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Colombia has welcomed Venezuelan refugees like no other country has. But now it needs to take an extra step

The 16-year-old Venezuelan boy hugged his dog as he sat by the side of the road. They were in Colombia’s Berlin Paramo, the highest point on the route used by Venezuelans walking across the Venezuela-Colombia border, where temperatures can drop to 0°C…
Venezuelan walkers waiting on the side of the road in Colombia, November 2021. 
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.
For the first time in 15 years, international monitors will be deployed in Venezuela to observe the regional and local elections scheduled for November 21. The Maduro government’s crackdown on dissent means these elections will be neither free nor fair…
People holding Venezuelan flag

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.

One of the most common kinds of cancer among women is extremely difficult to prevent and treat in Venezuela and it has a severe impact on thousands of people

The ongoing humanitarian emergency in Venezuela is putting breast cancer patients at risk. Treatment can be highly effective when breast cancer is diagnosed early, but the crisis makes it very difficult to obtain treatment in Venezuela. In the…
Cancer patients, survivors and their relatives protest against the lack of medicines and medical supplies in hospitals, in front of the headquarters of the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security (IVSS) in Caracas, on August 23, 2019.

Believe or not, there are reasons for both sides to include human rights in the Mexico talks

It’s pretty clear why including a human rights agenda in the ongoing negotiations between Nicolás Maduro’s representatives and the Venezuelan opposition makes political sense for the opposition, which seeks conditions for a transition back to…
Jorge Rodriguez, left, representing the Maduro government, shakes hands with Venezuelan opposition delegate Gerardo Blyde Perez, in Mexico City, Friday, Aug. 13, 2021.
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.
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.

The Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, close to Nicolás Maduro, is separating families.

Trinidad and Tobago’s treatment of Venezuelan migrants and refugees and its deportations of Venezuelans, including children and asylum seekers, are not only egregious rights violations but also a sad reminder of its unswerving allegiance to the…
Relatives and friends of Venezuelan migrants who died when a boat transporting them to Trinidad and Tobago sank, wait for news of the recovery of their bodies, in Güiria, Venezuela, on December 18, 2020.
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.

The vulnerability that drove many Venezuelans to leave their home country has increased because of the Covid-19 pandemic. These migrants now face discrimination on the journey back

“If you give them 100,000 [Colombian] pesos you can get tested [for the novel coronavirus]. If you pay $150, you can get on a bus to any part of the country,” a 48-year-old Venezuelan who is stuck at the border told us recently, although he can’t…
Venezuelan migrants wait for a bus in Bogota, Colombia, to travel to the border with Venezuela during the Covid-19 pandemic, on Thursday, July 2, 2020.

Human rights NGO Provea finds itself the target of a barrage of accusations by the Maduro regime. The crime? Advocating for due process and basic rights

Nicolás Maduro’s government has launched a vicious smear campaign against one of the top human rights organizations in Venezuela. This isn’t surprising, given how the government has been expanding its crackdown on critics, opponents and journalists,…
Conference "United for Human Rights" featuring Provea's director in Caracas, Venezuela.

The Trump administration is talking about freezing immigration for 60 days, at a time when it’s urgent to address the vulnerability of thousands of Venezuelans in the United States.

As COVID-19 spreads, it’s clearer than ever that millions of Venezuelans who have fled a brutal government crackdown and an already collapsed health system in their home country can’t return safely. The U.S. government has the ability to grant…
People protest outside the children's hospital JM de los Rios because of lack of medicines, in Caracas, Venezuela March 12, 2020.
  By Kathleen Page and Tamara Taraciuk Broner The coronavirus has quickly evolved from an epidemic in China’s Hubei province to a global pandemic. The question now isn’t which countries will get it, but how they will respond—and whether…
Relatives of patients that are treated at the University Hospital wait in front of the building in Barquisimeto, Venezuela on April 24, 2019.
By Vira Tarnavska and Verity McGivern “At least we have food here,” Jorge Martínez*, 61, says with a sigh. During the bustling lunch hour, as Venezuelan adults and children rushed to line up for food at one of the 13 refugee shelters in…
United Nations refugee agency housing units in one of its shelters in Boa Vista, Roraima state, October 20, 2019.
It would be easy to give up on the United Nations Human Rights Council, as the Trump administration has done. Based in Geneva, the council is supposed to be a beacon for the world, a place where victims of human rights violations can look for abusive…
Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza Montserrat listens during the opening of the 36th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva on September 11, 2017.
The corrupt and oppressive government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela has detained and tortured political opponents, shot demonstrators, and left the country so economically devastated that more than 4 million people—some 10 percent of…
The Exiles: A Trip to the Border Highlights Venezuela’s Devastating Humanitarian Crisis

Venezuelans fleeing crisis at home have now become victims of armed conflict in Colombia

ARAUCA, Colombia – Colombia has opened its doors to Venezuelans fleeing the government-created human rights and humanitarian crisis next door. But as tens of thousands cross the border in search of relief, many have instead found themselves in the…