Lazaro Mabunda, Mozambique
His travels into the Mozambican-South African border areas have earned Lazaro Mabunda some notoriety, but also many good contacts in the many villages in the region that are ruled by rhino poaching gangs. Defying threats and real attempts on his life, Mabunda exposed how local authorities finance their cars and mansions –even municipal offices- with money from rhino poaching, and how they use poor Mozambican youth as cannon fodder when it comes to confronting the machinegun-armed rangers in the Kruger Park. Counting extrajudicial executions by rangers in this nature reserve, Mabunda recently exposed the fact that in the past eight years 352 Mozambicans were killed these on suspicion of being poachers. Mabunda has recently turned his investigative attention to the increasingly regular killings of activists, honest officials and academics, which often follow a stance taken against corruption in his country.