Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expresses its concern over increase in violence against defenders who oppose extractive & development projects

Author: The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Published on: 10 February 2017

"IACHR Condemns Murders of Human Rights Defenders in the Region", 7 Feb 2017

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expresses its utmost concern regarding the large number of killings of human rights defenders at the outset of 2017, and reiterates its concern for defenders of land rights and natural resources, as well as indigenous and Afro-descendant human rights defenders, who continue to face high risks of violence. So far in 2017, the IACHR has learned of 14 murders of human rights defenders: seven in Colombia, two in Guatemala, two in Mexico, and three in Nicaragua. The IACHR expresses its consternation over the devastating increase in violence against those who oppose extractive or development projects or who defend the right to land and natural resources of indigenous peoples in the region; they now account for 41 percent of all murdered human rights defenders in the region...

...The States are obligated to undertake...immediate, thorough, and impartial investigations...into the killings of Olmedo Pito García, Aldemar Parra Garcia, Juan Mosquera, Moisés Mosquera, Emilsen Manyoma Mosquera, Joe Javier Rodallega, Yoryanis Isabel Bernal Varela, Isidro Baldenegro, Juan Ontiveros Ramos, Laura Leonor Vásquez Pineda, Sebastián Alonzo Juan, Bernicia Dixon Peralta, Feliciano Benlis Flores, and Feliciano Benlis Dixon. The States have the obligation to establish who is responsible for the killings and to bring the perpetrators and masterminds to justice...

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