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 cover the impact of Covid-19 on human rights in the region as well as more general human rights news. Amnesty has issued the human rights responsibilities for state response to Covid-19 for the Americas. This includes a paper which sets out four things governments should do and four things they should not. States should:

  • Not discriminate
  • Not leave behind high-risk groups
  • Not use repression or excessive force in enforcing public health measures.
  • Not censor or limit access to evidence-based information or prevention

States should:

  • Guarantee workers’ rights and social security
  • Guarantee access to adequate water, sanitation and health for all
  • Ensure a gender-focused response to the pandemic
  • Protect people’s rights to privacy

We also have 2 Urgent Actions for Venezuela, a petition for Peru and Amnesty statements on recent events in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil.

Vila Nova amnesty international

This rudimentary health centre in Vila Nova village in Amazonas state, Brazil, is typical of remote medical facilities that serve indigenous communities. It lacks equipment and medicine needed to combat Covid-19


Venezuelan National Assembly opposition members and those near them continue to suffer attacks. Representative Ismael Léon was detained from 21 – 23 January 2020 then conditionally released. In this Urgent Action, you can call on President Maduro to put an immediate stop to this repression. Any letters should be addressed to the Venezuelan Ambassador in London as there is still no postal service in or with Venezuela.

On 21 March 2020, journalist Darvinson Rojas was arrested by the Special Action Forces (FAES) of the National Police in an apparent attempt to silence his reporting on the spread of COVID-19 in Venezuela. Darvinson is in the custody of FAES custody, who have an appalling record of committing grave human rights violations. In this Urgent Action, you can demand his immediate and unconditional release.

This article from Human Rights Watch questions how the country’s collapsing health system will cope with the COVID-19 outbreak and the consequences for Venezuelans’ right to health and for the rest of Latin America. [click to continue…]

Group Newsletter March 2020

March 8, 2020

Welcome to the latest newsletter. Happy International Women’s Day. Sadly, all over the world, activists are being imprisoned, tortured and even killed just because they’re women. More on this below. Our next meeting  is on Thursday 12th March, 7.30pm  at Moordown Community Centre. On the agenda  –  Review of campaigns and letter writing. Its also our AGM – […]

Read the full article →

South America Newsletter March 2020

March 1, 2020

This report includes an urgent action regarding Ecuador, an online petition regarding  Venezuelan refugees in Peru, a forthcoming event  regarding Chile and the  petition signatures obtained regarding Ecuador and Argentina.  There is  an introduction to an AI annual report for the Americas and continuing concerns regarding Venezuela, including the prevention of a visit of a […]

Read the full article →

Marielle Franco – message from her family

February 12, 2020

Since sending out the newsletter, (see below), that features the murder of Marielle Franco, almost two years ago, there have been two developments.  Amnesty Brazil have released a video from Marielles family thanking everyone for their support in the campaign to get justice for Marielle. In the video above you hear from Antônio and Marinete […]

Read the full article →

Group Newsletter February 2020

February 12, 2020

Welcome to the latest newsletter. The next meeting  is on Thursday 13th February, 7.30pm  at Moordown Community Centre. On the agenda – letter writing,  planning future events Marielle Franco. Our case file is on the murder of Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes. Marielle was born and raised in a favela in Rio, Brazil. An elected councillor, […]

Read the full article →

South America Newsletter February 2020

February 6, 2020

Lots to report again this month.  Communities remain under threat in Colombia, press and artistic freedom is being challenged in Brazil, concerns remain about repression of protestors in Chile, there were renewed attacks on the opposition in Venezuela, there is concern for the protection of vulnerable Venezuelans in Peru (the subject of a new Amnesty […]

Read the full article →

Group Newsletter January 2020

January 8, 2020

Welcome to the latest newsletter. Happy new year to you all. The next meeting  is on Thursday 9th January 2020, 7.30pm  at Moordown Community Centre. On the agenda – planning for year ahead, letter writing Write 4 Rights 2019 We held a fantastic ‪Write for Rights event at Bournemouth Library We got over 100 cards signed by passing […]

Read the full article →

South America Newsletter January 2020

January 5, 2020

This month we have good news from Colombia and Brazil. However, we report on the victims of the ongoing conflict in Colombia, and the staggering violence in Brazil’s Amazon as well as police killings across that country. We focus on the challenge to Colombia and Brazil on the arrival of large numbers of refugees from […]

Read the full article →

Write 4 Rights 2019

December 22, 2019

We held a fantastic ‪Write for Rights event at Bournemouth Library We got over 100 cards signed by passing members of the public; its Amnesty International UK annual campaign, sending greetings cards to prisoners of conscience and other human rights defenders around the world. Thanks to Jessica, Val, Michael and all the other staff at […]

Read the full article →