The Access Initiative

Violence Against Environmental and Land Defenders in Colombia

There were thirty‐seven killings of environmental and land defenders in Colombia in 2016. Global Witness’ data has placed the country among the three deadliest in the world since at least 2013. In addition to attacks on their lives, environmental and land defenders face threats, criminalization, and kidnappings, among other dangers.

This report examines the situation of violence against environmental and land defenders in Colombia through the analysis of risk conditions, prevention and protection measures for defenders, and implementation gaps to reduce the risks that they face. The analysis is based on a literature review and interviews with civil society organizations that work with environmental and land defenders in Colombia.


Carole Excell and Alejandra Lopez


Carole Excell



Access to Information Access to Justice Environmental Defenders Environmental Democracy Human Rights Laws and Regulations