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Facts and figures: Human rights in the Americas in 2021-22

  • The Americas remains the region with most fatalities from the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 2.6 million confirmed deaths as of 10 March 2022. (WHO)
  • The United States had more than 78 million confirmed cases and 954,000 deaths from Covid-19 as of 10 March 2022, more than any other country on earth. Brazil had the second highest death toll on earth, with more than 652,000 fatalities. (WHO)
  • Peru had registered 6,497 confirmed deaths per million inhabitants from Covid-19 as of 10 March 2022, the highest rate in the world. (Statista)
  • 65% of the population in the Americas had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as of 10 March 2022, more than any other region except for the Western Pacific. (WHO)
  • According to official data, Cuba had fully or partially vaccinated 94% of its population, with vaccines it developed itself, as of 10 March 2022, more than any other country in the Americas. Haiti had fully or partially vaccinated just 1.3% of its population, the lowest figure in the region. (Our World in Data)
  • 46% of countries in the Americas reported disruptions to the delivery of health services due to the pandemic in 2021. (PAHO)
  • The estimated number of people living in poverty in Latin America last year was 14 million higher than before the pandemic. This is equivalent to more than the entire population of Bolivia. The number of people in extreme poverty was also up 16 million from 2019.(ECLAC)
  • Jamaica remained the most violent country in Latin America and the Caribbean last year (with a homicide rate of 49.4 per 100,000 inhabitants), followed by Venezuela (40.9) and Honduras (38.6). (Insight Crime)
  • With 252 killings, Latin America and the Caribbean was the world’s deadliest region for human rights defenders last year and accounted for 68% of the global total of 358 killings. Colombia remained the world’s most lethal country for human rights defenders, with 138 killings, followed by Mexico and Brazil. (Front Line Defenders)
  • Mexico remains the world’s deadliest country for journalists with nine killings in 2021, according to CPJ. At least eight more journalists have been murdered in Mexico in the first three months of 2022. (AP)
  • Cuba imprisoned three journalists in 2021, more than any other country in the Americas, followed by Nicaragua (two) and Brazil (one). (CPJ)
  • Mexico recorded 3,716 killings of women in 2021, of which 969 were investigated as femicides. (SESNSP)
  • There are officially more than 97,000 missing or disappeared people across Mexico. (CNB)
  • The Americas accounted for 316 of 375 trans and gender-diverse people reported murdered worldwide between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021. Brazil recorded more killings (125) than any other country on earth, followed by Mexico (65), the United States (53) and Colombia (25). (TVT)
  • Escazú Agreement, a regional treaty on access to information, public participation and justice in environmental matters and the protection of environmental defenders, came into effect on 22 April 2021.
  • Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon totalled more than 13,000 km² in 2021, the highest figure since 2006. (INPE).
  • Transparency International ranked Canada as the least corrupt country in the Americas (13th worldwide) in its 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index, followed by Uruguay (18th), the United States and Chile (joint 27th). Venezuela (177th) was ranked the most corrupt in the region, followed by Haiti and Nicaragua (joint 164th).
  • More than 6 million Venezuelans have left the country, mostly since 2015, in what is the world’s second largest refugee crisis after Syria. (R4V)
  • At least 650 people died attempting to cross Mexico’s border with the United States in 2021, more than in any other year since IOM began documenting deaths in 2014. 
  • US Border control officials carried out unnecessary and unlawful pushbacks of nearly 1.5 million refugees and migrants at the USA-Mexico border in 2021, including tens of thousands of unaccompanied children, using Covid-19 public health provisions as a pretext. (Amnesty International)
  • Mexican authorities detained at least 252,526 people in overcrowded immigration detention centres that did not comply with basic sanitary measures last year, and deported at least 101,571 people, mostly from Central America, including thousands of unaccompanied children. (Amnesty International)