Latin America

Venezuelan Human Rights Defender Under Serious Threat in a Landscape of Chaos

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Civil Rights Defenders has received information from our Venezuelan partner Foro Penal, that Julio Rivas, one of the leading human rights defenders in the state of Carabobo, is currently receiving serious threats from the local police, the local media and even from the governor of the region, Francisco Ameliach due to his work for human rights. Valencia, a city located 120 kilometres from the capital of Venezuela has in the last 72 hours experienced riots and mass looting of shops, factories, warehouses and supermarkets. Officials have accused the people demonstrating against the government as being responsible for the tension.

Partner of Civil Rights Defenders sentenced to six months in prison

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On the 27 March, Cuban Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) activist Lismeirys Quintana was sentenced at the People’s Court of Marianao, Havana, to six months in prison on politically motivated charges for “non-payment of fines”. On the 29 of January, another Dama de Blanco, Aliuska Gómez had to witness the arrest of her 17 year old son Rey Hanoy Marrueto Gómez because of his mothers human rights work.

Seeking Out New Paths After a Polarised Referendum

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Colombia’s peace process led by current President Juan Manuel Santos and the guerrilla group FARC suffered a major defeat when the plebiscite showed that the NO vote had won. 50,2% of Colombians voted against the accord with 49,8% in favour and although it was only a small margin, the uncertainty is over. The fact that only 37% of the electorate voted is another clear sign that the government did not succeed in mobilising support and credibility for the peace accord.

Family of Prominent Cuban Human Rights Defender Subjected to Threats and Harassment

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Cuban Human Rights Defender, Ailer Gonzalez Mena, of Estado de SATS, has been threatened by the Cuban authorities over the weekend. The security police visited her father and told him they had evidence she was meeting with the ”Cuban-American mafia members of congress”. They also asked him if he and his wife ”were currently able to receive bad news”, the father having recently undergone heart surgery.