Americas - HRD killing

Mexico: attacks on environmental defenders on the rise

On 26th October 2022, environmental defender Filogonio Martínez Merino was found dead in the Piedra Blanca community, in the Santiago Jamiltepec municipality, Oaxaca. The defender, a member of the Consejo de Pueblos Unidos por la Defensa del Río Verde (Council of Peoples United for the Defence of the Río Verde - COPUDEVER), was one of the key local leaders in the resistance against the hydroelectric projects known as ‘Paso de la Reyna’ and ‘Río Verde’. Read more

Mexico: attacks on environmental defenders on the rise

Peru: attacks on journalists as political polarisation remains prominent

On 8th July 2022, a group of presumed government supporters attacked journalists who were waiting outside the Public Prosecutor’s Office to cover a hearing in a case involving President Pedro Castillo’s family. The assailants began chasing and insulting the journalists, calling them “sold out press” and “trash.” Read more

Peru: attacks on journalists as political polarisation remains prominent

Venezuela: Teachers protest for decent wages; killing and detention of HRDs

On 30th June 2022, Uwottujja leader and human rights defender Virgilio Trujillo Arana was shot and killed in Puerto Ayacucho, Amazonas state. He was a member of Organización Indígena Piaroas Unidos del Sipapo (Oipus), an Indigenous organisation, and coordinated Autana’s Uwottujja Indigenous guard, a group created to defend ancestral territories from illegal mining and other illicit activities. Read more

Venezuela: Teachers protest for decent wages; killing and detention of HRDs

Mexico: President vilifies civil society activists

In July 2022, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made recurring statements vilifying activists who have campaigned to halt the construction of a section of the Maya train project until environmental concerns are addressed. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Mexico: President vilifies civil society activists

Colombia: human rights defenders and local leaders impacted by violence in rural areas

On 26th July 2022, the UN Human Rights Office published a report on the rising violence in rural areas of Colombia. According to the study, violence fell dramatically after the signing of the Peace Agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016, but increased again as non-state armed groups and criminal organisations expanded their presence, particularly over the past two years. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Colombia: human rights defenders and local leaders impacted by violence in rural areas

Brazil: Anger at government inaction after Indigenous advocate and international correspondent are killed in the Amazon

After a ten-day search, the bodies of Indigenous advocate Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips were found in the Itaquaí river, in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest near Brazil’s border with Peru. Pereira and Phillips went missing on 5th June 2022 as they returned from a reporting trip in the region where they were documenting Indigenous rights defenders’ efforts to monitor predatory criminal activities such as illegal fishing and logging. Read more

Brazil: Anger at government inaction after Indigenous advocate and international correspondent are killed in the Amazon

Peru: serious decline in freedom of expression and the press

The mayor of Chiclayo and president of the Association of Peruvian Municipalities (AMPE) used notarised letters to intimidate the newspaper Correo in Lambayeque, demanding that they rectify reports linking him to corruption and public administration irregularities. Read more

Peru: serious decline in freedom of expression and the press

Honduras: Lenca and Garífuna leaders killed within two days

On 30th April 2022, human rights defender and Lenca Indigenous leader Justo Benítez Sánchez was shot and killed at his home in the San Isidro community, Santa Bárbara department. He was a renowned leader who defended land and water rights and had a key role in the resistance against a mining project that would affect the Gualcarque River. Separately, on 1st May 2022, Garífuna leader Alonso Salgado was killed in an attack at the house of another Garífuna leader, Zury Quintanilla, in Rio Tinto. Read more

Honduras: Lenca and Garífuna leaders killed within two days

Colombia: attacks on HRDs and journalists amid increasing violence

According to data from the Observatory of Human Rights, Conflict and Peace of the Instituto de Estudios para el Desarrollo y la Paz (Institute for Development and Peace Studies - INDEPAZ), 64 social leaders and human rights defenders were killed between the beginning of 2022 and 19th April 2022. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Colombia: attacks on HRDs and journalists amid increasing violence

Brazil: shocking violence on HRDs and journalists continues

On 10th February 2022, nine-year-old Jonatas de Oliveira dos Santos was shot and killed in an attack in Engenho Roncadorzinho, a community in the town of Barreiros, Pernambuco state. According to the local police, the boy was killed in retaliation against his father, Geovane da Silva Santos, a community leader and president of the local smallholder farmers’ association. Read more

Brazil: shocking violence on HRDs and journalists continues