Human Rights September 25, 2018

These four charts show Venezuela’s worsening migrant crisis

4 charts show Venezuela’s worsening migrant crisis

A few years ago, Venezuela seemed to be setting the standard for social welfare in the region. In 2015, the United Nations recognized Venezuela as having made the most advances in the fight against hunger in the Latin American and Caribbean region. National rates of poverty and inequality declined under President Hugo Chávez from the… Read More »

Brazil’s election escalates violence against Venezuelan refugees


The atmosphere is tense in Pacaraima, the small town of roughly 12,000 inhabitants which sits on Brazil’s border with Venezuela, in the northernmost state of Roraima. Tremors from an earthquake which hit the northern coast of Venezuela were felt on Tuesday afternoon, rattling buildings and causing people to take to the streets. It was a… Read More »

2018 Election 2018 Election

Sorry, Lula supporters, but UN ruling will not stick

lula un human rights committee

On Friday, the United Nations Human Rights Committee released a statement requesting that former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for passive corruption and money laundering, be allowed to exercise his political rights while incarcerated and be free to stand in this year’s presidential election. Lula’s… Read More »

Explaining Brazil #22: Abortion rights in Brazil

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In the morning of February 16, 2015, a 19-year-old woman checked into a hospital in São Bernardo do Campo, on the outskirts of São Paulo, suffering from internal bleeding. She would leave the hospital later that same afternoon, in handcuffs, arrested. The young woman had performed an illegal abortion at home – and was reported… Read More »

Brazilians affected by the family separation crisis at U.S. border

child family separation u.s. border

The U.S. government has enforced a now infamous “zero tolerance” policy on immigrants who illegally cross the border. The Trump administration has decided to prosecute adult asylum seekers as criminals – which has led to their separation from their children. Since October 2017, at least 2,700 children have been taken from their parents (including 49… Read More »

How Brazil’s air pollution threatens its future

How Brazil’s air pollution threatens its future

Approximately seven million people die each year as a consequence of air pollution, with 90 percent of these deaths taking place in low- and middle-income countries, according to new findings. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest research shows that although countries are making efforts to mitigate air pollution’s causes, strategies are not keeping pace with… Read More »

Landless Workers could become subject to Brazil’s Antiterrorism Law

Landless Workers Movements could become subject to Brazil’s Antiterrorism Law

Earlier this week, militant members of the Homeless Workers’ Movement (MTST) occupied the triplex used as evidence of former President Lula in the corruption charges leveraged against him. Guilherme Boulos, a national coordinator for the movement and current presidential candidate, quipped on social media: “If it’s Lula’s, the people can stay. If not, then why… Read More »

How armed militias became part of Rio’s everyday life

rio de janeiro armed militias violence

It seems ludicrous now, but urban armed militias were once well-regarded in Rio de Janeiro. Originally, these groups were a kind of security patrol unit acting against drug traffickers – and were formed by police officers, firefighters, and prison guards. Even the authorities supported them as a way to fill a void left by the… Read More »

Brazilian military’s creeping influence over the government

Brazilian military's creeping influence over the government democracy

During an interview this week, former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso took a hit at incumbent Michel Temer. Following Temer’s decision to appoint an army general as the interim Minister of Defense, Cardoso said that “only weak administrations ask the generals for help.” Cardoso has a point. Since the end of the military dictatorship in 1985,… Read More »