Open letter to the General Secretariat of the OAS and to the IACHR – Alianza Regional

Doctor

Luis Almagro Lemes

Executive Secretary

Organization of American States

Doctor

Joel Hernandez Garcia

President

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Of our consideration:

The organizations that make up the Regional Alliance for Free Expression and Information, in our capacity as civil society entities that work in the promotion and defense of human rights and, in particular, access to information and freedom of expression, such as regular users of the Inter-American System, we express our deep concern regarding the recent events related to the contractual situation of the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

In this regard, we state the following:

  1. In the circumstances in which it is taking place, the conflict that arises could put into question the autonomy and independence of the IACHR to select and validate the personnel of its trust, responsible for executing the tasks delegated to it by the Commission. We advocate prudence and unrestricted respect for the institutions in the process of resolving this unfortunate situation.
  2. Due process and the broadest transparency must be respected in the processing of the complaint. Only the sensitive data and information of the persons involved should be kept confidential. In this sense, the absolute secrecy of the Ombudsperson investigation prevents the IACHR, as well as its users, from knowing the specific content of the complaints and the processing that is being carried out to them.
  3. The foregoing is a clear example of why it is necessary and urgent to move forward with one of the commitments provided for in the IACHR’s Strategic Plan, linked to the creation of mechanisms for transparency and access to information. Similar guidance should be taken within the OAS. Having such tools would allow users to understand the current situation in a better way and in greater depth.

In this framework, we urge you to resume, as a matter of urgency, the conversations to resolve the current situation, and limit the damage that it generates on the legitimacy of the System in general and of the Commission in particular, which is a valuable and fundamental for the defense and promotion of human rights in the region.

Signatory organizations:

Citizen Action – Guatemala

Article 19 – Brazil

National Association of the Press (ANP) – Bolivia

Civil Association for Equality and Justice (ACIJ) – Argentina

Committee for Free Expression (C-Libre) – Honduras

Public Space – Venezuela

Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES) – El Salvador

Democracy Without Borders Foundation (FDsF) – Honduras

Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation (FVBCH) – Nicaragua

Citizenship and Development Foundation (FCD) – Ecuador

Found – Mexico

Institute of Environmental Law and Economics (IDEA) – Paraguay

Transparency for Colombia – Colombia

Transparency Venezuela – Venezuela

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