This report on human rights defenders in the Americas, published in 2011 by the Inter‐American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), is a follow up to the body’s 2006 report on the same subject. It also provides an update on the standards of international law in this area.
Despite some improvements, the obstacles highlighted in the 2006 report persist and in some cases intensified. The report finds that there has been a continuance of murders, assaults, forced disappearances, threats, illegal searches, as well as in the statements by high-level authorities discrediting and stigmatizing the work of defending human rights. Moreover, the Commission noted a growing sophistication of the mechanisms designed to hamper, block, or discourage the work of defending and promoting human rights, which is reflected in baseless criminal charges being filed, financing sources for organizations being restricted, and in the absence of adequate and effective mechanisms for their protection.