Target: Vitaliano Aguirre II, Secretary of the Department of Justice in the Philippines
Goal: Find and bring to justice the criminals who have been killing and harassing environmental activists in the Philippines.
Around 33 activists have been murdered in the Philippines in the past year. Actual figures might be higher; many cases go unreported or unverified because they occur in remote areas. These murderers are rarely brought to justice. Isolation should not be a reason to turn a blind eye to murder. These people should be applauded and protected for trying to protect the environment and their homes.
These people deserve to be protected. The best way to achieve this is to find those who are responsible and to punish them swiftly and severely. This will act as a deterrent to others that might seek to repress protesters and displace people through violence and fear.
The human rights watchdog group Global Witness has brought attention to the story of Michelle Campos. She claims that her father and grandfather were executed in front of her family and friends in an attack that forced 3,000 people from their homes. Unfortunately for Campos, the land that she lived on in Mindanao is rich in coal, nickel, and gold. It is believed that the desire to harvest these natural resources was the motivation for the killings. With 25 killings in 2015, Mindanao has become the most dangerous place in the world for environmental activists.
According to Campos, the people who carried out the crimes are still walking around freely in her community, and the government has done nothing to stop them. The lack of justice for these people, who are only trying to protect their lands from mining companies, is appalling. If the government does nothing to prevent these crimes then they are complicit in these evil actions.
In many countries it is becoming more dangerous to try to protect the land, forests, and rivers. In Brazil, at least 50 activists were murdered this year alone. According to Global Witness, 2015 was the most dangerous year on record for activists worldwide. Sign this petition to demand that the Philippines Department of Justice do more to investigate and prosecute these horrible crimes.
Dear Secretary Aguirre,
Over the past year, 33 environmental activists have been killed in your country. These people were cruelly murdered for trying to protect their land and the environment from harm. The Department of Justice must do more to protect these people by investigating these crimes and prosecuting those responsible.
In 2015, the region of Mindanao had 25 activists murdered. The government needs to take action to keep people safe in this region. If the government does nothing to prevent these crimes, then they are complicit in these evil actions. Please take action to protect the rights of these people and to seek justice for those who have been murdered.
[Your Name Here]
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