PBI helps to protect over 1000 human rights defenders - people working nonviolently to promote and protect the human rights of others. They work on a broad spectrum of social, economic, cultural, civil and political rights. Here some of them speak about their work, their experiences, and the challenges they face.

Find out more information about the human rights defenders we protect here:

Oct 2018

María Lígia, Las Camelias Humanitarian Zone, Colombia

"There was no way to enter the land because there were fences and padlocks everywhere, signs saying “Private Property”... All those barriers we tore them down without bullets. "


Oct 2018

Kevin Ramírez, ASODEBICOQ, Honduras

"We have no employment, we have no security, but we have life, we have the river. That motivates us to keep fighting. "


Oct 2018

Domingo Vasquez, CCCND, Guatemala

"My political vision is that one day the Chortí indigenous community will be free, that there will be no threats by transnational companies and extractive companies."



Oct 2017

Marcos Leyva, EDUCA, Mexico

"Our work is part of an effort to transform Mexican society, to strengthen the democratic processes of our country through respect for human rights, especially the rights of indigenous communities."

Oct 2017

Rosalinda Dionicio, COPUVO, Mexico

"We have been persecuted. But we have to look at it as a reference, so that other communities don't have the same experience."


Sep 2017

Aurelia Arzú, OFRANEH, Honduras

"Our main issue currently is the seizure of our own lands for which we are facing criminalisation... For us it is unthinkable that foreign businesses can take us to court in our own communities"


Jun 2017

Olga Silva, Humanidad Vigente, Colombia

"Protective accompaniment is not only persuasive in the field, it is also a way of generating international support for the work of human rights defenders."


Apr 2017

Dipendra Jha, Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance, Nepal

"In 2015, approximately 45 people were killed after police opened fire on protests staged over Nepal’s new constitution. On the 6th of March 2017, seven Madhesi were killed when police again opened fire on a protest."

Nov 2016

Cristina Auerbach and Esmeralda Saldaña, Pasta de Conchos, Mexico

“The campaign against me has been horrendous, I have been libelled and followed and threatened. That is why the work of PBI has been so crucial. We really value it."


Sep 2016

Wangui Kimari, Mathare Social Justice Centre, Kenya

"Our principles are collective leadership, solidarity, and a strong commitment to achieving justice for all."


Apr 2016

Jehovany Cruz, FUPNAPIB, Honduras

“Berta Caceres’ death was terrible. We wept […]. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.”


Apr 2016

Luis Guillermo, CCAJAR, Colombia  

"Physical accompaniment is very important in the field, as it helps to dissuade attacks against us, but also PBI’s international support network, the dialogue with the authorities, all of that has an important preventative role that protects us."


Aug 2015

Alma Gomez, CEDEHM, Mexico

"As an advocate of human rights of women what I do is basically empower women about their rights... Since I can remember, I have been repressed for fighting for social justice."

Nov 2011

Wilfrido Mayrén Peláez, Barca-DH, Mexico

"They shot to kill me, and ever since we have been convinced that working for the defence of human rights is a risk." 


Jul 2011

Maurilio Santiago Reyes, CEDHAPI, Mexico

"That day we received death threats for the first time. I had to leave Oaxaca… We went back, but it was the first time we felt afraid to do our work." 


May 2011

Reinaldo Villalba, CCAJAR, Colombia  

"The work of human rights lawyers seeks to bring the Colombian constitution to fruition, in the sense of us being a society with a democratic rule of law... It is those who violate human rights who destabilise the state, not we who seek to sanction those responsible.” 

Nov 2010

Alirio Uribe, CCAJAR, Colombia

"In 2001, a plan was discovered between the military and the paramilitaries to assassinate me. They had plans of my house and the routes they would use."


Nov 2010

Mandira Sharma, Advocacy Forum, Nepal

"They started to get nervous and we had to be cautious. We were constantly threatened. Our offices were monitored. We were followed everywhere by undercover agents."


Nov 2010

Lorena Cabnal, AMISMAXAJ, Guatemala

"I’ve been threatened several times for our work denouncing sexual violence against women and children, for promoting the right for education and the recognition of our ethnic identities here in the mountains, as women and as an indigenous people."

Nov 2010

Héctor Cerezo Contreras, Cerezo Committee, Mexico

"My name is Héctor Cerezo Contreras, I am 29 years old and I am a human rights defender. I was a prisoner of conscience for seven and a half years." 


Nov 2010

Father Martín Octavio, Barca-DH, Mexico 

"I went to San José to hold the mass and as I arrived, a truck blocked the road, and the people in it forcibly took me out of the car and hit me with a pistol right here. They threw me to the ground and started to kick me, hit with sticks and stones, hurling insults." 

Sep 2010

Tita Radilla, AFADEM, Mexico,

"The relatives of the disappeared have a great need, and they have waited many years, to know what happened to their disappeared relatives. They have hope and faith in our association and we can't let them down."