UN expert urges Venezuela to cancel arrest warrant against TV executive

A United Nations independent human rights expert today urged authorities in Venezuela to withdraw arrest warrants against a television executive and his son, saying the orders were an attempt by the Government to silence its critics and a sign of deteriorating freedom of the press in the country.

Guatemala: UN appeals for more than $14 million for victims of tropical storm

United Nations aid agencies and their partners in Guatemala today appealed for nearly $14.5 million to provide relief to survivors of Agatha, the first tropical storm of this year’s Pacific hurricane season, which brought with it the heaviest rains in the Central American country in nearly 60 years.

UN human rights chief praises Colombian ruling on disappearances in court attack

The United Nations human rights chief today welcomed a Colombian court’s decision to sentence a senior army officer to 30 years in prison for his role in the aftermath of the notorious mass hostage-taking at the country’s Supreme Court complex in 1985.

Cuban visit will not take place, says UN expert on torture as he voices frustration

The United Nations independent expert on torture said today he was deeply disappointed that he will not be able to visit Cuba to carry out a fact-finding mission this year because the country’s authorities declined to consent to any of the dates he had proposed for the mission.

Ban urges Guatemala to support UN-backed crime probe after chief resigns

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Guatemalan authorities to fully support the work of the United Nations-backed commission tasked with dismantling illegal armed groups and fighting impunity in the Central American country after the body’s chief resigned.

Dialogue crucial to boosting understanding of indigenous justice in Ecuador – UN expert

A United Nations independent human rights expert today called for dialogue in Ecuador in the wake of the controversy surrounding the punishment doled out to an accused man by a local indigenous group.

Security Council authorizes extra police for UN force in Haiti

The Security Council today authorized the deployment of additional police officers to serve with the United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti as part of efforts to help boost the capacity of the country’s national police to deal with the myriad challenges in the wake of January’s catastrophic earthquake.

UN agency details hurricane contingency plans in Haiti

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is stepping up its emergency planning in Haiti as the official hurricane season begins to prevent the devastating rains and winds that accompany the storms from derailing the progress made following January’s earthquake.

UN prepares to assist Central Americans affected by tropical storm Agatha

United Nations agencies are preparing to assist tens of thousands of people in the wake of tropical storm Agatha, which resulted in heavy flooding, landslides and other calamities in parts of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

UN expert reports alarming rates of murder in Brazil despite efforts to end violence

Many Brazilians, especially inhabitants of shanty towns, continue to be subject to murder and other forms of brutal violence by various gangs, militias, death squads and the police, despite efforts by the Government to end the crimes, a United Nations independent human rights expert said today.