Target: Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Goal: Improve protection for human rights activists being attacked and murdered in Latin America.
Acts of violence and repression against human rights activists in Latin America have risen to historic levels. According to a report from Oxfam, these frequents attacks and murders are often unpunished, which only encourages further violence.
Oxfam is far from the first NGO to report on this troubling trend. 2015 was the most dangerous year to date for activists in Latin America; a total of 122 murders occurred, with 58 taking place in a five-month span from January to May. The Oxfam report also found that female activists were more susceptible to acts of violence, as El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala all reported a notable rise in such attacks.
One potential reason for the increase in attacks is the lack of legal ramifications. Many of these cases remain unsolved and the majority of reported attacks and murders never even make it to trial. More than 98 percent of attacks in Mexico are not brought to court, and from 2009 to 2013, only six cases in Colombia (out of 219 total) resulted in a conviction.
This blatant persecution of human rights activists must be stopped immediately. Sign the petition below and demand improved protections for these people who so selflessly devote their lives to helping others.
Dear Mr. Fedotov,
I am writing to call your attention to a widespread human rights violation occurring in Latin America. Human rights activists are being attacked, intimidated, and even murdered by the hundreds. In 2015 alone, 122 activists were murdered, a figure that represents 65 percent of all such attacks around the globe.
These attacks are becoming more common because the perpetrators are almost never punished. Few cases ever result in a conviction, and the majority of reported attacks never even make it to trial. I urge you to work with Latin American countries to improve protections for activists and help end this troubling trend.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Takver