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UN: Indigenous, Environment Rights Under Attack in Brazil

FILE - Environmental activists chant slogans during a protest in front of the headquarters of Brazilian mining company Vale SA in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Nov. 16, 2015.

The United Nations says the rights of indigenous people as well environmental and human rights in Brazil are under attack.

The office of the U.N. high commissioner for human rights said Thursday that over the last 15 years, Brazil has seen the highest number of killings of indigenous, environmental and land defenders of any country.

According to the Catholic Church's Indigenous Missionary Council, 137 Indians were slain in Brazil in 2015, bringing to 891 the number killed since 2003.

Global Witness, a London-based organization that campaigns for environmental rights, says 50 land and environmental activists were killed in Brazil in 2015.

Disputes over land frequently turn violent in Brazil. More than 60 people were killed in violence in 2016 stemming from such disputes.