Over two weeks in September and October, PBI-USA staff members, Amelia Parker and Pat Davis, traveled to PBI projects in Mexico and Guatemala to visit with accompanied defenders and gain a better understanding of their struggles, spend time with PBI volunteers and learn about their daily activities, as well as meet with U.S. and international authorities to share PBI’s concerns regarding the current human rights situation facing the defenders we accompany. Below, we share a few stories from the field.
On October 16, President Donald Trump threatened to suspend all funding and aid to Honduras if a migrant caravan originating in Honduras and headed north is not stopped. When he made the statement, the caravan of some 3,000 immigrants had already crossed into Guatemala. "The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the US is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!" Trump tweeted.
Land, territory and environmental defenders face extreme levels of risk throughout Mexico. In fact, Mexico is towards the top of the list among countries with the most attacks against environmental defenders.
Over three days, 40 human rights defenders from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia came together in Brussels to exchange experiences and knowledge about holistic protection. This meeting allowed us to analyze the global tendencies that impact our risk as well as identify our common needs as a collective of human rights defenders. The sessions allowed us to construct a common narrative and key messages and recommendations to political actors in the European Union and its member states.
Alejandro Cerezo, a human rights defender who is a member of the Cerezo Committee Mexico and coordinator of Urgent Action for Human Rights Defenders (ACUDDEH), was on his way to Paraguay to attend a conference on protective mechanisms for defenders on October 1, when, during a layover in Panama City, he was interrogated and deported.
During the week of June 18, 2018, PBI-USA hosted an advocacy speaking tour with leading human rights defenders from Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. In Central America and Mexico, indigenous and environmental rights defenders are extremely vulnerable. At best, governments in the region fail to adequately protect defenders. At worst, government forces are complicit in the attacks against them.
June 6, 2018
May 30, 2018
On July 1, 2018 general elections will take place in Mexico, which, as well as determining the presidency for the next 6 years, coincide with several local elections. These will be the largest elections in Mexican history with 3,400 positions being decided.
May 24, 2018
In 2017, PBI’s community of activists provided effective protection and support to more than one thousand women, men and LGBTI defenders, despite the challenging context and huge risk those working to change the world continued to face. Click on the report below to read more about our work in 2017 and some of the ways we made space for peace and supported (women) human rights defenders in 2017.
May 14, 2018