Video: Climate activists from Colombia name some of the environmental defenders killed in Colombia outside the UN COP26 climate summit, November 2021.

On January 13, Reuters reported: “At least 78 human rights defenders were killed in Colombia in 2021, the United Nations human rights agency said on Thursday, adding that more cases were still being verified.”

“The U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said it received 202 accusations of killings of human rights leaders in Colombia last year. Of these 78 were confirmed as killed, 39 cases were still being verified, and 85 were inconclusive.”

That article also notes: “Local human rights group Indepaz found that 171 social leaders were killed last year, while international advocacy organization Human Rights Watch reported in a separate report on Thursday [January 13]  that 500 human rights defenders had been assassinated since 2016.”

Front Line Defenders and Global Witness

In February 2021, Front Line Defenders released its Global Analysis 2020 that reported 177 human rights defenders had been killed in Colombia that year.

Then in September 2021, Global Witness released their annual report LAST LINE OF DEFENCE: The industries causing the climate crisis and attacks against land and environmental defenders. That report documented the murders of 65 land and environmental defenders in Colombia in 2020.