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The Humanitarian Crisis’ Disproportionate Impact on Older People

I met Fernando Arvelo (pseudonym), a 74-year-old Venezuelan, at a soup kitchen in Cúcuta, the main Colombian city across the border from Táchira state in Venezuela. Fernando moved to Táchira from his home state – a 20-hour drive – soon after his wife,…
A 74-year-oldVenezuelan man eats lunch at a soup kitchen in Cúcuta, a Colombian city across the Venezuelan border, July 28, 2018.
News

On International Women’s Day, Remember the Dangers Women Activists Face

It has been a year since Ruth Alicia Lopez Guisao, a rights activist in Colombia, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen. She was an outspoken community leader that worked with Afro-Colombian and indigenous groups on land reform in the western department…
Ruth Alicia López Guisao.
News

Transgender Woman Helps People ‘Searching for Answers’

I was in Colombia last week to speak at an event about my work for Human Rights Watch with a focus on homophobic and transphobic bullying. I was to be interviewed by Brigitte Baptiste, who I had never met. When I took my seat in front of hundreds of…
Brigitte Baptiste (L) and Human Rights Watch LGBT Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich, Colombia, February 2017.
News

Colombia’s Peace Agreement a Dirty Deal, Without Justice for Atrocities

“The worst thing is that you can’t have a baby,” Andrea told Human Rights Watch when we interviewed her in 2002. Andrea was describing her time as a 11-year-old girl in the ranks of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas. Two years…
A Colombian guerilla woman holds her AK-47 as she takes part in a line of rebels during an army parade of fighters of the FARC in Villa Colombia camp near San Vicente del Caguan, Caqueta province, April 29, 1999.
News

Architects of Colombia Accord with FARC Should Take Note

On July 13, El Salvador’s Supreme Court overturned a 1993 amnesty law that prevented prosecutions of those responsible for grave human rights abuses committed during the country’s decade-long armed conflict. The court was courageous in upholding the right…
A man holds a banner that reads "impunity", during a protest outside the Special Military Security Unit base in San Salvador, August 24, 2011.
News
Marleny was just ten years old when members of an armed group gang-raped her in 2011. She fell pregnant from the rape, but was able to terminate her pregnancy safely and legally. Marleny, not her real name, lives in Colombia, where women and girls have…
News
The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region.
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A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
News
The state of emergency President Nicolás Maduro declared days ago for the Venezuelan border area should have raised red flags internationally. But it didn’t, and credible allegations of human rights violations are on the rise.
 
 The emergency…
Venezuela deportations
News
In 2011 an unknown attacker raped “Monica,” a human rights defender supporting victims displaced by the country’s protracted armed conflict. She immediately reported the rape to authorities, but they didn’t help her get access to health care. More than a…
A home in the rural area of Municipality San Carlos Antioquia abandoned by persons displaced by violence, with graffiti of a woman’s body left by armed groups.
News
Isabel P. (pseudonym) was sexually assaulted in 2011 by a man she believed had ties to a criminal gang that had emerged from one of the many paramilitary groups involved in Colombia’s bloody, five decade conflict. When she filed a criminal complaint, she…
News
Last week, Colombia’s senate passed an important bill that is a major step in aiding and protecting sexual violence survivors – especially those who are raped or assaulted by guerillas, paramilitaries, Colombian forces, or others in the context of the…
News
Following intense advocacy by Human Rights Watch, Democratic leaders from the House of Representatives announced on June 29 that they would oppose a US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) until Colombia shows evidence of sustained results in addressing…
News
In response to our reports, the United States is paying closer attention to human rights concerns in the process of paramilitary demobilization in Colombia. Our work helped to spark interest in the issue by the U.S. Congress, which led to an unprecedented…
News

Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

Objective     The Commission on Human Rights should recommend the expansion of the United Nation’s human rights work in Colombia, including an increase in the number of permanent staff of the Office of the High Commissioner in Colombia, renegotiation of…
News
In Colombia’s armed conflict, more than 11,000 child combatants fight for guerrilla and paramilitary groups, and account for one-fourth of the groups’ armed forces. The Colombian government took new steps toward ending the use of child combatants on…
News
Human Rights Watch effectively urged the US Congress to continue to require the State Department to certify Colombia's compliance with human rights conditions twice annually (not the reduction to once proposed by Republicans in the House of…