23 NGOs denounce over 2000 violations re Human Rights Defenders in the Americas

April 5, 2011

Most of us think that the situation of human rights defenders in the Americas has at least slightly improved over the last years. NGO reports seem to debunk this. The 2010 report from the United Nations Special Rapporteur points out that between 2004 and 2009, over 146 complaints of threats against human rights defenders were filed in the Americas (mostly Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, and Peru). Now, on 29 March 2011, a group of 23 NGOs from 11 countries has concluded that the situation is even worse with over 2000 cases since 2002. According to their research, in Colombia more than 1000 human rights defenders were victims of aggression including murder, threats, arbitrary detention, and torture; in Guatemala, 1072 acts of aggression were recorded, and at least 50 human rights defenders have been murdered in Honduras since the coup d’état. At the meeting of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IACHR), where this information was made public, NGOs placed special emphasis on the increase in illegitimate state intelligence activities against human rights defenders.

The organizations called on the IACHR to create a specific office or rapporteurship for the protection of human rights defenders.  They also asked the IACHR to demand that states adopt effective protection measures and improve public policies that guarantee the work of defenders. States were also urged to investigate the acts of violence and threats carried out against people who put their lives at risk to denounce situations of social injustice.

For further information contact: Milli Legrain of CEJIL, Tel +1.202 319 3000, mlegrain@cejil.org

One Response to “23 NGOs denounce over 2000 violations re Human Rights Defenders in the Americas”

  1. Alexandra Bisia Says:

    This is definitely not good, especially because the situation is even worse than what we thought.

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