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Every August 23 we remember the victims of all totalitarian regimes. Those who —in the past— deported, tortured and murdered. And also those who today, with cruelty and crushing individual freedoms, systematically violate fundamental rights.
The people and organizations gathered in Buenos Aires between August 23 and 25, 2022, want to focus on the very serious situation that the nationals of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRC) are currently going through.
The people of North Korea have been suffering from a methodical curtailment of their individual freedoms and guarantees for more than seven decades. The brutal regime of the Kim family has developed and oiled a perverse machinery of deprivation of the most basic needs of the population, including food, health, sanitary conditions, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
Furthermore, the human rights situation in the DPRK has worsened since March 2020 due to the severe measures taken by the regime to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic emergency.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the Workers' Party of Korea are directly responsible for this dire situation. The government has consistently prioritized maintaining power and developing nuclear weapons at the expense of the basic rights of its people. Meanwhile, North Koreans suffer from untold hunger and atrocities, including murder, torture, slavery, gender-based violence, sex trafficking and rape, forced abortion and infanticide, wrongful imprisonment, slave labor, torture, and enforced disappearance.
The plight of the DPRK population is getting worse day by day. Therefore, countries, institutions and citizens who embrace the values of freedom and democracy, we must raise our voices to denounce that the leaders of the DPRK, as responsible for crimes against humanity and other serious violations of human rights, at some point they will have to render accounts before the world and history.
Based on the above:
1. We firmly express our solidarity with the North Korean people, especially from the empathy and pain we feel as Latin Americans. Our region was hit by brutal dictatorships during the second half of the 20th century and, to this day, continues to suffer from authoritarian regimes such as those in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
2. We emphasize our conviction that the human rights violations perpetrated by the North Korean regime are morally unacceptable and, sooner or later, those responsible must be held accountable before the international community.
3. We are committed to raising awareness in our region about the dire situation in the DPRK. For this we will work on the creation of spaces for the exchange of information; in disseminating sources of information on the different aspects of the human rights situation in that country; and in the organization of forums, meetings and opportunities for dialogue that focus on the political, economic and social situation in the DPRK.
Mariana Aylwin, Fundación Patricio Aylwin (Chile)
Elaine Barbosa, Declaracao 1948 (Brasil)
Andrés Cañizález, Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (Venezuela)
Rubén Chababo, Universidad Nacional de Rosario (Argentina)
Armando Chaguaceda, Grupo de Análisis Político AC (Cuba/México)
Alain Espinosa, Cubalex (Cuba)
María de los Ángeles Lasa (Argentina)
Agustín Menéndez, CADAL (Argentina)
Inés Pousadela, CIVICUS (Argentina)
Rigoberto Lobo, PROMEDEHUM (Venezuela)
Juan Martín, Diputado Nacional (Argentina)
Lexys Rendón, Laboratorio de Paz (Venezuela)
Susana Saavedra, Fundación Construir (Bolivia)
Gabriel C. Salvia, CADAL (Argentina)
Brian Schapira, CADAL (Argentina)
Eduardo Ulibarri (Costa Rica)
Rafael Uzcategui, Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos (Venezuela)