Front Line Defenders
Defending Rights in Rio: HRDs & the Olympics
In February 2016, Brazilian authorities demolished the home and spiritual centre of an Afro-Brazilian candomblé priestess and human rights defender, to make way for the Olympic Park. As the Games open next week, Heloisa Helena Costa Berto is demanding justice.
Front Line Defenders and five human rights defenders in Rio de Janeiro are launching a campaign calling for an end to threats and attacks against HRDs, which have escalated ahead of the Games.
"The several forms of violence that we experience always intensify when mega-events are being held in the country. The Olympics promote the idea of harmony: but we are being segregated; the idea of union: but we have riffles pointed at our heads. They promised to improve the city, but the reality is that we are dying" (Raull Santiago)
In nearly a decade of defending her community’s land and rivers from corporate destruction, Honduran woman Ms. Ana Mirian Romero has endured armed raids, physical assault, death threats, and personal defamation campaigns. On 10 June 2016, former President of Ireland, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and President of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, Mrs. Mary Robinson, presented Ana Mirian with the 2016 Front Line Defenders Award.