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.

This month’s newsletter includes good news from Paraguay regarding families from the Guahory Community, who were the subject of an Urgent Action in July. There has also been a Court ruling in Chile tightening the parole conditions for violators of human rights.

We have four Urgent Actions, one for Colombia, two for Venezuela and one for Chile. There is particularly concerning news regarding Colombia and Brazil.

COLOMBIA

Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action on behalf of Enrique Cabezas, leader of the collective of Afro-descendent territory in Curvaradó , Chocó department. He has received several threats in response to his work defending the ancestral territory and the right of the communities to not to be involved in the armed conflict. Please write to the authorities in the UA.

In a press release, Amnesty states, “Since President Iván Duque took office, the number of reports of threats and attacks that Human Rights defenders report to our organization has increased exponentially. The situation is so serious that, during his recent visit, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders declared that he had been horrified and appalled at the fear expressed by defenders in meetings.” Although the President has signed a decree on a new protection plan, the organisation notes “All these institutional and legislative “advances” have turned out to be paper promises that have no real impact on the lives of defenders.”

Richard met four people closely involved in the peace process, including the EU’s representative. While the demobilisation and reinsertion of the FARC guerrillas is proceeding, major obstacles to effectively implementing the Peace Accord include: 

  • The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) is vastly under resourced, meaning that the process for compensating victims and restoring their rights is far too slow.
  • The lack of infrastructure in Colombia, particularly transport, hampers efforts to develop and provide services to rural communities that are in war zones or in those areas once occupied by the FARC.

However, the US interest in the peace process continues and the UK’s support has been strong and consistent. It is possible that some of the necessary finance may come from the European Investment Bank. The meeting was organised by Justice for Colombia, whose Peace Monitor #2 can be downloaded here.

Peace Brigades International denounce the Armed Forces’ night-time bombing and strafing of land belonging to a rural community in Chocó. The community reported that no fire was returned during the three hours of the operation. They had not experienced such terror in ten years. If this is an attempt to drive them off their land, then they say that they will remain.

BRAZIL

The IACHR and OHCHR for South America condemn the murders of two activists for the Landless Workers Movement (MST, by its Portuguese acronym) in the Brazilian state of Paraíba, and of a leader of rural settlements in the State of Pará. The IACHR and the OHCHR urge the Brazilian State to investigate those events with due diligence, considering the victims’ activities in defence of human rights, and to address the structural causes of those acts of violence, which are linked to the struggle for land rights in Brazil. See The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) press release.

Rio Times reports on the tenth anniversary of the public security program that gave rise to the Unidade de Policia Pacificadora (Pacifying Police Unit – UPP), operating in some of Rio’s largest favela communities.

Mobile UPPs circulate within communities

The UPPs promised a safer, more inclusive life in one of Brazil’s largest cities, but for many the units just brought more violence. “The UPP has failed massively. Broken promises and increased violence are not a success in the eyes of the favelas,” says Jody King, founder of a school in Rocinha favela.

Rio Times reports that Rio de Janeiro councillor Marcello Siciliano, who is being investigated in relation to the murder of councillor Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes in April, has requested that federal authorities take over the case and bring greater transparency to the proceedings. He has vehemently denied any role in her killing.

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Group Newsletter December 2018

December 10, 2018

Welcome to the latest newsletter.Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. You may like to bring this to people’s attention as you go about your day …Our next meeting  is on Thursday 13th December 2018, 7.30pm  at Moordown Community […]

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South America Newsletter December 2018

December 5, 2018

This month there is good news from  Chile regarding the passing of a gender identity law  and four former police officers being arrested regarding a fatal shooting. Moreover, in Guyana  transgender activists are celebrating a ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice. There is also a reminder regarding the opportunity to continue to work on […]

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Autumn Quiz 2018

November 17, 2018

Thanks to everyone who turned out for last nights quiz at the Brunswick Hotel, Charminster. Over 40 people battled it out and the winning team triumphed by just 1/2 a point! Thanks to David Rogers for setting the questions, Lucy Freeman for running the raffle and Sally Hawksworth for being Master (or mistress?) of ceremonies […]

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Group Newsletter November 2018

November 6, 2018

Welcome to the latest newsletter. The next meeting  is on Thursday 8th November 7.30pm  at Moordown Community Centre. On the agenda:-  planning upcoming Quiz and  Write 4 Rights events, new case files and letter writing. This is now definitely organised for Friday November 16h, 7.30 for 8.00 prompt at the Brunswick Hotel, 199 Malmesbury Park Road, Charminster, Bournemouth BH8 […]

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South America Newsletter November 2018

November 5, 2018

This month we have good news from Uruguay and four Urgent Actions (Colombia 2, Venezuela and Ecuador 1 each). We report on the possible consequences for human rights of the newly elected presidents of Brazil and Colombia and the continued harassment, threats and killings of environmental rights defenders and indigenous people in Colombia, Chile and […]

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Group Newsletter October 2018

October 11, 2018

Welcome to the latest newsletter. The next meeting  is tomorrow,  Thursday 11th October 2017, 7.30pm  at Moordown Community Centre. On the agenda – Quiz night, Castlepoint or Bournemouth Centre?, Write 4 Rights, planning 2019 and letter writing This is now organised for Friday November 16h, 7.30 for 8.00 prompt at the Brunswick Hotel, 199 Malmesbury Park Road, Charminster, Bournemouth […]

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World Day Against Death Penalty 2018

October 10, 2018

To coincide with World Day Against the Death Penalty today, Amnesty has released a powerful six-minute video showing the impact of the death penalty on families in Belarus, the only country in Europe that still carries out executions. The video, based on the case of Gennadii Yakovitskii who was executed in Belarus in 2016, reveals […]

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South America Newsletter October 2018

October 7, 2018

Amnesty has issued a new report on public security in Venezuela, the UN Human Rights Council has passed a resolution on the crisis and this year’s Embassy Crawl included a stop at the Venezuelan Embassy.  In Colombia, environmental rights defenders continue to face threats, paramilitary groups are extending their presence, peace negotiations with the ELN […]

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