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The region’s police and security forces need urgent reform. Otherwise, we are likely to continue seeing serious abuses against protesters

Years of frustrated expectations and dissatisfaction with governments’ social policies boiled over in many Latin American countries in 2019, leading to massive protests. This year, the measures taken in response to the pandemic have forced people to…
Police surround a protester in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020.
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This article was published in five newspapers in Latin America. Leaders in the Americas have often been confronted in recent years with hard questions about accountability and prisoners’ rights. Should people imprisoned for…
Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori listens to the judge's verdict about his sentence in prison, in Lima October 29, 2013.
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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 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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Last month, President Michelle Bachelet of Chile introduced a bill in Congress that appears to be a reaction to the recent release, in Peru, of the former autocratic President Alberto Fujimori. The proposal limits the early release of people convicted of…
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I know my autocrats. After all, I once voted for one. As an 18-year-old college sophomore, I voted for Alberto Fujimori for president of Peru in 1995. By then, Fujimori, a relatively unknown agronomy professor elected in 1990 in a…
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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.
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Guaranteeing the Rights of People with Disabilities

Juan Manuel lives in Lima, sharing a house with five friends. They cook, eat, and socialize together. He recently began a new job at a bank. In 2010 and 2011, Juan Manuel voted in municipal and national elections. None of this should be out of the…
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On Jan. 28 in Lima, Peru, 27 people were killed and at least five others critically injured by a fire that swept through Christ is Love, a privately run drug rehabilitation facility. Patients were trapped behind locked doors and barred windows. Witnesses…
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The Fujimori Verdict

Standing in the packed courtroom annex as a Supreme Court panel this week sentenced the former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori to 25 years in prison for two massacres and two kidnappings, I had mixed emotions. As a human rights advocate who has…
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Bringing their tormentors to book is an important way for victims to recover their dignity

John Laughland suggests that human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch, are more concerned about the conviction of former heads of state than about them getting fair trials. Nothing could be further from the truth. (Fujimori's trial could…
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It's been a long time since the days of back-alley abortions in the U.S. Perhaps that's why South Dakota Gov. Michael Rounds signed into law a ban against abortion in his state, with one narrow exception: protecting the life of the pregnant woman.…
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It is not necessary to be an anti-globalization activist to worry about the trade negotiations between Peru and the United States. You just have to be a woman. All trade agreements negotiated by the Bush administration have ignored the internationally…
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The bodies of Peruvian women are used as battle fields in the war against the basic right to reproductive health. Since 2001, All human beings have a right to the highest attainable standard of health, including reproductive health. In 1994, the…
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The reform of law 26626 on HIV/AIDS is important, not just because it stipulates that the state must provide treatment to people living with HIV—essentially a step in the right direction. It is also important because the reformed law would force all…