LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago
Some 100 indigenous citizens in Brazil occupied the Health Ministry in Brasilia in late May to demand better health care. Southern Brazilian indigenous ethnicities Kaingang, Guarani and Charrua called the protest after complaining that doctors in their villages are paid too little and lack adequate supplies.
Environmental groups in Chile welcomed the decision by one of the two partner companies in the HidroAysén hydroelectric megaproject to paralyze the initiative, which is planned to be built in the south of the country and sparked massive protests last year because its potential environmental effects. At the end of May, Chilean company Colbún recommended that its partner, Italian-Spanish firm Endesa, suspend proceedings “until there is broad national consensus on an energy policy.”
Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, a lawyer at the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center, fled Mexico in late May, becoming the second human rights activist in a month to leave the country for death threats. Rosales Sierra defends indigenous Mexicans.
A referendum that, if passed, would allow judges in Puerto Rico to deny bail in certain murder cases would be held Aug. 19. The issue has sparked a debate on the island, where the police force has been criticized for corruption and human rights abuses.
The Trinidad & Tobago Cancer Society proposed a ban on accepting any support, such as goods and donations, from the tobacco industry or companies affiliated with it. The announcement was made May 31, World No Tobacco Day.