TÉRRABA, Costa Rica — For decades, members of the Brörán tribe in southern Costa Rica longed to take back what they considered ancestral land from the farmers who also claimed it. One weekend last month, they acted, entering several farms, hanging up signs and vowing to stay put.

It was not long, they said, before group of agitated farmers came out on horseback, motorbikes and in pickups. Armed with machetes, sticks and firearms, the farmers huddled at the top of the mountain for hours, hurling threats, as Indigenous leaders implored the police to come help.

Elides Rivera, a local Indigenous land rights leader, still has the voice recording of the call for help she made to a local police commander: “I beg you with all, all my heart.”

But soon after, a brawl broke out, and it ended in the death of her nephew, Jerhy Rivera, 45, who was an Indigenous activist in the community.

Mr. Rivera’s death came just a few weeks after another Indigenous man in a nearby town was shot in a dispute over land, and a year after a land rights leader in that town was gunned down in his home.

Over the past five years, conflicts over land and natural resources in the region have led to about 200 confrontations and the deaths of 60 Indigenous people, according to the Business & Human Rights Resource Center, a London organization.

Four Indigenous people were killed in an attack in Nicaragua in January, and at least a dozen more died in Colombia in just the first two weeks of this year, according to the United Nations.

The deaths in Latin America are the result of increasingly violent clashes between people who have lived on the land for thousands of years and settlers who have arrived much more recently.

Most of the farmers in the disputes have nowhere else to go, he said.

“They see Indigenous people as the ones who dress up, make traditional food and dance,” Ms. Vargas said. “Costa Rica is a country with a double standard. They only care about the folklore, but not about applying rights in Indigenous territories.”

One of the plots of land seized by the Indigenous the weekend Mr. Rivera died had belonged to her grandfather, she said.

After his death, one man turned himself in to the police and claimed he had shot the Indigenous leader in self-defense. After a brief detention, he was released.

In January, just after the New Year, Mark Rivas, a 33-year-old Miskitu youth leader, was found dead in his home in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Even before the police investigated the case, the local government-affiliated radio station had declared it a suicide, his father, Carlos Hendy Thomas, said.

Credit…Presli Coleman

“We speak for the land, for the forests, and to silence us, they kill us,” Mr. Hendy said. “That is the only way to shut us up.”

Paulina Villegas contributed reporting from Mexico City.

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