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The ordeal of an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant after repeatedly being raped by a family member briefly brought to the fore the myriad barriers to obtaining a legal abortion in Bolivia. After weeks of publicity and thanks to the intervention…
A woman holds a banner that reads in Spanish "Girls, not mothers," during a demonstration calling for sexual and reproductive rights in La Paz, Bolivia, on Oct. 27, 2021. The case of an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant after repeatedly being raped by a family member rekindled the debate on abortion in Bolivia.
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A Trial to Watch in Ecuador

Update: The Tribunal established on November 10 that the trial has been scheduled for January 19, 2022. An upcoming trial in Ecuador should put technologists working in the public interest on high alert.  Ola Bini, a Swedish programmer,…
Digital rights defender Ola Bini in Quito, Ecuador.
News

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.
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It is ironic that Jeanine Áñez, a conservative politician who served as Bolivia’s interim president for a year, was detained on March 13 on charges of “terrorism” and other crimes. Under her administration, which ended in November, prosecutors used…
Standing behind bars, Bolivia's former interim President Jeanine Añez speaks to an unidentified woman at a police station jailhouse, in La Paz, Bolivia, on March 13, 2021.
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A well-functioning, independent judicial system is essential for good governance, accountability, and, ultimately, political stability. The lack of such a system in Bolivia explains many of the serious problems the country has gone through in the last…
Bolivia's new President Luis Arce leaves the Congress on his inauguration day in La Paz, Bolivia, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020.
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Subject: Human Rights Watch Amicus Curiae in the Case of Vicky Hernández and Family v. Honduras I. Introduction Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) respectfully submits this brief to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (“Inter-American Court” or “this…
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When Pricila, a 32-year-old trans woman, fled El Salvador in February 2019, she had good reason to fear for her life. Police had beaten and sexually assaulted her, telling her they would make her a man. Gang members attempted to forcibly recruit her.…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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The Trump administration has proposed a new federal regulation that would create insurmountable barriers to the vast majority of asylum claims, including by gutting the definition of refugee to the point where lesbian, gay, bisexual and…
201911US_lgbt_rights
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​​As Republicans in states around the country pass sweeping abortion bans, I think about what life could be like for women and girls if these laws take effect. I don’t have to use my imagination. Women and girls across Latin America are…
Graffiti promoting legal abortion and women’s rights on a street in central Tegucigalpa, Honduras where public protests and demonstrations often take place. Vivas nos queremos (“We want to live”) is a slogan used in campaigns across Latin America.
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Washington, D.C., May 8, 2019 Honorable Justice Hernán Salgado Pesantes President of the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court Quito – ECUADOR Case: 0014-19-IN Subject: Human Rights Watch Amicus curiae on Venezuelan…
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Honorable Justice Hernán Salgado Pesantes Ecuadorian Constitutional Court Quito – Ecuador Case: 0011-18-CN José Miguel Vivanco, on behalf of Human Rights Watch, located at 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor, New York, United…
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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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  In January, a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch predicted that 2018 would be the “year of the courts” for LGBT people’s rights. Seven months into the year, courts around the world have indeed come down with important rulings that…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
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In a moment when some countries have stepped back on LGBT rights, a January 9th decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has opened a window of opportunity for Latin America to lead the way.   In a landmark…
People celebrate after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights called on Costa Rica and Latin America to recognize equal marriage, in San Jose, Costa Rica, January 9, 2018. The sign reads: "The court said yes".
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On a June day in 2016, Ruth Montenegro said goodbye to her daughter, 11-year-old Valentina, as she headed to school. Valentina was planning to go to her orchestra practice that afternoon—she played the flute at the Symphonic Orchestra of Ecuador’s…
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(Buenos Aires) — President Evo Morales of Bolivia seems obsessed with staying in power. In 2016, he called a referendum on a constitutional amendment that would have eased term limits in the country’s Constitution and allowed…
Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a news conference at the Presidential Palace in La Paz, Bolivia, May 9, 2017.
News
When Ecuadoreans go to the polls to elect a new president on February 19, they will choose between President Rafael Correa’s former Vice President, Lenin Moreno, and seven other candidates from across the political spectrum. Voters would do well to ask…
Supporters wearing masks depicting Guillermo Lasso and Andres Paez, presidential and vice-presidential candidates from the CREO party, attend an election rally in Quito, Ecuador on February 13, 2017.
News
Human rights protect everyone—no matter who—from government abuse and neglect. Yet today a new generation of authoritarian populists is challenging that bedrock principle. They claim to speak for “the people” and treat rights as an impediment to their…
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump argues with CNN's Jim Acosta during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., January 11, 2017.