Who is Being Killed?
Indigenous leaders, farmers and state employees charged with protecting the environment were among the victims.
More than half the deaths were related to agribusiness, Global Witness said. Sixteen killings were linked to mining — the highest in the world.
Nearly half of those killed lived on Mindanao, where the army has long maintained a heavy presence in the fight against communist and Muslim insurgents.
The island was under martial law until the end of last year.
Large numbers of defenders were also killed on Negros, a sugar-producing island in the central Philippines that is also heavily militarized and where activists have long campaigned for land reform to reduce inequality and poverty.
“Defenders living in Mindanao and Negros made up almost 90 percent of land and environmental activists killed in the country in 2019,” the report said.
Kaylo Bontolan, a leader of the Manobo tribe on Mindanao, was among them.
He was killed in a military airstrike in April last year when he returned to his mountain home to help document violence against fellow tribe members.
“Like Datu Kaylo, many of those killed were indigenous people asserting their right to self-determination and their ancestral lands,” the report said.