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Human rights defenders and journalists have been subject to death threats, smear campaigns, police brutality and had their right to freedom of peaceful assembly restricted.

Human rights defenders working to protect the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, particularly Colombian refugees in the eastern province of Darién, have been the target of smear campaigns initiated by government agencies suggesting they are involved in facilitating and sheltering individuals involved in cross-border drug trafficking.

Environmental rights defenders and journalists advocating for the conservation in Darién have also been threatened with death by different actors involved in illegal logging, land grabbing and intensive farming in the are.

Labour rights defenders and union leaders have also been judicially harassed, persecuted and their peaceful protests violently repressed. Through Act No. 14/2010, trade union leaders have been prosecuted and punished, curtailing their right to freedom of assembly and demonstration. In many cases the Ministry of Labour has also interfered with trade union freedom refusing to register some trade unions.

Indigenous rights defenders and community leaders have been attacked and their right to peaceful assembly curtailed by violent police repression, particularly in the context of the Barro Blanco, Chan 75 and Bayano hydroelectric projects built on indigenous territory.