Posts Tagged ‘IACHR’

Kolumbien: (Para-)Militärs wollten den Tod Garzons

Freitag, September 30th, 2011


Document Points to Military/Paramilitary Nexus in Murder of Popular Colombian Comedian

Garzón Had Been “Deeply Troubled” by Meeting with Senior Army Officer

Ongoing Impunity in 12-year-old Case Spurs Inter-American Commission Complaint

For more information contact:
Michael Evans – 202/994-7029


“Washington, D.C., September 29, 2011 – Twelve years after the assassination of beloved Colombian journalist and political satirist Jaime Garzón, a newly-declassified State Department cable, published on the Web today by the National Security Archive (, supports longstanding allegations that Colombian military officials ordered the killing. Written just days after the murder, the cable from the U.S. Embassy in Colombia says that Garzón “had been killed by paramilitaries in league with ‘loose cannon’ active or retired members of the security forces.”

One of Colombia’s most popular television personalities, Garzón was also a high-profile advocate for government talks with leftist rebel groups when he was gunned down on August 13, 1999. Carlos Castaño, top leader of an illegal right-wing militia known as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), was convicted in absentia of masterminding the plot in 2001 but was never brought to justice and is now presumed dead. Castaño remains the only individual ever sentenced in the case, though the involvement of Colombian security forces has long been suspected.

The document published today is among key evidence cited by lawyers representing Garzón’s family who are seeking to hold the Colombian state responsible for his murder. Last month, human rights attorneys from the Colectivo de Abogados “José Alvear Restrepo” and the Comisión Colombiana de Juristas jointly requested a hearing on the Garzón case before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR).

Of particular interest in the newly-declassified cable is the revelation that retired general Rito Alejo del Río Rojas may have lied in a 2001 declaration before Colombian prosecutors when he denied that he had ever met Garzón. Quite the contrary, the embassy report says that Del Río “upbraided” Garzón when the two met to discuss his efforts to restart peace negotiations with the ELN guerrilla group. The embassy’s confidential source said that Garzón “came away from the meeting very troubled by the depths of the anger that Del Río vented.”

“The general lied to the Prosecutor General’s office, and the question is why,” said Rafael Barrios, a lawyer from the Colectivo de Abogados.

To read the document, and for a detailed rundown of recent media coverage, check out today’s posting at the Archive’s website –


(Quelle: National Security Archive.)

Brasilien: Belo Monte über alles

Mittwoch, Mai 4th, 2011

“Brazil Breaks Relations With Human Rights Commission Over Belo Monte Dam

Posted by Mari Hayman

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has ordered an immediate cessation of relations with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) after the regional body asked the government to suspend construction of Brazil’s $17 billion Belo Monte dam in April.

The Belo Monte Dam, scheduled for completion in 2015, has been a source of considerable controversy in recent months as indigenous communities, environmentalist groups, and celebrities like Sting and director James Cameron have opposed the project. The dam could flood an estimated 195 square miles of the Amazonian rainforest along the Xingú River and displace some 50,000 people. In February, a federal judge blocked construction for failing to meet specific environmental conditions.

On April 1, the IACHR issued interim measures asking the Brazilian government to immediately suspend its licensing process for the dam after receiving a petition from NGOs last November. The IACHR recommended that the Brazilian government consult with the affected groups before proceeding with the project, undertake measures to protect local tribes, and make environmental and social impact statements available in local indigenous languages. If the recommendations go unheeded, the IACHR could open a case against the Brazilian government in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica.

The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded by calling the IACHR’s recommendations “precipitous and unwarranted”, submitting a 52-page response that defended the dam to the IACHR in late April. Minister of Defense Nelson Jobim said the regional organization’s request to halt construction would be “returned the way it came” and other officials have confirmed that construction on the dam would continue.

“The request is absurd. It even threatens Brazilian sovereignty,” said Senator Flexa Ribeiro, president of a senate subcommittee that presides over the dam.

The Belo Monte Dam would be the world’s third largest and, according to Brazilian officials, could provide electricity to 23 million homes. Recently, Brazilian mining company Vale agreed to pay $1.4 billion for a stake in the consortium responsible for building the dam. Work has already begun on the project, including the clearing of rainforest and construction of access roads.

Meanwhile, the IACHR, an independent human rights body under the Organization of American States, could lose up to $800,000 in contributions to cover its operating expenses this year. President Rousseff has ordered Brazilian envoy to the OAS Ruy Casaes to remain in Brasilia rather than travel back to Washington, D.C. to take up his post.

Human rights groups in Brazil say that the government’s recent dispute with the IACHR weakens regional protections for human rights that the country has signed on to for decades.

“Belo Monte is one more project that ignores what the people of this region think. They weren’t heard. It’s the model of the military dictatorship,” said Roberta Amanajás, a lawyer from the Paraense Society for the Defense of Human Rights.”


(Quelle: Latin America News Dispatch.)