Amnesty International reports that in 2015, Latin America recorded 122 murders of environmental defenders.
In its latest report on human rights defenders, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has recorded attacks, including murders, kidnappings and death threats, on environmentalists in the countries of the region, such as Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico and El Salvador. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights recognized in 2009 the importance of the human rights defenders in advocating for rights to a healthy environment in a democratic society.
On Monday, November 21, 2016, in the Celso Furtado Room of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Santiago, Chile, from 01:30 to 2:20 p.m. there will be a panel discussion entitled "Situation of environmental defenders in Latin America and the Caribbean: emerging practices on prevention, protection and access to justice". This event will be carried out by Article 19 of Brazil, Center for International Environmental Law, Centro de Incidencia Ambiental de Panamá, Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental, and The Access Initiative. Dr. Marcos Orellana of the George Washington University School of Law will serve as the moderater.
The objective of this event is to draw attention to the stories of environmental defenders of the region that illustrate the challenges associated with megaprojects, including dams, mining and hydraulic fracture. The speakers will be: Ruth Buendia, from Central Asháninka del Río Ene, Asáninka Tribe, Peru; Alexander Anderson, of Associação Homens e Mulheres do Mar da Baía de Guanabara, Brazil and Dora Lucy Arias, of the "José Alvear Restrepo" Bar Association, Colombia.
This event will also address an analysis of State practices in relation to the protection of environmental human rights defenders, as well as the institutional, legal and practical priorities that must be taken into account to ensure effective protection for human rights defenders. Branislav Marelic, Director of Instituto Nacional de Derechos Humanos de Chile and Andrea Cerami from the Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental, Mexico, will present on this topic.
This activity is carried out in the light of the fifth Meeting of the Negotiation Committee for the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in environmental matters, which will be held from November, Monday November 21st to Friday the 25th.
The event is open to the press and the public, but space is limited, so please indicate your interest by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Paola ValdésJournalist (Latin America) (St. Lucia) and Journalist (The Caribbean)
Karetta Crooks Charles
Alternate Elected Representative of the Public