Amnesty International

Amnesty International

Puerto Rico Section

May 2009

Amnesty International (AI) is a world movement of people working in favor of human rights.  Members spend a lot of time, resources, and energy to selflessly help those whose human rights are violated.  There are 2.2 million members of Amnesty International around the world and Amnesty International’s work is done in over 150 countries.  AI investigates and informs about human rights abuses and violations and motivates practical and efficient actions to end abuses.  It operates independently from all government, political ideology, or religious creed, and does not support or oppose any government or public system.  In order to guarantee the independent criteria, the organization does not accept political and/or governmental contributions for investigative work and actions against abuses.  AI finances itself exclusively by contributions of members around the world and fundraisers. 

In July 1983, the International Executive Committee of AI recognized the status of the Puerto Rican groups that work to reach the AI objectives.  Puerto Rico’s AI section works in the development of campaigns in favor of human rights around the world.  The death penalty, children’s rights, and human rights education have been the constant work of Puerto Rico’s Section.

Currently, AI-Puerto Rico has different work groups and interests.  Among them:

  • Gender Committee
  • Committee Against Torture and Abuse
  • Committee in Favor of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

2008 accomplishments include the following:

  • Maintaining Puerto Rico as a zone free of death penalty sentences.  Of four federal trials with the possibility of a death sentence, none of them concluded as such even when the accused were found guilty.
  • The investigation of human rights cases was achieved by serving as a practicum for social work students.
  • Raising awareness of human rights and equipping activists to spread the message.
  • Improved the web presence through a campaign called “Intensify the Flame” through Facebook.  This was a celebration for the 60th Anniversary of the Human Rights Declaration.  The website has been updated and a Facebook page created which has 659 members.
  • Gender education materials were distributed widely. 
  • Radio programs were used as a forum for human and sexual rights and gender discrimination discussions.  They also were used as a part of a campaign to end torture and to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo. 

Amnesty International in Puerto Rico has collaborated with the following organizations: Dominican Women Center; Peace for Women; Health Workshop; Pro Family Well-being Puerto Rican Association; The Masfaldas; Human Rights Graduate Program from the Sacred Heart University; Legal Assistance Clinic; Social Work Graduate Department at University Of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras; College of Attorneys; American Civil Liberties Union; Puerto Rican Civil Rights Commission; Community Groups Support Net in Socioeconomic Development; Alliance for a Socioeconomic Agenda; ENLACE Project; Brotherhood of Non-educational Exempt Employees; Puerto Rican Coalition Against the Death Penalty; Proud Rainbow Coalition.