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Sabino Romero Izarra

Sabino Romero Izarra

HRD

Sabino Romero Izarra was a prominent defender of the rights of the indigenous Yukpa community, including peacefully campaigning and mobilising against the expansion of large-scale mining developments on indigenous lands. Prior to his killing the human rights defender was continuously subject to acts of harassment, threats and criminalisation, as a result of his work to promote and protect land and indigenous rights in Venezuela. On 3 March 2013, Mr Sabino Romero Izarra was shot and killed while travelling on a road in the Sierra de Perijá, Zulia State. His wife sustained injuries as a result of the attack.

HRDs have been working under restrictive policies for many years: the Maduro administration has continued the work begun by Chávez in restricting civil space and delegitimising HRDs, repeatedly accusing them of undermining the Venezuelan democracy with the alleged collaboration of the United States. HRDs are discredited and criminalised by state-controlled media (television, radio, print media) on a weekly basis.