CSQ 48-2. Defend the Defenders, Protect the Protectors


Celebrating 52 years of promoting and amplifying Indigenous voices! This issue of the Cultural Survival Quarterly focuses on stories of a few of the many Indigenous environmental defenders who put their lives at risk to protect the planet and secure the rights of their Peoples. Indigenous defenders face a double threat: being Indigenous and defending rights and responsibilities to care for the environment. According to a Global Witness 2022 report, almost 40 percent of murdered environmental defenders were Indigenous, a disproportionately high figure given that Indigenous Peoples comprise roughly 6 percent of the global population. Cultural Survival’s noncomprehensive data shows 77 Indigenous defenders were murdered only in 2023 in Latin America, one of the
most dangerous regions to be an Indigenous rights and environmental defender. Three out of four assassinations of environmental defenders take place in Latin America.

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