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 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 have been overwhelmed by Covid-19. Please sign the petition on Colombia, to guarantee protection for human rights defenders

COLOMBIA

José Javier Uragama Chamorro

José Javier Uragama Chamorro, indigenous Governor of Agua Clara, Chocó, tortured and killed by unknown persons 28 June 2020

Amnesty International’s online petition asking Colombia’s congress to guarantee the safety of human rights defenders by setting up a commission is still open. The Commission would verify and guarantee their safety by monitoring the relevant authorities to ensure that they are fulfilling their responsibilities to protect defenders.

The Colombian NGO Programma Somos Defensores  (We Are Defenders Program) reports that 40 human rights defenders were killed in the June to September quarter of 2020. This is a big increase on 2019 and indigenous leaders have suffered disproportionally. Of the 17 known perpetrators, 9 were killed by FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) dissidents, 5 by former paramilitaries, 2 by the ELN (National Liberation Army) and one by the state’s armed forces.

According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, in the first week of January 44 people were forcibly displaced in Norte de Santander department. They were fleeing a conflict between former paramilitaries and the ELN guerrillas.

Human Rights Watch has published its annual report on Colombia. ‘Impunity for past abuses, barriers to land restitution for displaced people, limits on reproductive rights, and the extreme poverty and isolation of indigenous communities remain important human rights concerns in Colombia.’ HRW analyses the reasons behind the threats and mass killings of human rights defenders, journalists, indigenous and Afro-Colombian leaders, and other community activists

The British NGO AB Colombia and several other NGOs have submitted a complaint to the OECD requesting that they investigate 4 multinational companies over serious human rights abuses and shocking environmental pollution at the Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia. The complaints were filed simultaneously in Australia, Ireland, Switzerland and the UK. The 4 companies are BHP, Anglo American and Glencore (all with listings on the London Stock Exchange) and Ireland’s state-owned energy provider, the ESB.

The rural Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado describes the extortions, threats, violence  and recruitment they are suffering from paramilitaries, who continue to act openly within a few miles of an army base. [click to continue…]

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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Group Newsletter January 2021

January 13, 2021

Welcome to the latest newsletter. We have not planned a meeting for January. Obviously we cannot currently meet at Moordown Community Centre. Whilst we have had some success with Zoom, it seems to work best when we have a specific purpose – such as letter writing (see Write 4 Rights below) or a speaker. But […]

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Europe Newsletter December 2020

January 4, 2021

This newsletter came from the Central and Eastern Europe A.I.U.K. coordinator Ulrike Schmidt, with a report on Belarus from Tess Linton.  But it also contains information on Western Europe – specifically France – from the Western Europe coordinator Anna Radzikowska:- “Dear Amnesty Activists and supporters Hard and uncertain times for all of us. Please stay […]

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Group Newsletter December 2020

December 5, 2020

Welcome to the latest newsletter. We are not having a meeting, as such, this month but more of a social gathering online to celebrate Write 4 Rights. This will be Thursday 10th December (world human rights day) at 8pm  Details below. Write for Rights Every year in December Amnesty International has encouraged and helped groups send greetings […]

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South America Newsletter December 2020

December 2, 2020

This month, we update you on developments in Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia and on the rising prevalence of police abuse in the region. We ask you to participate in Amnesty’s social media campaign to support the legalisation of abortion in Argentina; to sign a petition to protect Colombian Human Rights Defenders; and […]

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Group Newsletter November 2020

November 9, 2020

Welcome to the latest newsletter. The next meeting  is on Thursday 8th October 8.00pm – on ZOOM.  Obviously our plans to return to Moordown Community Centre are even further away. . Do join us if you can. There will be campaign updates and a discussion on future plans. In particular is there is anything we can do re Write […]

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South America Newsletter November 2020

November 8, 2020

We are pleased to welcome Carla Torres to our team as Country Coordinator for Argentina and Chile. This month, we update you on developments in Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina. We have new Amnesty reports on human rights defenders in Colombia and police violence in Chile, an update on illegal […]

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Europe Newsletter November 2020

November 1, 2020

This newsletter came from the Central and Eastern Europe A.I.U.K. coordinator Ulrike Schmidt, with a report on Belarus from Tess Linton.  But it also contains information on Western Europe – specifically France – from the Western Europe coordinator Anna Radzikowska:- “Over the last few months we have admired the courage of women leading the protests […]

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Video Meeting October 2020

October 9, 2020

Issues Discussed 8th October 2020 We discussed at length the forthcoming talk on Syria, 21st October,  by Revd Dr Andrew Ashdown:- https://amnestyat50.co.uk/syrian-conflict-the-human-impact The big issue is to how to promote locally and whether to invite other AI groups. Please can everyone let their personal contacts know and share within any groups they are involved with […]

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