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, amongst other issues, we report on continuing concerns regarding the rights of indigenous peoples in Paraguay, Ecuador and Brazil. The killings of human rights defenders and community leaders and women’s rights   in Colombia, threats to a journalist and prison violence in   Brazil are also included.  There is an urgent action relating to Paraguay and   petitions regarding a case in Brazil and Amazonian women in Ecuador. There is also some welcome news relating to a report on Venezuela and positive news regarding Paraguay and Uruguay.


An IACHR press release dated 1 July  reports that, on June 9, The Intercept Brasil started publishing a series of leaks denouncing alleged irregularities in the so-called “Anti-Corruption Operation, Car Wash.” Immediately after the disclosure, journalist Glenn Greenwald became the target of offensive remarks, defamation, and death threats. The Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression  express their concern over the threats, offensive remarks made by authorities and the intimidation against the journalist  and his family, after the dissemination of information and press reports of public interest.

Survival International   reported on 1 July that up to 10,000 gold miners have invaded Yanomami lands in northern Brazil, spreading malaria in the region and polluting many of the rivers with mercury.

One of the many illegal gold mining sites in the Yanomami territory

Although most Yanomami are in contact with non-indigenous society, one uncontacted group is known to live in the area being invaded, and authorities are investigating signs of up to six other uncontacted communities living there.

The massive influx has been blamed by local indigenous leaders for the deaths of four children already. They say the miners are building settlements and airstrips, emboldened by President Bolsonaro’s support for land invaders, and constant attacks on indigenous people.

One of the many illegal gold mining sites in the Yanomami territory

Some mining camps are just a few miles from uncontacted Yanomami. The Yanomami association Hutukara estimates the number of miners at up to 10,000. They also report devastation to the fish and game they rely on for their livelihood.

According to the  Global Witness Report, Enemies of the State?  How governments and business silence land and environmental defenders; published in July, there were at least twenty environmental activists murdered in Brazil in 2018, therefore Brazil has the fourth highest number of such crimes in the world.

Marielle Franco

murdered activist Marielle Franco

Marielle Franco paid the ultimate price for defending human rights. On March 12, 2019, two people were arrested and accused of having participated in the killing of this human rights defender and city councillor, murdered on March 14, 2018. However, the intellectual authors, other potential facilitators, and the motivation for the crime have still not been identified.

There is an online petition targeting the Governor of Rio de Janeiro and the Prosecutor, both in charge of the investigations opened on the case. You can access it in English  here.  A further     petition demanding  a full, independent investigation into her murder addressed to the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro  can be accessed here.

The New York Times reported on 29 July that a fight between rival gangs in a prison in northern Brazil  left at least 57 inmates dead, including at least 16 who were decapitated, according to prison officials. The clash in Pará State was the latest deadly outbreak of violence in Brazil’s overcrowded and riot-prone prisons, which have seen an increase in population in recent years without investment to match. [click to continue…]

Group Newsletter July 2019

July 12, 2019

Welcome to the latest newsletter. The next meeting  is on Thursday 11th July, 7.30pm  at Moordown Community Centre. We don’t meet in August so the agenda will focus on the forthcoming events – BourneFree, Speaker, Quiz Night, Schools conference. Plus some letter writing. For the 5th year running we will be holding a stall, and taking part in […]

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AmnesTea June 2019

July 7, 2019

We held our third AmnesTea in our secretary Lucy Freeman’s garden at the end of June. The weather again stayed fair and, as requested, everyone overindulged in cake and hot beverages. This year we also had a second hand book stall which proved quite popular – most participants left with as many books as they’d […]

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South America Newsletter July 2019

July 3, 2019

This month we report on the continued undermining of human rights and threats to the environment posed by the Brazilian government and updates on the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. While aggressions and killings of human rights defenders in Colombia continue to mount, British MPs ask questions during President Duque’s visits the UK. There’s good news […]

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Group Newsletter June 2019

June 10, 2019

Welcome to the latest newsletter. The next meeting  is on Thursday 13th June 2019, 7.30pm  at Moordown Community Centre. On the agenda  –  Review of campaigns; letter writing, planning events.  We haven’t had a meeting since the last newsletter; this is mainly a reminder of upcoming events and asking for your support… We are planning our third AmnesTea. […]

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South America Newsletter June 2019

June 9, 2019

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 […]

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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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