All Content: Human Rights Cases

WOLA's Joy Olson Commemorates Oscar Romero in Letter to Archbishop of San Salvador

News
In honor of the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero, WOLA Executive Director Joy Olson honors his legacy and vision in a letter to the current Archbishop of San Salvador, Mon. Jose Luis Escobar Alas.

Recent Killing of Journalist in Mexico Underscores Need to Strengthen Protections

Government Program to Protect Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Faces Serious Challenges
Analysis & Commentary
Defenders and journalists will continue to be at risk until authorities investigate and prosecute crimes against them, and implement effective protections.

Human Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico Face Threats and Attacks

Three Years After Passage of Landmark Protection Law in Mexico, Significant Challenges Remain
Analysis & Commentary

Afro-Colombian Leader in Cauca Speaks Out: ‘This Situation That Eats Away at Me’

Analysis & Commentary
Afro-Colombian leader, Francia Márquez Mina speaks out on the current situation her community faces.

Six Months after Disappearance of 43 Students in Mexico, Citizens and International Community Still Seek Justice

Mexican Government Must Support Work of International Experts
News
Six months after 43 students were forcibly disappeared in Mexico, international human rights organizations express concern that many questions remain unanswered.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Address Brazil’s Truth Commission

NGOs call for IACHR to Monitor Progress on Commission's Recommendations
News
On Friday, March 20, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS) will hold a hearing on the December 2014 report of Brazil’s National Truth Commission (CNV).

New U.S. Program Fails to Protect Detained Mexican Migrant Kids

WOLA is concerned that authorities aren't doing all they can to protect kids questioned about criminal networks
Analysis & Commentary
WOLA has raised concerns over a new Border Patrol program that holds Mexican migrant children for months without charge, often using them as informants against cartels and smuggling organizations. When sent back, these kids are not properly protected from violent retribution.

Group of Technical Experts Arrive in Mexico to Investigate Case of Disappeared Students

Experts' Recommendations Could Lead to Broader Changes in the Country
Analysis & Commentary
On March 1, 2015, the Group of Experts traveled to Mexico to begin its work. The Group is tasked with reviewing and investigating the case of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, but its work could have broader implications for changing how Mexico handles other cases of disappearances.

UNASUR Mission to Venezuela Must Call for Respect for Human Rights, Promote Dialogue

WOLA joins 32 regional organizations in highlighting recommendations for the upcoming visit by UNASUR ministers
News
In a letter to the foreign ministers of Colombia, Brazil, and Ecuador, WOLA joins 32 other NGOs in calling on the upcoming UNASUR delegation to promote inclusive dialogue and call for the respect of human rights.

US Activists Urge Colombia to Protect Defenders, Unionists and Victims

Analysis & Commentary
In a letter directed at the newly appointed director of the National Protection Unit (​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​UNP), civil society groups urge Colombia to protect human rights defenders, union organizers and victims.

Human Rights Organizations Welcome the Start of the Interdisciplinary Group of Experts for the Ayotzinapa Case

International Group of Qualified Experts Looks into Mexico's Investigation of the Missing Students
News
The Group’s first visit to Mexico will begin on March 1 and it is anticipated that civil society organizations will be able to present their concerns, statements, and testimonies directly to the Group.

New Threats against Afro-Colombian Communities, Human and Labor Rights Groups Raise Concern

In a note to policymakers, WOLA documents new human and labor rights violations
Analysis & Commentary
U.S. officials must take action in the wake of continued threats against human and labor rights defenders in Colombia.

Venezuela’s Other Crisis: A Justice System Dismantled From Within

Analysis & Commentary
WOLA Senior Fellow David Smilde argues that Venezuela's judicial system has become increasingly politicized, reflecting a society in which “rule by law” is taking precedence over “rule of law.”

The Mechanism to Protect Human Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico: Challenges and Opportunities

New WOLA and PBI Report
News
While recognizing the importance of the Mechanism and the valuable work its staff carries out, this report identifies several areas for improvement, drawing on a series of case studies to illustrate these weaknesses.

Mexico: it's Too Early to Close the Ayotzinapa Case

The Mexican Government’s Actions Undermine the Rule of Law
Analysis & Commentary
While Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto clearly wants to put the Ayotzinapa case behind him, there are far too many unanswered questions to declare the investigation over.

Too Early to Close the Ayotzinapa Case:

The Mexican Government’s Actions Undermine The Rule of Law
News
WOLA believes it is premature and alarming that federal authorities have announced the end of the investigation into the disappearance of student teachers.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's Visit

President Obama Should Stand Up for Human Rights
Analysis & Commentary
In recent months, President Obama has shown tremendous leadership and courage, taking bold action on both immigration policy and U.S.-Cuba relations. He should approach his meeting with President Peña Nieto in the same spirit.

WOLA to Observe Second Genocide Trial in Guatemala

WOLA Senior Fellow Jo-Marie Burt was in Guatemala on January 5, 2015, to observe the genocide trial of former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt.
News
On January 5, 2015, Guatemala began new proceedings in the genocide trial of former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt, and WOLA Senior Fellow Jo-Marie Burt was there to observe the proceedings and monitor subsequent developments.

WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Video
WOLA is a leading research and advocacy organization working to advance human rights in the Americas. To learn more about WOLA's work, please watch this short video.

Human Rights Crisis in Mexico Demands Stronger Response from Mexican Government

Analysis & Commentary
To mark Human Rights Day on December 10, WOLA prepared an analysis of the human rights situation in Mexico and the failure of the Peña Nieto administration to make meaningful progress on human rights issues during the president's first years in office.