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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Improve Wayuu’s Access to Food, Water, Health During Covid-19

(New York) – The Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdown are making it even harder for the Wayuu, an indigenous group in Colombia and Venezuela, to survive, Human Rights Watch and the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health said in a joint report…
Children in the Laamana community, Uribia, La Guajira, some of whom are malnourished.
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Killings, Threats, and Social Control

(Washington, DC) – Armed groups in Colombia have committed killings and other abuses against civilians in an effort to enforce their own measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the arrival of the novel…
National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla members line up in their camp on the banks of the San Juan River, Chocó state, Colombia, on November 21, 2017. 
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Families Seeking Asylum Exposed to Violence, Illness, Trauma

(Washington, DC) – A United States government program exposes children, as well as their parents, seeking asylum to serious risk of assault, mistreatment, and trauma while waiting for their cases to be heard, Human Rights Watch said…
A Salvadoran family stays at the Buen Pastor migrant shelter in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, in June 2019 while they wait for their asylum cases to be heard in US immigration court.
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Experts Find Autopsies Woefully Inadequate in ‘False Rescues’ Case

(São Paulo) – Two reports by international forensic experts point to possible destruction of crime scene evidence by police in the killing of nine people during a February 2019 operation in poor communities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Human Rights Watch…
Bullet holes in the wall and blood on the floor of a house in the Fallet neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro after police killed nine men there on February 8, 2019.
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Encouraging Killings by Police Harms Public Safety

  (São Paulo) – The government of President Jair Bolsonaro should stop undermining environmental protections in Brazil and take decisive action against criminal networks that are destroying the Amazon rainforest and threatening and…
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Mexicans Fleeing Violence Stuck in Dangerous Conditions at US Border

(El Paso, Texas) – US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents have denied entry to the United States to Mexican asylum seekers, exposing thousands, including families and children, to danger in Mexican border cities, which is in…
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Courts Have Ignored New Legal Protections

Brazilian mothers of small children and of people with disabilities and pregnant women accused of non-violent crimes remain in pretrial detention despite a new law that expressly prohibits this, Human Rights Watch said today. An analysis…
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Brazil Should Stop Producing Banned Weapon, Join Ban Treaty

(São Paulo) – The Saudi-led coalition launched Brazilian-made cluster munition rockets that struck a farm in northern Yemen in late February 2017, wounding two boys, Human Rights Watch said today. “The Saudi-led coalition’s continued use of widely…
Photo of part of the bursting mechanism from an ASTROS cluster munition rocket lies where it reportedly landed at Qahza, Saada governorate on February 22, 2017.
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Custody Hearings Help Curb Overcrowding

(São Paulo) – A pilot program in northeastern Brazil is reducing the number of people sent to pretrial detention, a major factor in prison overcrowding and gang recruitment, Human Rights Watch said today. The program in Maranhão state promptly brings…
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY On January 10, 2002, United States President George W. Bush signed Public Law 107-115, which covers most foreign aid. The legislation included $625 million for the Andean region, most destined for Colombia. A large portion of this aid…