Fleeing Violence, the Philippines’ Anti-Mining Activists Are Trapped in a ‘Waiting Game’

Fleeing Violence, the Philippines’ Anti-Mining Activists Are Trapped in a ‘Waiting Game’
A farmer surveys his crops at a hideout in a banana plantation on the island of Mindanao, Philippines (Lindsay Fendt).

Editor’s Note: In July 2019, this story won the Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding In-depth Reporting, Small Market from the Society of Environmental Journalists.

This is the second installment of a two-part series on killings of environmental activists in the Philippines, funded by WPR’s International Reporting Fellowship. The first installment can be found here.

MINDANAO, Philippines—On a secluded banana plantation on the Philippine island of Mindanao, nearly 400 people pass each night in tents, huts and makeshift dormitories. They bathe in the plantation’s irrigation ditches, surrounded by blue bags of pesticides that have fallen from the banana plants. The entire camp subsists on rice donated from a local farmers’ association. The plantation’s residents almost never leave their hideout. It may be the only place they are truly safe.

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