Land Grabbing and Violence Against Environmentalists

  • Roy H. MayJr.
Part of the Ecology and Ethics book series (ECET, volume 3)


Ignoring traditional people’s rights and resorting to intimidation and even murder are strategies used to grab land and impose economic models. The history of violence and intimidation against those who defend the land – its people, its beauty, and its vitality – is long and worldwide. It is history made whenever vital local and environmental interests conflict with the neoliberal capitalist economic development projects aimed at the enrichment of the few. In 2015 alone, Global Witness documented 185 killings of land and environmental defenders; since 2002, it has confirmed at least 1176 such murders across the globe. Among these is the murder of Honduran environmentalist and land defender Berta Cáceres in 2016. The constant intimidation and murder of environmentalists and defenders of land rights of indigenous and peasant people, and the imposition of economic enterprises inappropriate to ecological conditions, demonstrate the persistent coloniality that affects nature and people.


Murder Land defenders Indigenous people Berta Cáceres Coloniality New extractivism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roy H. MayJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento Ecuménico de InvestigacionesSan JoséCosta Rica

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