indigenous groups

Public vilification of Indigenous peoples and criminalisation of environmental defenders

On 16th July 2020, Maya Q’eqchi Indigenous leader Bernardo Caal Xol was declared a prisoner of conscience by human rights organisation Amnesty International. Bernardo Caal Xol has defended the rights of communities in Santa María de Cahabón, department of Alta Verapáz, which have resisted the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the region. Read more

Public vilification of Indigenous peoples and criminalisation of environmental defenders

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights highlights continuing human rights violations

At the 44th session of the Human Rights Council on 2nd July 2020, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, provided an oral update on Nicaragua. Bachelet said her office continues to document persistent human rights violations against those who the government perceives as opponents, including human rights defenders, journalists, social leaders and former political detainees. Read more

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights highlights continuing human rights violations

Honduras enacts new Criminal Code enabling criminalisation of protesters and journalists

On 25th June 2020, Honduras’ new Criminal Code entered into force despite warnings from civil society that some of its provisions threaten freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly. As previously reported on the Monitor, human rights organisations have said that the code enables criminalisation of protests. Read more

Honduras enacts new Criminal Code enabling criminalisation of protesters and journalists

Indigenous defender killed and others threatened and attacked in Guatemala

On 15th June 2020, Indigenous land defender Medardo Alonzo Lucero was found dead with signs of torture in Olopa, Chiquimula department. Read more

Indigenous defender killed and others threatened and attacked in Guatemala

Enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions increase in Venezuela during pandemic

On 8th May 2020, civil society organisation Foro Penal reported that arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances increased in Venezuela since the beginning of COVID-19 containment measures in March 2020. Read more

Enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions increase in Venezuela during pandemic

Protests on migrant worker conditions and discrimination against indigenous people in Taiwan

In recent months there have been protests by migrant workers and migrant rights NGOs against poor working conditions. There were also protests linked to the Black Lives Matter movement highlighting discrimination against indigenous people. At the end of June 2020, one of the few Pride marches was held in Taiwan. The country dropped one place in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index in April 2020 Read more

Protests on migrant worker conditions and discrimination against indigenous people in Taiwan

Chilean police forces repress protests with COVID-19 regulations

On 18th March 2020, the Chilean government issued a decree that established an exceptional “state of catastrophe” for three months due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The legislation also allowed the president to take further measures such as restrictions on gatherings in public spaces and individuals’ movement, quarantines or curfews. Read more

Chilean police forces repress protests with COVID-19 regulations

Journalists denounce Guatemala government hostility towards the press

On 12th April 2020, more than a hundred journalists from Guatemala published a public complaint denouncing repeated hostile behaviour from president Alejandro Giammattei and other public officials, through acts to intimidate, discredit and censor the press. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Journalists denounce Guatemala government hostility towards the press

Indigenous defenders of Costa Rica face increasing threats and harassment

To deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Costa Rica’s government banned mass gatherings on 9th March 2020 and declared a state of emergency on 16th March 2020. The measures adopted by the country included the closure of schools and all non-essential businesses, mass testing and a shutdown of the country’s borders. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Indigenous defenders of Costa Rica face increasing threats and harassment

Protests in Indonesia against weakening of labour laws as activists and critics are silenced

There have been mass protests in recent months against proposed new laws that could weaken labour and environmental rights in Indonesia. Scores of Papuan activists are facing trial for their activism while the national human rights body has finally issued a report on the 2014 killing of four Papuan students involved in a protest. Defamation laws are being used to silence critics of the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, while human rights defenders are facing threats and arrests Read more

Protests in Indonesia against weakening of labour laws as activists and critics are silenced