News by region: Americas


UN expert group on arbitrary detention welcomes the release of detainees in Cuba, US

18 December – The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention today welcomed the recent release of a number of detainees in Cuba and the United States, some of whose cases have been followed by the expert group.


UN-backed project to help Colombian farmers move away from illicit crops towards fair trade chocolate

17 December – A sweet new partnership between the United Nations, the Colombian and Austrian Governments and a renowned chocolate manufacturer is slated to bring free-trade practices and a critical source of income to Colombian farmers who have long relied on revenues from illicit drug crops, the Organization’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has announced.


Ban Ki-moon hails decision by US, Cuba to normalize relations

17 December – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the “very important step” taken by the leaders of the United States and Cuba towards normalizing relations between the two countries.


Peru: UN experts warn indigenous peoples’ rights at risk if polluted land re-licensed

15 December – Two United Nations human rights experts warned today against the proposed re-licensing of heavily polluted land in the Department of Loreto region of Peru, saying the move would perpetuate and exacerbate serious violations of human rights of indigenous peoples, including their right to health, food and water.


In Peru, Ban commends development advances, says challenges remain

12 December – Addressing the Congress of Peru today, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that despite impressive development achievements, big challenges remain – to address inequality and insecurity, deepen democracy, improve the quality of education, and protect the rights of all people regardless of gender, ethnicity, culture, religion or sexual orientation.


Latin America, Caribbean job market faces ‘scenario of uncertainty’ in 2015 – UN report

12 December – An “unusual pattern” has been detected in this year’s urban employment rate in Latin America and the Caribbean, which continued to fall despite warning signs of economic slowdown, said a new report released by the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) today.


Central America drought turning into humanitarian crisis, UN warns

12 December – A prolonged drought in Central America is turning into a humanitarian crisis for nearly two and a half million people affected by food insecurity in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned today.


UN expert calls for prosecution of CIA, US officials for crimes committed during interrogations

9 December – A United States Senate report has confirmed what the international community has long believed – that there was a clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush Administration which allowed to commit gross violations of international human rights law, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on counter terrorism and human rights said today.


Eric Garner, Michael Brown cases spark ‘legitimate concerns’ about US policing – UN experts

5 December – Grand jury verdicts in the United States which resulted in the decisions to not bring to trial the cases of two unarmed African-American men killed by police forces have sparked “legitimate concerns” regarding policing practices across the country, a group of United Nations human rights experts said today.


US should respond to public demands for greater police accountability – Ban

4 December – In the wake of a grand jury decision in New York yesterday not to indict a police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed man, in July, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged the United States to do “anything possible to respond to demands of greater accountability.”