Amnesty International has appointed its Americas director Erika Guevara-Rosas as the new head of Global Research, Advocacy and Policy to help lead the organization’s ambitious human rights agenda around the world.
“With the world facing multiple existential crises, from armed conflicts and the climate collapse to the rise of anti-rights movements, Amnesty International is more determined than ever to ensure that global struggles for justice, dignity and human rights prevail. Erika’s outstanding credentials as a human rights defender and a feminist, combined with her wealth of experience and leadership will help us to uphold the rights of all people around the world. Her tireless commitment to the cause is an inspiration to us all,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
Guevara-Rosas, a feminist and human rights lawyer from Mexico, joined Amnesty International as Americas Director in August 2013. She has led efforts to strengthen the organization’s presence and impact across the continent and oversaw the opening of the Americas Regional Office in Mexico City in 2015.
Erika’s outstanding credentials as a human rights defender and a feminist, combined with her wealth of experience and leadership will help us to uphold the rights of all people around the world.Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General
In her new role within the global Coalition Leadership Team, Guevara-Rosas will work closely with the Secretary General and other senior colleagues to bolster the organization’s human rights impact at national, regional and global levels. She will lead a team of more than 200 staff carrying out research, crisis response, policy development, campaigns and advocacy work, as well as providing strategic support to Amnesty International’s regional offices and sections.
“I’m extremely honoured by this appointment, particularly at a time when challenges to the protection of human rights are at an all-time high. We’re at a very delicate crossroads with anti-rights groups pushing to shut down civic space, but we’re also witnessing the emergence of diverse social movements fighting for human rights, climate justice and equality in all corners of the world,” said Guevara-Rosas.
“Research and advocacy are instrumental to Amnesty International’s identity and for more than 60 years they have proven effective tools in forging a more humane planet. As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 75 in December this year, we will keep working to fulfil its promise of a better, fairer world.”
As Americas Director, Guevara-Rosas has revamped Amnesty International’s work in a challenging and fast-changing region, overseeing innovative research and bold campaigns to shine a light on the human rights violations faced by historically marginalized populations, including Indigenous Peoples, Black communities, human rights defenders, environmentalists, migrants, refugees, women and LGBTIQ+ people. She has led rapid responses to crises in countries such as Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela, among others, and advocated on behalf of victims in high-level meetings with presidents from all over the region.
I’m extremely honoured by this appointment, particularly at a time when challenges to the protection of human rights are at an all-time high.Erika Guevara-Rosas, Senior Director of Research, Advocacy and Policy
Under her leadership, Amnesty International has worked closely with sister organizations to contribute, for instance, to the legalization of abortion in Argentina and its decriminalization in Colombia and Mexico, successfully lobbied for countries across the region to sign the Escazú Agreement, helped obtain partial justice for the murder of Honduran defender Berta Cáceres, and secured the release of countless prisoners of conscience across the region. The organization’s research has also exposed the cruelty and racism inherent in US migration policies, shed light on feminicides and sexual torture against women detainees in Mexico, examined the uneven impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Americas, and contributed to major investigations into police repression in Chile and crimes against humanity in Venezuela.
“Over the last decade, we’ve worked hard to strengthen our national entities and grow our membership in the region, as well as to forge closer, more collaborative relationships with sister organizations across the Americas. We’ve grown more agile in our crisis-response work and adjusted our ways of working to better align with the wider human rights community and deliver on a more ambitious, feminist and anti-racist agenda,” Guevara-Rosas added.
Ana Piquer will serve as interim Americas Director while the organization conducts a thorough recruitment process to appoint a new permanent director. Piquer brings a wealth of experience within the organization; she first joined Amnesty International as an activist in Chile in 1990, and then became president of the Board of the Chilean section. Piquer became Executive Director of Amnesty International Chile in 2011, achieving major human rights work in the country before becoming Deputy Director for Research in the Americas in January 2022.