A Colombian conservationist who saved a rare species of parrot from extinction, a young feminist activist in Afghanistan, and two poets in Myanmar who used words to protest against the military coup were among 358 human rights defenders murdered in 35 countries last year. As in previous years, most killings took place in the Americas and in the Asia-Pacific region. Colombia, where activists are routinely targeted by armed groups despite the 2016 peace accord, remained the most dangerous country to be a human rights defender, with 138 deaths recorded. The majority of those killed, 59%, worked on land, environmental and indigenous rights, where their activities disrupted the economic interests of corporations and individuals in mining, logging and other extractive industries.
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