February 27, 2019By Sally O’Neil, Fund Consultant On December 17, 2018, after spending nearly two years in prison, 20-year-old Imelda Cortez was acquitted and freed by a judge in El Salvador. A survivor of years of sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather, Imelda had been charged with attempted murder after giving birth to […]
Together with her grandmother, her sisters, and her colleagues at COPINH, Berta's daughter plans to take her mother’s case as far as she can. If the national courts fail to hold all those implicated to account, they will go to regional and international courts. They aren’t alone. The implications of Berta’s death have reverberated across Honduras and Latin America. If her killers thought it would have a chilling effect on other indigenous communities and activists, they could not have been more wrong.
“It’s clear that the government is using the post-election crackdowns to ramp up their attacks on grassroots groups that denounce the serious human rights violations they commit,” says Ana Paula Hernandez, Program Officer for Latin America at the Fund. The government wants to silence these groups, but as Fund grantees have demonstrated, it's not that easy.
At La Puya, I saw the tremendous impact Fund grantees have on people’s lives. Due to the corrupt nature of Guatemala’s government, the communities I met are still battling the mine. But the Fund has shown me that with sustained support, they can win—and I’m proud be a part of that victory.
After long battle, a renewed hope for truth, justice, and accountability Photo by James Rodríguez By Clare Nangle, Fund staff October 6, 2017 What would you do if your son was taken and you never found out what happened to him? This unthinkable question is one that Emma Theissen Álvarez has been forced to ask […]
Photo courtesy of MTM By Zahraa Saheb, Program Intern August 23, 2017 “[They] did not help them. . . they stood still.” When staff members of the Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asunción orphanage were supposed to rapidly evacuate the children, they instead “stood still,” according to a 16-year-old former resident. On March 8th, 41 […]
Human rights organizations and funders in Latin America need to rethink how they protect defenders in light of increasing threats from non-state actors and impunity encouraged by the state. By Padre Melo July 11, 2017 This post originally appeared on OpenGlobalRights website; article reposted with permission. Beyond the tragic stories and shocking statistics of environmental and […]
A record number of activists are being killed in Latin America – and old methods of security aren’t working. How do we protect activists facing threats from shadowy actors and complicit governments? To begin answering this question, the Fund for Global Human Rights and Just Associates (JASS) brought together activists from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, […]
Abel Barrera Hernández, director of the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center (CDHM), based in Tlapa, Guerrero, Mexico. Q: Why are people who stand up for human rights at risk from companies, organized crime and extremist political groups, and what can be done to protect them? Why are defenders at risk and what can […]
Claudia Samayoa, the general coordinator for the Protection of Unit of Human Rights Defenders in Guatemala, known as UDEFEGUA. Q: Why are people who stand up for human rights at risk from companies, organized crime and extremist political groups, and what can be done to protect them? Human rights defenders, whether they work individually […]