Surinamese Compliance with Saramaka People v. Suriname

Suriname Court House, by Mark Ahsmann

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ (IACtHR, Court) decision in Saramaka People v. Suriname signified an important victory for tribal communities in their battle against land encroachment. The 2007 ruling recognized that tribal communities’ physical and cultural relationships with their ancestral territories should be protected under international human rights law. However since this victory, there [Read More…]

Situation of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights of Campesinos in Latin America


Versión española disponible aquí Commissioners: Rodrigo Escobar Gil; Rose-Marie Belle Antoine; Rosa María Ortiz; Elizabeth Abi-Mershed, Assistant Executive Secretary Petitioners: Gabriela Kretzel (CELS); Lourdes Bascary (CELS); Daniel Pascual (CUC Guatemala); Diego Monton (CLOC Vía Campesina); Deolinda Carrizo (CLOC Vía Campesina) State: N/A The Petitioners, speaking on behalf of several different organizations, represented campesinos of various [Read More…]

Deforestation Threatens Indigenous Land Rights in Bolivia

Bolivia from above, via Wikicommons

Nestled between the Andes to the west and the Amazon to the east, the farmlands of eastern Bolivia offer a unique opportunity for agriculture, with higher quality soil than other areas. In recent decades however, there has been a surge in deforestation, mostly a result of large landholding Brazilian migrants who arrived in the 1980s [Read More…]

Inter-American Court Determines that Dominican Republic Used Excessive Force Against Haitian Migrants

Photo by: Inside Disaster

Following more than two decades of tensions between Haitian descendants and the Dominican Republic, at least one group of Haitians now has a judgment against the Dominican Republic. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR, Court), in its decision in the Case of Nadege Dorzema et al. v. Dominican Republic, said  that seven people died [Read More…]

Country Visits Continue to Serve as Vital Tool for Human Rights Protection in the Americas

CC image courtesy of OAS.

In its latest country report, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR, Commission) reflected on its 2008 country visit to Jamaica and raised grave concerns regarding the high levels of continued violence inside the country. The report suggests the importance of country visits in order to collect evidence, conduct interviews, and learn more about the [Read More…]

General Situation of Human Rights in Venezuela

Photo by Oliver Contreras/Eddie Arrossi Photography/IACHR

Commissioners: Felipe González, Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, Rodrigo Escobar Gil State: Venezuela In the wake of Venezuela government’s recent decision to denounce the American Convention on Human Rights (Convention), the state’s representatives at a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR, Commission) expressed strong criticism of the large role that non-State Parties to the [Read More…]

Human Rights Court Hands Another Victory to Indigenous and Tribal Communities

Photo by Lou Gold

From the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, the Yanacocha gold mine in Peru, and oil exploration activities in the Ecuadorian Amazon, the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples stand in sharp contrast with the often pro-development stances of national governments in the Americas that grant concessions and allow corporations to build, dig, and drill. In [Read More…]

Human Rights Situation in Venezuela (II)

Photo credit: U.S. Permanent Mission to OAS

Commissioners: Tracy Robinson, Felipe González, Rodrigo Escobar Gil, Emilio Álvarez Icaza (Executive Secretary). Petitioners: Comité de Víctimas de los Sucesos de Febrero-Marzo de 1989 (COFAVIC) / Acción Solidaria contra el Sida (ACSOL) / Vicaría de Derechos Humanos de la Arquidiócesis de Caracas. State: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela In a second hearing on the general human [Read More…]

Venezuela Seeks to Withdraw from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

CC Image courtesy of Valter Campanato on Flickr

After months of speculation and multiple official announcements, Venezuela has taken a decisive move to cut ties with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) by withdrawing from the American Convention on Human Rights (American Convention). On September 6, 2012, Venezuela formally notified the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) of its [Read More…]

Investigative Judge Refuses to Prosecute Duvalier for Crimes Against Humanity

Jean-Claude 'Baby-Doc' Duvalier 1975 CC Image Courtesy of a-birdie on Flickr

During the 1970s and 1980s Jean-Claude Duvalier, known as “Baby Doc” ruled Haiti with repressive tactics that included forced disappearances, torture, and detention. In 1986, after being overthrown by a popular rebellion, Duvalier fled Haiti along with an alleged $300 to $800 million USD embezzled during his Presidency. After nearly twenty-five years in exile and [Read More…]