Statement on Manuel Terán's killing

Statement on Manuel Terán’s killing

WASHINGTON – On January 21, 2023, Atlanta Forest Defender Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán was shot and killed by Atlanta police. Terán, an environmental activist, was peacefully protesting the clearing of South River Forest land near Atlanta, where the state plans to build a new military-grade training facility. In recent weeks police have conducted multiple raids on environmental activists camping in the forest, which was identified as a key area for mitigating climate change impacts in Atlanta.  

Terán’s killing sets a dangerous precedent for environmental activism in the U.S., while over the last decade, thousands of environmental defenders around the globe have been and continue to be murdered, imprisoned or arrested for defending the planet. 

 Erich Pica, President of Friends of the Earth U.S., said this: 

Friends of the Earth U.S. expresses our solidarity with those outraged and in mourning at the police killing of Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán, while protecting the South River Forest from logging and exploitation. Their killing is a domestic example of the increasing threat of death faced by environmental defenders across the globe, while protecting their communities from companies and governments seeking to log, mine, dam rivers or extract fossil fuels.   

Police brutality and the militarization of the police force is just one of the many violent and unconscionable attempts to crush those fighting to protect our planet. Indigenous Peoples, local communities and environmental defenders are the planet’s greatest caretakers and advocates. Friends of the Earth U.S. stands against the brutal treatment of these heroes around the globe. 

Contact: Shaye Skiff, [email protected], 202-222-0723

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