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Human Rights

According to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. And yet around the world, many people are denied basic human rights, or find their rights under threat. Pulitzer Center stories tagged with “Human Rights” feature reporting that covers the fight for equality under the law, civil rights and the basic dignity afforded every person. Use the Pulitzer Center Lesson Builder to find and create lesson plans on human rights.

 

The Octopus in the Cathedral of Salt

When the trumpet sounded,
everything was prepared on earth,
and Jehovah divided the world
among Coca-Cola Inc., Anaconda,
Ford Motors, and other corporations:
The United Fruit Company Inc.
reserved for itself the juiciest piece,
the central coast of my own land,
the sweet waist of America.
—Pablo Neruda, "The United Fruit Co."

Ethiopia Battles Suspected Islamic Extremists

Ethiopia wages war with suspected Islamic extremists in Somalia and within its volatile east. And it has secretly cracked down on other groups it deems terrorist, including one in western Ethiopia. The situation is raising serious human rights concerns, and tough questions for its ally, the United States.

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In Search of Congo's Coltan

Bukavu is perched high above Lake Kivu, gently encroaching on the placid body of water between Rwanda and Congo. Once known as the pearl of Congo because of its beautiful climate and mountains, the Bukavu I found last summer barely resembles the famed city I heard about as a child.

Ethiopia Turns Its Critics into Untouchables

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA -- Dressed in a black Adidas track suit and seated amid a comfortable clutter of term papers and political science tomes in his modest office at Addis Ababa University, Prof. Merera Gudina hardly looks like a menace. But, ever since he was elected to parliament two years ago, people have been avoiding him.

There was, for example, the time that local mechanics were too terrified to repair his car when it broke down on the way back from his mother's funeral east of Addis.

Map of Journey in Nariño

Carlos Avila Gonzalez and Phillip Robertson, for the Pulitzer Center
Narino, Colombia

Our route through the southern Colombian Andes to the Rio Tapaje.

El Charco

We arrived and found a group of campesinos living in an old gymnasium in town. Many of them were from Pueblo Nuevo, a town an hour upriver that was caught in fierce fighting between FARC and the Army a few months ago. They also told us that the guerillas helped them grow coca and they were afraid to return to their town. Their situation has definitely gone from bad to worse. We made a trip the next day to Pueblo Nuevo to see if there was anyone left...

El Charco, 7 July

Carlos Avila Gonzalez and Phillip Robertson, for the Pulitzer Center
El Charco, Colombia

El Charco sits on a bend in the Tapaje river, a good sized town that is home to a growing population of displaced people from upriver. It is a violent and unpredictable place, filled with informers for the FARC and a heavy military presence. El Charco is poor and people have little or no civic services. The mayor told us that the city has gone without a supply of fresh water for more than two months.

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