Americas

Venezuela: ‘Shocked’ by alleged torture, death of navy captain, UN human rights chief urges ‘in-depth’ investigation

The UN human rights chief has expressed her deep concern over the alleged torture and subsequent death of a retired navy captain who had been imprisoned in Venezuela, urging authorities to conduct a prompt, thorough, independent, and transparent investigation into his death.

In Venezuela, Bachelet calls on Government to release prisoners, appeals for ‘bold steps towards compromise’

Speaking at the end of the first-ever official mission to Venezuela by a UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet called on the Government to release all those detained for peacefully protesting and announced that a team from her office would remain in Caracas to monitor the human rights situation. 

Record number of Venezuelans arrive in Peru: UN steps up response

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has sent extra teams this week to the border between Peru and Ecuador to support the authorities, as an unprecedent number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants – over 15,000 – have entered Peru this week.

Amid Venezuela exodus, UN refugee envoy Angelina Jolie visits camps on Colombian border, appeals for humanity, more support

As the United Nations announced four million Venezuelans have fled their country, Angelina Jolie, a special envoy for the world body’s refugee agency, visited camps along the Colombian-Venezuelan border, where on Saturday she appealed for more leadership, more humanity and more support to countries bearing the brunt of the crisis.

FROM THE FIELD: Murals help heal wounds of bloody conflict in Guatemala

“The villagers knew that the military kidnapped [indigenous] people and brought them here and tortured them. While alive, they were forced to dig their own graves. Some would be buried in the ground, here, still half alive.” The chilling words of Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez, a member of an indigenous group in Guatemala.

Four million have now fled Venezuela, UN ramps up aid to children who remain

The number of people who have left Venezuela to escape the country’s ongoing political and economic crisis, has reached some four million, the UN announced on Friday.

Colombia: Rights experts condemn killing of reintegrated former rebel fighter, call for respect of peace process

Against a backdrop of challenges in implementing the peace process in Colombia, six independent UN human rights experts condemned on Tuesday the killing of a former member of the FARC-EP guerilla movement, which they said constitutes a “violation” of the guarantees made by the Government in the 2016 peace agreement.  

Colombia: ‘Terrible trend’ of rights defenders killed, harassed; UN calls for ‘significant effort’ to tackle impunity

Alarmed by the “strikingly high number” of human rights defenders being killed, harassed and threatened in Colombia, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) in the country on Friday, called on authorities to “make a significant effort” to “tackle the endemic impunity” surrounding these cases.

Venezuela: UN human rights office calls for ‘maximum restraint’ by authorities in face of new demonstrations

With another day of mass protests taking place across Venezuela, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) said on Wednesday it was “extremely worried by reports of the excessive use of force” by security forces, loyal to President Nicolás Maduro, a day after an opposition-led uprising appeared to stall. 

FROM THE FIELD: Hardy seeds bear fruit to protect Colombia’s environment

Communities in Colombia in South America are being helped by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to preserve and reintroduce indigenous crops as a way to combat the effects of climate change.