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Regional leaders must prioritize the protection of human rights in their final declaration at the VIII Summit of the Americas and take immediate action to fulfil that commitment in their respective countries, Amnesty International said ahead of the summit in Lima, Peru, tomorrow.

“From the discriminatory polices pushed by the Donald Trump administration to the violent repression of demonstrations in Honduras and Venezuela, the Americas has suffered an alarming pushback against human rights in the last years,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

“Confronted by the growing demonization of communities at risk and human rights defenders, regional leaders must take urgent action to protect the human rights of everyone. Failure to do so at this critical moment would put millions of lives in grave danger.”

In an open letter to leaders attending the summit, Amnesty International identified the most urgent challenges facing the region. These include the refugee crises in Venezuela and Central America; the regressive rhetoric with regard to human rights; difficulties in accessing justice and the fight against impunity.

The letter also highlighted the regional challenges around Indigenous people’s rights; gender and sexual equality; attacks against human rights defenders and the excessive use of force against protesters among the most pressing issues in the Americas.

Note to Editors: Amnesty International’s experts are available for interviews.

Read more:

Open letter to the heads of state participating in the XIII Summit of the Americas (Letter, 12 April 2018)

https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/MAR18-AMR21_Americas-Summit-open-letter_English.docx 

Americas: Treaty to protect environmental human rights defenders is a vital step forward (News, 7 March 2018)

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/03/americas-treaty-to-protect-environmental-human-rights-defenders-is-a-vital-step-forward/

Deepening human rights crisis spurs new era of activism in the Americas (News, 22 February 2018)

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/02/deepening-human-rights-crisis-spurs-new-era-of-activism-in-the-americas/

Americas: Human rights in the Americas: challenges and opportunities at a time of regression (Research, 12 June 2017)

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr01/6479/2017/en/