Authorities in Peru and Paraguay are using vicious smear campaigns, forced evictions and unfounded criminal charges against land and environmental activists who dare to speak out about human rights issues, Amnesty International said in a new report released today.
“Those who bravely stand up to defend their land and the environment are frequently targeted because of their work. These attacks have a devastating impact on their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, as well as that of their families and communities,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
“The authorities in Peru and Paraguay must immediately stop misusing their criminal justice systems to persecute human rights defenders, obstruct their work and scare them into staying silent. Instead of criminalizing people for defending their land and natural resources, both States must take timely and effective measures to protect them.”