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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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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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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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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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Automatic Detention, Obstacles to Seeking Asylum

(Milan) – Asylum seekers and other migrants arriving by sea to Spanish shores are held in poor conditions and face obstacles in applying for asylum. They are held for days in dark, dank cells in police stations and almost certainly will…
A migrant rescued off the Spanish coast arriving at the port in Malaga, southern Spain, December 3, 2016.
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Transfer Sexual Minorities from Ceuta to Mainland

(Milan) – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) asylum seekers in Spain’s North African enclave, Ceuta, are exposed to harassment and abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. Spanish authorities should transfer them to mainland Spain without…
Double-layer fence around Spain’s north Africa enclave Ceuta, January 2017.
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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…