AMERICA - Latin America, the most dangerous region for human rights defenders

Monday, 11 January 2016 violence   human rights   area crisis  

Bogotà (Agenzia Fides) - Latin America is the most dangerous region for activists who defend human rights: dozens of people died here defending land rights, the environment and the indigenous and homosexual community, according to a report of Front Line Defenders, presented these days.
According to a note sent to Fides, in the first 11 months of 2015, 156 human rights defenders around the world were killed or died during detention, almost 15% more than the previous year. More than half of the deaths occurred in Latin America, and 54 homicides were recorded in Colombia alone, according to the report.
"Defending human rights in Latin America continued to be extremely dangerous and even the criminalization of human rights movement and peaceful protest persisted. The most worrying problem is the extreme violence", says the document.
In Latin America, those most at risk were the activists who defended land rights in the face of large mining projects or deforestation, often in areas belonging to indigenous groups, particularly in some parts of Central America, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Ecuador.
As for Brazil, the report highlights that the human rights activists and indigenous leaders of the Ka'apor and Guarani-Kaiowá comunity were victims of companies operating illegally in the Amazon rainforest and of local farmers, who claim rights over land recognized as indigenous ancestral territories. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 11/01/2016)