to our group website.  Hopefully you will find any information you want about our group, but more importantly it will inspire you to take action. The best way to keep in touch with us is via our email newsletter. This generally goes out once a month. This is changing in format as we develop the blog and  the newsletter will link to relevant actions or events, rather than being too detailed itself. The group meets every month except August at Moordown Community Centre. This is on the second Thursday, 7.30 to 9.00.  This is a sort of business/planning meeting with some letter writing. If there is a speaker or any particular change to the format it will be flagged up in the newsletter. We have a Facebook page – please go and like us! Its another excellent way of keeping in touch and joining in with actions and campaigns.

As the crisis in Venezuela continues, Amnesty has issued two new reports, an Urgent Action and two petitions on that country. We report on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Colombia and Brazil, but there’s good news from Peru. We’re asking you to sign petitions on Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina and Ecuador.

VENEZUELA

Amnesty issued two reports on Venezuela in May.

In the first (Welcome Venezuela), Amnesty explained that Venezuela’s unprecedented human rights crisis is not only affecting millions of people inside the country but has forced one in every ten people in Venezuela to leave their homes in the last four years. It has called on the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean not to impose barriers that hinder the entry of those fleeing the crisis or to return anyone to Venezuela given the risk they run of suffering human rights violations. There is an online petition that you can sign here.

In the second (Hunger for Justice), Amnesty argues that selective extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions, and deaths and injuries caused by the excessive use of force by Maduro’s government as part of a systematic and widespread policy of repression since at least 2017 may constitute crimes against humanity. It has called for a vigorous response from the international justice system. There is an online petition for this too – sign here.

Amnesty has issued an Urgent Action calling on the Venezuelan authorities to reveal the fate and whereabouts of Gilber Caro, an opposition member of the National Assembly, who was, according to reports, taken by intelligence officers on 26 April 2019 while he was at a restaurant in Caracas.  Gilber Caro was arbitrarily detained from January 2017 until June 2018 under unfounded accusations of treason and stealing military equipment but eventually conditionally released. You can take action here.

COLOMBIA

7,000 members of Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Chocó face death threats and are at risk of forced displacement. Most have been forcibly confined to their territories for more than a year because of the ongoing confrontations between illegal armed groups. Amnesty has set up a petition asking the state to immediately implement a comprehensive protection plan for people in Chocó and ensure that victims receive reparations and guarantees that human rights violations will be prevented. Please sign it here!

The Colombian NGO Somos Defensores (We are defenders) issued a damning report on the killings of Human Rights Defenders in 2018. 155 HRDs were killed in 2018, an increase of 46% on 2017, the highest figure since the NGO started its reports in 2009. Many leaders of rural communities were killed either because they supported the government’s plan to replaces coca and marijuana with other crops or because they refused to plant coca or marijuana. Although in 72% of the cases the perpetrators are unknown, of the remainder that are known, paramilitaries were responsible for 36%, FARC dissidents for 29% and the ELN and state security forces 17.5% each. You can download this extensive report in the English version here.

Documents seen by Associated Press into investigations into extrajudicial killings allegedly show that the recently appointed head of the Army was involved in the cover-up of the killings of civilians by the Army ten years ago. The military killed up to 5,000 civilians, reporting them to be guerrilla rebels in what became known as ‘False Positives’, in response to incentives (pay and perks) from their superiors.

Fuerza de Mujeres (Women’s Force) of the Wayuu indigenous people have denounced death threats from a paramilitary group that have forced some of their members to flee their homes in La Guajira. Although they have informed the authorities of these threats since October 2018, they say that they have not been offered any protection. You can view their statement in Spanish here. In response to these death threats the huge Cerrejon coal mine, which is located in La Guajira and whose operations are opposed by the Wayuu, publicly called on the authorities to protect Fuerza de Mujeres and bring to justice those responsible. [click to continue…]

Group Newsletter May 2019

May 17, 2019

Welcome to the latest newsletter. For a variety of reasons this newsletter is between meetings. Our next meeting  is on Thursday 13th June 7.30pm  at Moordown Community Centre. In this newsletter we wanted to highlight some of our upcoming events to ensure as many of you as possible can get involved (don’t worry, you’ve missed the street collection!) South […]

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South America Newsletter May 2019

May 15, 2019

In this month’s newsletter, we report on a disturbing regional development as five governments seek to limit the scope of action of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.  There are updates on the situation in Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia, where human rights remain under serious threat, as well as details of a new campaign to defend […]

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Wareham Street Collection 2019

April 28, 2019

Thanks to those who turned out yesterday, and again thanks to the kind folk of Wareham. Despite a cold wind and what seemed a quieter town, we still collected over £90.  Not a huge amount – with the cheapest overseas postage now starting at £1.35 – but with just 4 collectors in 2 hours, not […]

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Group Newsletter April 2019

April 13, 2019

Welcome to the latest newsletter. The next meeting  is on Thursday 11th April, 7.30pm  at Moordown Community Centre. On the agenda  –  Review of campaigns; planning; letter writing and discuss AIUK AGM resolutions (if available) Saudi Arabia: Release Women’s Human Rights Defenders Immediately! 24 June 2018 was an historic moment for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia; the ban […]

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South America Newsletter April 2019

April 2, 2019

Dear Friends, This month there is a petition regarding Venezuela, two Urgent Actions relating to Argentina and Paraguay together with an alert for a future Urgent Action relating to Bolivia. Killings of HRDs in Colombia continue to rise and the President of Colombia refuses to sign an important Bill. We have news on Indigenous rights […]

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Group Newsletter March 2019

March 10, 2019

Welcome to the latest newsletter.The next meeting  is on Thursday 14th March 2019, 7.30pm  at Moordown Community Centre. On the agenda  –  AGM (usually brief, don’t let that put you off!), planning and case file letter writing (see below).This newsletter belatedly marks International Women’s Day in all its articles. Keep reading 😀 Marielle FrancoYou may recall we featured Marielle […]

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South America Newsletter March 2019

March 7, 2019

This month we have two petitions for you to sign, one on the human rights crisis in Venezuela and the other on abortion rights in Argentina. We report on the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, the continuing HR violations in Colombia and on police killings and gender based murders in Brazil. We have good news from […]

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May Stevens

March 7, 2019

Amnesty members in the Bournemouth area were saddened the learn of the death of May Stevens in January. May and her husband Ted were among the founder members of the group in 1986 and were for many years the mainstay of the group and its’ activities. She will particularly be remembered for her tireless fundraising. […]

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