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National Civil Registry Discriminates Against Same-Sex Relationships

(Washington, DC) – Bolivia’s national civil registry (Registro de Servicio Cívico, SERECÍ) has discriminated against a lesbian couple by rejecting their application to register their relationship as a union, Human Rights Watch said today. All civil…
The Constitutional Court of Bolivia (Tribunal Constitucional Plurinacional).
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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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Appears Designed to Favor Government Supporters

(Washington, DC, March 11, 2021) – A presidential decree approved by Bolivia’s Congress in February 2021 opens the door to impunity for serious crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. The decree provides a blanket amnesty to people prosecuted during…
Supporters of Bolivian opposition candidate Carlos Mesa and of then President Evo Morales clash during a demonstration over disputed electoral results, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on October 23, 2019.
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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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  Summary Political interference in the justice system is a longstanding problem in Bolivia. Former president Evo Morales repeatedly rejected judicial independence. During his almost 14 years in office, prosecutors filed charges…
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(Washington, DC, September 11, 2020) – The interim government of Bolivia is abusing the justice system to persecute associates and supporters of former president Evo Morales, who himself faces terrorism charges that appear to be politically motivated,…
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Charges Against Evo Morales, Others Appear Politically Motivated

(Washington, DC) – The interim government of Bolivia is abusing the justice system to persecute associates and supporters of former president Evo Morales, who himself faces terrorism charges that appear to be politically motivated, Human Rights Watch…
Former President of Bolivia Evo Morales attends a press conference at the journalists' club in Mexico City, Nov. 27, 2019. 
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High Court Rules Against Anti-LGBT Discrimination

(Washington, DC) – The national civil registry (Registro de Servicio Cívico, SERECÍ) of Bolivia should comply with a court ruling to register a same-sex couple’s relationship as a “free union,” Human Rights Watch said today. All civil registries in…
LGBT march during the International Day Against Homophobia in La Paz, Bolivia, in 2013. © AIZAR RALDES/AFP via Getty Images
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Joins Six Neighbors in Latin America to Recognize Marriage Equality

Today, Alexandra Quiros and Dunia Araya were the first same-sex couple to marry in Costa Rica, as marriage equality became legal in the country. It took a while. In 2016, Costa Rica requested that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights interpret…
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Vague Language Can Be Misused to Quell Criticism

  (Washington, DC) – A decree the Bolivian government has issued to respond to the COVID-19 emergency includes an overly broad provision that authorities could use to prosecute those who criticize government policies, Human Rights Watch said…
Bolivia's interim President Jeanine Áñez addresses the nation at the presidential palace in La Paz, Bolivia, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020.
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Protesters Killed, Journalists Threatened, Problematic Decree

(New York) – Bolivian authorities should repeal a November 15, 2019 decree granting the military overly broad discretion to use force, and stop harassing independent journalists and government opponents, Human Rights Watch said today. Nine people…
A demonstrator holds a Wiphala flag in front of soldiers blocking a street in downtown La Paz, Bolivia, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019.
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Organization of American States Should Continue Playing Leadership Role

(New York) – The Organization of American States (OAS) members meeting about the situation in Bolivia on November 12, 2019 should send a strong message to Bolivian authorities to ensure full respect for people’s basic human rights, Human Rights…
Anti-government protesters against the reelection of President Evo Morales gather just meters away from the presidential palace in La Paz, Bolivia, on Saturday, November 9, 2019.
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OAS Should Condemn Threat to Judicial Independence

  (New York, April 29, 2019) – Bolivian authorities have arbitrarily dismissed almost 100 judges since 2017, seriously undermining judicial independence in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The Organization of American States (OAS)…
Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a press conference about judicial elections at the presidential palace, in La Paz, Bolivia, Monday Dec. 4, 2017.
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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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“For All Initiative” Promotes Gender Equality in Global Environmental Treaties

Today, Costa Rica will launch an initiative aiming to make gender equality and human rights integral components of global environmental agreements.    Costa Rica’s Vice President Epsy Campbell Barr will launch the For All…
Young girl washing dishes at a borehole near Eland coal mine in Mwabulambo, Karonga district.
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Government Decree Follows Inter-American Court Opinion

In June, Costa Rica’s president signed a directive and decree ordering government agencies that issue official documents to recognize gender identity based on self-declaration. The move follows an Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR)…
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Transform Pioneering Work on Child Protection into Action

The global campaign to insulate schools and students from the ravages of war gained momentum today with a string of four new endorsements of the Safe Schools Declaration. The announcements by Djibouti, Macedonia, San Marino, and Peru…
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African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.
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Summary When the head teacher found out that I was pregnant, he called me to his office and told me, “You have to leave our school immediately because you are pregnant.” —Jamida K., Kahama, Tanzania, April 2014 We don’t allow pregnant girls to…