- Published: 09 March 2017
Mia Manuelita Cumba Masacariñas-Green Mia Manuelita Cumba Masacariñas-Green was an environmental lawyer. She was assassinated in front of her 3 young children on February 15, 2017, while driving them home in Tagbilaran, Bohol. Mia was also a board member of The Environmental Legal Assistance Centre (ELAC). Mia handled a number of environmental civil and criminal cases. She was worked with the Alternative Law Groups (ALG). Her death brings to 112 the number of environmental campaigners murdered in the Philippines over the past 15 years, according to Filipino environment monitor Kalikasan.
Global Witness separately 88 killings of environmental activists and workers in the Philippines between 2010 and 2015. The attacks spiked with 33 dead in 2015, ranking the Philippines as the second most dangerous country in the world for environmental campaigners behind Brazil.
According to Front Line Defenders, last year 281 human rights defenders were murdered in 25 countries, 49 percent of whom were defending land, indigenous and environmental rights. Front Line Defenders found that in the vast majority of cases, killings were preceded by warnings, death threats and intimidation which, when reported to police, were routinely ignored. In addition to killings, over half of the cases reported by Front Line Defenders in 2016 concerned criminalisation, a tactic which the organisation calls “the first choice of governments to silence defenders and to dissuade others..