Washington, D.C.—The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a leading research and advocacy organization advancing human rights in the Americas, extends its deepest condolences for victims of the recent natural disasters that have affected both Mexico and the Caribbean.
In Mexico, a series of violent earthquakes have killed hundreds and injured thousands more. Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria have devastated parts of the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, Dominica, Turks and Caicos, the Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Cuba, and St Kitts and Nevis. Thousands have been left homeless in these affected regions; others continue to wait for news of a missing loved one.
Ongoing relief efforts have drawn widespread support from civilian volunteers, with residents of Mexico City creating human chains to clear away rubble. A member of WOLA’s Board of Directors, actor Diego Luna, is one of the leaders who has stepped forward with a campaign to support long-term recovery in Mexico. Mainland Puerto Ricans are donating significant financial aid to those on the island. These are just a few examples. The courage, efficiency and compassion demonstrated by so many in the face of these disasters is an inspiring example of unity, not just for Latin America but for the entire globe.
“We’ve been deeply moved and inspired by the courageous volunteers who’ve been so resourceful in helping those on the ground,” said WOLA Executive Director Matt Clausen. “However, much more needs to be done for these relief efforts, in terms of ensuring a full, long-term recovery.”
WOLA expresses solidarity and deep concern for all those affected by these disasters, including our partner organizations that strive to protect and advance human rights in the Americas. WOLA calls on authorities in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean to intensify their efforts to provide timely support to the victims, as the full impact of these disasters continues to play out.