This month we bring you news from Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, an Urgent Action on Ecuador and summaries of Amnesty’s annual reports on all the countries that we cover.   Highlights are:

  • Colombia – A short Amnesty film showing the devastating impact of a “less than lethal” weapon on Leidy Cadena in the April 2021 National Strike in Colombia.  Please write to President Petro and Defence Minister Velásquez demanding police reform now. 
  • Colombia – A call by the San José de Apartadó Peace Community for support from the international community. Please write to President Petro demanding protection for them
  • Venezuela – An Amnesty public statement on the relentless persecution of civil society and dissidents – translation attached, please share.
  • Ecuador An Urgent Action calling for access to food and medication to be restored to detainees in five prisons.
  • Brazil – An Amnesty report to the UN raising concerns of gender-based violence against Black women and other women of African descent.  
  • Chile – An update on efforts to secure justice for those killed and maimed during the 2019 protests, including Gustavo Gatica
  • Argentina – protests against proposed budget cuts to public education


Leidy Cadena lost the sight of her right eye to a police rubber bullet

Amnesty has published its Annual Report on Colombia detailing human rights abuses. These include huge numbers of people being forcibly displaced, the high risk of indigenous, Afro-descendant and peasant communities, femicide, violence against LGBTI people, attacks against human rights defenders and lack of protection for Venezuelan refugees. The government failed to implement comprehensive police reform. Progress was made on the use of force during demonstrations, measures to protect human rights defenders and on investigating war crimes

Amnesty issues a short film showing the devastating impact of a less than lethal weapon on Leidy Cadena in the April 2021 National Strike in Colombia.  Please write to President Petro and Defence Minister Velásquez demanding police reform now.  During the National Strike, at least 84 people lost their lives, thousands were arbitrarily detained and more than 100 people sustained eye trauma. Amnesty has denounced torture, gender-based violence, sexual violence and excessive use of force in the context of the 2021 National Strike, attacks on Indigenous peoples and torture of the civilian population.

Colombia is included in Amnesty’s new report on abortion rights in the Americas. “In Colombia, we’ve seen harassment, slander, and insults levelled against those who provide abortions, who are often ostracized at work. We always have to constantly be wary because the threats never stop”, explained Dr. Gil. “For example, they slashed one of my friend’s car tires. They glued shut a different colleague’s padlock so she couldn’t open her locker. When a friend who is a psychiatrist stood up for a patient who was asking to terminate her pregnancy… one of her colleagues hit her with a folder.”

The Peace Community of San José de Apartadó says that a leading paramilitary with the alias Mateo told an audience of civilians, “We know that this community has the habit of murdering its own members, blaming us, and then demanding reparations from the victims,” calling on them to “unite against the peace community.” The meeting was hosted by the Board Chair of Community Action of a neighbouring community. The Peace Community calls on support from the international community. Please write to President Petro demanding protection for them, sending copies to Roy Barreras, Colombian Ambassador 3 Hans Crescent, London SW1X 0LN

The Supreme Court has elected criminal law attorney Luz Adriana Camargo Garzón as the country’s new  Attorney General. She is seen as willing to carry through prosecutions that were impeded by her predecessor. She was head of the investigation and litigation department at the UN International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, and a consultant for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression.

The Guardian reports on how Colombia’s deforestation of the Amazon has surged, following  a sharp reduction thanks to President Petro’s peace negotiations with dissident FARC rebels who banned deforestation.  However, as peace negotiations flounder, this armed force has returned to allowing deforestation as a bargaining chip with the government. [click to continue…]

We co-hosted and helped organise an Iftar at Ensbury Park Community Centre on 5th April. The driving force behind it was Sister Tama, Islamic Faith Adviser at Bournemouth University. It was also supported by Grounded Community, BCP Council and BCP Shout-Out.

It was third time lucky! We originally planned an event for the 21st March at the Garden Rooms café. When this wasn’t able to go ahead we had an enthusiastic response from the Sister Tama, to the attend an Iftar she was organising at the University. This was set up for the 22nd, but then vetoed by the University, because “of the current political situation“!!

There were over 60 guests for the meal. We had a small stall and discussed some of the current campaigns we are working on. Special thanks to Mark Stimson, group member and Activism Rep, for his perseverance to make this event happen.

Interest in our campaigns, letters being signed

Mark Stimson welcomes everyone to the Iftar

Mayu Rousant gives a poetry reading

South America Newsletter April 2024

April 4, 2024

This month we bring you news from Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela,  Argentina and Bolivia. Highlights are: Colombia – A petition demanding that the Colombian authorities protect human rights defenders. Brazil – 2 politicians and an ex-police chief have been arrested over the murder of Marielle Franco Venezuela – Presidential Elections have been brought forward to 28 July, with leading […]

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Europe Newsletter March 2024

March 21, 2024

First some good news : Our Europe team has four country coordinators again : Lucja Jastrzebska has joined us and she will be taking over the work on Central Europe, while Ulrike will focus on the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean. Welcome Lucja! She will cover the Baltic republics, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. […]

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South America Newsletter March 2024

March 4, 2024

This month we bring you news from Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Highlights are: Venezuela  – An Urgent Action calling on the government to release human rights defender Rocio San Miguel. Venezuela – Another Urgent Action calling on the authorities to stop withholding medical care from detainees. Venezuela/Argentina – Amnesty International’s submission with the […]

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Group Newsletter February 2024

February 23, 2024

Our next meeting  is on Thursday 7th March 2024, 7.30pm – 9.00pm at Moordown Community Centre. We will catch up on campaigns, letter writing, and discuss new ideas about campaigning. We will also plan our involvement in next months Iftar, as explained below… Iftar in Bournemouth In conjunction with Feed our Community we will be hosting an Iftar […]

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South America Newsletter February 2024

February 5, 2024

This month we bring you news that: Colombia – The Colombian NGO Indepaz found that 187 social leaders and human rights defenders were killed in 2023, about the same number as in 2022 and 2021. There is still time to sign Amnesty International’s petition demanding that the Colombian Government improves its protection of human rights […]

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Europe Newsletter January 2024

February 3, 2024

The latest update from the AIUK Europe Country Coordinators Team; we wish you a happy 2024 and lots of energy: we will need it. There is a lot to do. On 14th December Amnesty International released the report into the causes of the shipwreck at Pylos, where hundreds of people died. It makes very disturbing […]

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South America Newsletter January 2024

January 8, 2024

This month we bring you news that: Regional – there is a new report by several NGOs on how armed criminal gangs have expanded their presence in the Amazon, threatening indigenous inhabitants. Peru – Amnesty has a petition calling for the perpetrators of the killings during last year’s protests to be prosecuted. Colombia – Amnesty […]

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Write for Rights Events 2023

December 15, 2023

Thanks to everyone who supported us for two events at Bournemouth Library and, for the first time, at The Social Canteen in Boscombe. One of our group also got her church involved – the Parish of Four Saints. Many thanks to the library staff for their help in facilitating the events, ensuring everything was in […]

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