizations that promote and defend human rights in environmental matters can operate free from threats, restrictions and insecurity” must be guaranteed.

Report Mongabay Latam: Desafíos ambientales de México en 2023: frenar violencia contra defensores, evitar extinción de especies y hacer de la conservación de la naturaleza una prioridad