Despite progress made over the last two decades on the international normative framework on Human Rights Defenders (hereafter HRDs), there is a persistent lack of compliance with these norms and the implementation of national policies for protection are superficial or inexistent in the majority of countries. The defence of human rights continues to be a high-risk activity in much of the world and strategies to criminalise, stigmatise and repress HRDs have intensified in many countries.
In concrete terms, the EU-LAT Network would like to emphasise concerns that Latin America is one of the regions with the highest number of attacks against and killings of the last few years. According to EU Protect defenders, in 2018, at least 256 defenders were killed in the Americas. Although there are specific circumstances in each Latin American country, the EULAT Network has identified two regional trends against HRDs and two common violent patterns which exist with greater or lesser intensity throughout the continent.