Americas

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.

Some 300,000 Venezuelan children in Colombia need humanitarian assistance; UNICEF looks to boost response funding

Without increased support, the health, education and well-being of at least 327,000 children from Venezuela living as migrants and refugees in Colombia will be in jeopardy, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Monday.

Senior UN official strongly condemns Southern California synagogue attack

The top official for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) has strongly condemned the attack Saturday on a synagogue in Southern California, denouncing the deadly incident as a hate crime targeting Sabbath worshipers on the last day of Passover.

Nicaragua crisis: One year in, more than 60,000 have fled, seeking refuge

Doctors, journalists, students and farmers are among more than 60,000 Nicaraguans who have fled the country in fear of their lives since anti-Government demonstrations began last April, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, said on Tuesday.

Mexico cannot move forward ‘without addressing the shadows of the past’, says UN rights chief

Concluding “five intense, interesting and rewarding working days” in Mexico, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Wednesday that the country was going through a “crucial” period where it needed to reckon with “the shadows of the past”, before it can move forward.