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Mary Acosta Pinilla

WHRD, Founder
Ngabe Bugle Women's Forum

Mary Acosta Pinilla is an indigenous Ngabe woman human rights defender. For more than 20 years she has worked for environmental rights, indigenous women's rights and in the defence of land and territory in Panama. She is the founder of the Ngabe Bugle Women's Forum and a member of the Indigenous Women and Biodiversity Network Lac.


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.