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Time may be running out for Washington and its allies to hold the region’s miscreant governments to account

Central American countries are falling like dominoes into authoritarianism. Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega has intensified his crackdown on political opponents, journalists and human rights defenders in advance of general elections on…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks to his supporters in San Salvador, El Salvador, on February 20, 2020.
News
Since mid-September, United States and Mexican authorities have removed thousands of mostly Haitian migrants and asylum seekers from makeshift camps in Del Rio, Texas and Ciudad Acuña, across the border in the Mexican state of Coahuila. The US has…
Haitians deported from the United States leave Toussaint Louverture International Airport under a rain shower in Port au Prince, Haiti on September 19, 2021.
News
Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, thousands of Afghans have been fleeing threats of reprisal and persecution by seeking refuge abroad. Taliban officials have issued vague and doubtful pledges about respecting human rights. Credible reports…
Afghans from northern provinces who fled their homes due to the fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces take refuge in a public parc in Kabul, August 13, 2021. 
News
In 2015, Adriana Perez da Silva’s 16-year-old son and four of his friends were driving home after a day in the park when the police fired at their car, killing them. Ms. Silva believes they were targeted because they were Black. As a…
Policemen patrol the Rocinha favela in Rio de Janeiro on September 14, 2012.
News
Efforts to save the world’s forests could soon get a boost from proposed laws in the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States to restrict the import of agricultural commodities linked to deforestation. These three markets’ consumption…
Cláudio José da Silva at the bank of the Pindaré river, in the Brazilian Amazon.
News
In the Ancient Roman Circus, when a gladiator fell, his fate was decided not by a judge and jury, but by the will of the emperor and the crowd. Now President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is doing something similar with Mexico’s justice system. This…
Commuters walk past an advertisement showing images of several former Mexican presidents, calling for citizens to participate in a referendum on whether ex-presidents should be tried for their alleged crimes during their time in office, in Mexico City, Saturday, July 31, 2021.
News

Police Reform Urgently Needed to Prevent Future Violations

(Washington, DC) – Members of the Colombian National Police have committed egregious abuses against mostly peaceful demonstrators in protests that began in April 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Colombia’s government should take urgent…
A member of ESMAD throws a tear gas grenade by hand at protesters on May 28, 2021 in Bogota, Colombia.
News

Police Killed 27 People in Low-Income Neighborhood; 1 Officer Died

(São Paulo, May 31, 2021) –The attorney general for the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro should fully investigate the civil and criminal responsibility of civil police commanders for extensive human rights abuses during the most lethal police…
Activists hold a sign that reads in Portuguese "Justice for Jacarezinho. End massacres in favelas" during a protest a day after police killed 27 people during an operation in Jacarezinho favela, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 7, 2021.
News
Since taking office in January, President Joe Biden has made clear that he intends to continue leaning heavily on Mexico to prevent migrants from traveling to the US southern border. Former president Donald Trump pushed this policy farther than…
Mexican National Guard members arrest a migrant who tried crossing the Río Bravo in Ciudad Juárez,
News
Armed groups operating in the eastern Colombian state of Arauca and the neighboring Venezuelan state of Apure control people’s everyday lives through threats, kidnappings, forced labor, child recruitment, murder, and extortion. In Venezuela, they…
People disembark in Colombia after fleeing Venezuela's Apure state due to a Venezuelan military operation against armed groups in the region, as well as egregious abuses by Venezuelan security forces.
News
Mexico’s Congress passed a judicial reform bill on Friday known as the “Zaldívar Law.” The law, supported by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and legislators from his party, Morena, includes a last-minute amendment that would extend the term of…
Justice Arturo Zaldívar attends a Supreme Court hearing in Mexico City on March 21, 2012.
News

Extrajudicial Executions, Arbitrary Arrests, Torture in Anti-Guerrilla Operation

(Washington, DC) – Venezuelan security forces have committed egregious abuses against local residents during a weeks-long operation against armed groups on the border with Colombia, Human Rights Watch said today. Venezuelan security forces opened…
Venezuelans flee from security forces.
News

Venezuelans, Others Face Kidnapping, Extortion, Lack of Essential Services

(Washington, DC, March 5, 2021) – Asylum seekers sent to Mexico by the administration of former US president Donald Trump have suffered violence and extortion by Mexican police, immigration agents, and criminal groups, Human Rights Watch said today…
Migrants demonstrate at the border between Tijuana and San Diego calling on US authorities to open the border and restart the process of accepting asylum applications, February 18, 2021.
News
As a new more contagious variant of the novel coronavirus spreads across the country, Brazilians are getting understandably frustrated that it is taking some time to get access to a Covid-19 vaccine. So far, 6.1 million Brazilians have…
Covid-19 vaccination underway in the Umariaçu indigenous village, near Tabatinga, Amazonas, Brazil.
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Almost three years ago, the world heard a group of children sobbing in anguish after US border agents forcibly separated them from their parents. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. vowed as a candidate to end abuses of migrant children and pledged to “…
Asylum seeker Yareni, age five, flips through the pages of a book in an encampment where she lives near the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Mexico.
News
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been a source of disinformation about the virus. Despite Mexico having one of the highest recorded Covid-19 death tolls in the world, the president refuses to wear a…
A paramedic rests behind his ambulance, as ambulance staff wait hours for the Covid-19 patients they are transporting to be admitted, at Siglo XXI National Medical Center in Mexico City, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.
News

Weakened Enforcement Leads to Spike in Amazon Deforestation

(São Paulo, January 13, 2021) – President Jair Bolsonaro has tried to sabotage efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19 in Brazil and pursued other policies that undermine human rights, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021.…
Presidente Jair Messias Bolsonaro
News
Even before her 15-month-old daughter, Yamilet, died of malnutrition, María Clara Palmar Fernandez would sometimes have days when she could not provide any food for her children. “I’d hug them and cry because I could only give them water,” she told us…
Children in the Laamana community, Uribia, La Guajira, some of whom are malnourished.
News
Over the past year, France has been an outspoken voice on the mounting crisis in the Brazilian Amazon, calling international attention to the disastrous environmental policies of President Jair Bolsonaro. But if France genuinely hopes to help…
201909AME_Brazil_Rainforest_Defenders_photo