Image from video for the report.

Front Line Defenders reports: “In 2023, the HRD Memorial documented the killings of 300 HRDs in 28 countries” including 142 in Colombia, 30 in Mexico, 19 in Honduras and 6 in Guatemala where Peace Brigades International accompanies defenders.

Among their findings:

– “Indigenous peoples’ rights defenders were the most targeted group in 2023, with a total of 92 killings registered in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and the Philippines.”

– “A total of 64 people who defended environmental and land rights were killed in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, Peru and the Philippines.”

– “49 of the defenders killed identified as women, including transwomen, and 14 were members of the LGBTQIA+ community and defended its rights.”

– “199 human rights defenders were shot to death either by state or non-state actors, including paramilitary and criminal groups.”

– “HRDs denouncing business-related human rights abuses continued to be subjected to numerous attacks, both online and offline, perpetrated by multiple actors, including State forces, company staff and company-linked individuals. Agribusiness, extractive industry and energy and development projects are among the most dangerous sectors for HRDs to work, putting environmental, indigenous people’s and land rights defenders at particular risk.”

Image: Attacks in the Americas, page 47.


One of the examples related to PBI accompaniment is in Honduras. The report states:

“In Honduras, 2023 was marked by deadly violence against defenders; according to HRD Memorial, 14 land, indigenous people’s and environmental defenders were killed throughout the year. On January 7, 2023, water rights defenders Aly Dominguez and Jairo Bonilla were killed by armed men in La Concepción, in Tocoa, in an attack believed to be in retaliation for their work to protect the Guapinol and San Pedro rivers from an illegally sanctioned iron-ore mine. Prior to his killing, Aly Domínguez had been criminalized along with 31 other leaders. On January 18, 2023, Omar Cruz, another defender and member of the Plataforma Agraria del Valle del Aguán, was killed in his home in Tocoa.”

United States

The United States is also mentioned at least twice in the report:

– “Under the pretext of national security, the presence of military actors or infrastructure, or paramilitary actors, increased or continued in contested territories in Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and the United States, as well as in the Amazon regions of Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.”

– “We also are relying on Western countries to support the norms that they established after World War II to protect civilians. Their complicity in creating a culture of impunity for Israel is shameful. The United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany are setting aside the rules of international humanitarian law. After thirty years of the Oslo Accords, there is virtually no talk of peace, a two-state solution, or an end to the occupation and blockade. Instead, the international narrative appears to condone all of Israel’s actions involving apartheid, siege, and war crimes.

It feels like the Israeli strategy is to push 2.4 million of us out of Gaza and into Sinai. If that happens, then the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem may be next, and the Zionist project will be complete.

But we are human beings — we are the people of Palestine. We deserve dignity. We deserve justice and we deserve freedom. We believe we are on the right side of history and that we are the stones of the valley. Despite the immensity of the challenges we face, people here do not give up.”
Palestinian HRD Raji Sourani”


While the number is undoubtedly higher, the report lists 9 Palestinian human rights defenders killed in 2023.

In their section on “Israel’s war on Gaza” (pages 18 to 20), Front Line Defenders notes: “HRDs were among those killed, including journalist and cameraman Samer Abu Daqqa who was killed in Khan Yunis by an Israeli strike in December. He had been covering the aftermath of an Israeli attack on a United Nations-run school sheltering displaced people in the city. He is one of dozens of journalists killed in Gaza since 7 October in what appears to be a concerted effort on behalf of the Israeli military to silence reporting on the scale of the devastation.”

Samer Abu Daqqa was killed on December 15, 2023.

Image on page 97.

In a second section titled “Israel – War” (pages 96 to 99), the report notes: “The impact on HRDs, as on the population at large, has been devastating. Those defending the right to health and the right to life as doctors, nurses, or ambulance workers, those exposing and documenting war crimes as journalists, and those providing humanitarian support as volunteers or employees of aid agencies were all specifically targeted by Israeli bombs or guns.”

To read the full report, go to: Global Analysis 2023/24.