marielle francoMarielle Franco was born and raised in a favela in Rio, Brazil. An elected councillor, she worked tirelessly to promote the rights of black women, LGBTI and young people.

Marielle inspired many people. She refused to stay silent about police killings and continued to speak out against injustice right up until hours before her brutal killing in March 2018. A car pulled up beside hers, and Marielle was shot four times in the head. Her driver Anderson Pedro Gomes was also killed.

People who defend human rights in Brazil, like Marielle, are often attacked or threatened. The authorities do not respond adequately – and most of these crimes go completely unpunished. Two ex military policemen are currently under arrest; unfortunately that can often lead to no further action. We need to maintain the spotlight on her case.

Marielle dedicated her life to speaking out for LGBTI, black and women’s rights in Brazil. She paid the ultimate price for defending human rights.

Demand a full, independent investigation into her murder by signing the AIUK petition to the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro. Click on the link below…

This month, we update you on developments in Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile.

Amnesty International has delivered a petition signed by over 1 million people to mark the third anniversary of the murder of Marielle Franco in Brazil and has urged the Venezuela government to address the widespread human rights violations documented by an Independent International Fact-Finding Mission. We have two new cases on our Individuals at Risk portfolio for local groups to act: Joel Chipiaje (Colombia) and Gustavo Gatica (Chile). In Colombia, 177 human rights defenders were killed in 2020. Former Bolivian president Jeanine Añez has been detained and concerns over the impartiality of her arrest were raised. A new bill in Peru could jeopardise the rights of people with disabilities, including the right to consent to mental health treatment. A scandal over the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik in Argentina forced the Health Minister to step down. Chile postpones its elections to re-write their constitution due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.

REGIONAL- COVID-19 Vaccines in the Americas.

On 25 March, Amnesty launched a new report Vaccines in the Americas. Ten Human Rights Musts to Ensure Health for All.  The report analyses the vaccination plans against COVID-19 and the implementation of these plans.  Amnesty is calling on States to comply with international human rights standards, to allow vaccinations to be available to the entire population, to prioritise high risk groups, and to ensure complete transparency in the design and implementation of their vaccination plans and their dealings with pharmaceutical companies.  We have written to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and to the UK Embassies of South American countries urging support for the recommendations.

COLOMBIA

Carlota Isabel Salinas Pére

Carlota Isabel Salinas Pérez, Women’s Rights Defender killed by gunmen 24 March 2020 in San Pablo, Bolivar

Frontline Defenders reports that 177 human rights defenders were killed in Colombia in 2020. This represents over half of all human rights defenders killed in the world. ‘2020 witnessed another rise in the level of violence directed against HRDs in Colombia, particularly those participating in the implementation of the peace process and engaging in voluntary drug crop substitution initiatives or those opposing the extraction of natural resources…  At the same time, the number of defenders receiving protection from the National Protection Unit was reduced.’

A third wave of Covid-19 fuelled by the Manaus variant is underway in Colombia and threatens the country’s healthcare system. The Government, which has been criticised for its slow roll out of vaccines, is committed to vaccinating 30 million people by the end of the year.

 To Amnesty International´s knowledge, Colombia is the only country in the region that opened its national vaccination plan to a consultation process. As a result the final plan includes a specific mention on indigenous peoples in the priority groups for vaccine rollout. Vaccination commenced in Colombia in late February 2021.

 The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) joins calls for the Government of Colombia to return to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights hearing to determine the government’s responsibility in the rape and torture case of Jineth Bedoya Lima. On 25 May 2000, she was kidnapped while waiting for authorization to enter Bogota’s Modelo prison to interview inmates on paramilitaries and armed conflict in Colombia’s prisons. During the kidnapping, she was tortured and raped and told by her attackers that this was “punishment” for her journalism. Bedoya has sought justice in Colombia, investigating her own case when prosecutors failed to do so and facing additional threats seeking to silence her.

PBI Colombia warns that 170,500 people in the Pacific port of Buenaventura are at risk of forced displacement or death as two former paramilitary groups battle in the city. In January, more than 38 confrontations led to the forced displacement of over 2,000 residents and the killing of 22. In February the Bishop of Buenaventura indicated that in one district former paramilitaries had returned to use rudimentary cabins to torture and dismember people. [click to continue…]

Europe Newsletter March 2021

March 30, 2021

Welcome to the March edition of our newsletter. There is an Urgent Action on Turkey, a public Statement in support of the Saturday mothers in Turkey , an update on the “El Hiblu 3” campaign and a toolkit devised by the Roma support group to help those who are supporting Roma children and families to […]

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Latest Actions

March 13, 2021

At our meeting on Thursday 11th, we worked our way though a few actions – mainly online. Amnesty has improved this process considerably over recent months.  These have been taken from several different sources  – from local groups newsletters, AIUK emails and the action pages from Amnesty International “take action” sites around the world. Do […]

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Europe Update

March 6, 2021

We have some great news to celebrate! On 2 March the court declared the verdict in the trial against our 3 brave Women Human Rights defenders who were absurdly charged with”insulting religion” which in Poland can carry a prison sentence of 2 years. Despite the political pressures on judges by the Minister of Justice and […]

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South America Newsletter March 2021

March 6, 2021

This month, we update you on developments in Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru and Paraguay.  There are three live Urgent Actions – two for Colombia and one for Venezuela – and we shall shortly add the case of Gustavo Gatica (Chile) to our portfolio of long-term cases.  Amnesty has published the results of […]

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Group Newsletter March 2021

March 3, 2021

Welcome to the latest newsletter. Whilst its not clear when we can return to Moordown Community Centre, lets just say its looking more possible that we could be back in a few months. Meanwhile, we’ve decided to host a couple of online events over the next two months. We are arranging a speaker for April/May, […]

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Europe Newsletter February 2021

February 28, 2021

This Newsletter contains a very urgent action  https://www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent-actions/chechen-man-faces-deportation-russia   and the shocking news that Eren Keskin has been sentenced to 6 years in prison. Please find more information and suggested actions below. The trial against Elzbieta, Joanna and Anna should come to a verdict on 2 March. Please continue highlighting the case on social media […]

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Group Newsletter February 2021

February 28, 2021

Welcome to the latest newsletter. We have not planned a meeting for February. Unfortunately the option of meeting at Moordown Community Centre, as we did last February, isn’t available. Whilst we have had some success with Zoom, it seems to work best when we have a specific purpose – such as letter writing  or a […]

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South America Newsletter February 2021

February 6, 2021

This month we have news from Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Human Rights Watch has published its annual report and we include sections on Colombia and Brazil. We ask you to respond to Urgent Actions on Venezuela, for the release of 5 members of an NGO, and Brazil, where the hospitals in Manaus […]

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South America Newsletter January 2021

January 13, 2021

We hope you are doing well. This month, we update you on developments in Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. We have some good news to start 2021. Argentina legalised abortion. International pressure on the President and the Senators was crucial. Paraguayan authorities have opened an investigation into the attack on […]

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