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Article

28 Jun 2012

Author:
Aprodev; CIDSE; CIFCA; FIAN; OBS; Oidhaco; PBI; Plataforma Holandesa

[PDF] The criminalization of human rights defenders in Latin America - An assessment from international organisations and European networks

The use of the Law and the administration of justice for the benefit of groups who hold economic and political power are not new...in Latin America. These phenomena have generally occurred with...excessive use of police and military forces and private security companies. In recent years we have observed with great concern a sharp increase in the tendency to persecute, punish and criminalize social protest activities and the legitimate claims of those who promote and defend human rights, especially in cases related to large-scale economic investment. This paper...[has] emblematic cases in Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador and Colombia...Regarding the behaviour of European companies overseas, we call on the EU and its member states to: Adopt binding legislation under both civil and criminal law, to investigate and punish violations committed by companies, and ensure that victims have access to effective channels of redress...in the case of the United Nations we ask that the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights: ...pay special attention to the actions of companies which contribute to the criminalisation of the actions of human rights defenders and social protest. [refers to Goldcorp, Cementos Progreso, Holcim, Conga (joint venture Buenaventura & Newmont)]

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