Visit to Mexico (April 9-14, 2007)
The Unit for Human Rights Defenders joined IACHR Chair Florentín Meléndez on a visit to Mexico, which took place April 9-14, 2007. During the visit, the Unit met with human rights defenders and received up-to-date information on their situation in that country. The IACHR Chair also made a presentation, alongside State authorities and human rights defenders, of the Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Americas.
Visit to Haiti (November 3-5, 2005)
The Unit joined the November 3-5, 2005, visit to Haiti made by the IACHR Commissioner/Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child in conjunction with UNICEF. The visit included a training seminar on how to use the inter-American system, and specifically the mechanism of precautionary measures, to protect human rights defenders. The Commission also learned about defenders' lack of protection in the zones de non-droit (areas where State security forces are not present), in which hundreds of thousands of citizens, most of whom are children and adolescents, are utterly defenseless victims of increasingly blatant violations of their rights, including the right to life.
Visit to Guatemala (July 18-21, 2005)
The Unit actively participated in the visit by Commission Vice-Chair Susana Villarán to Guatemala, which took place July 18-21, 2005. During the visit, the Unit met with representatives of human rights organizations; justice operators; indigenous, campesino, and union leaders; and journalists to receive information regarding impact the phenomenon of violence in Guatemala was having on them. The IACHR was able to attest that human rights defenders were in extreme jeopardy, a problem aggravated by the lack of adequate protective measures and the impunity with which the threats and attacks were occurring.
Onsite Visit to Guatemala (March 24-29, 2003)
The Commission carried out an onsite visit to the Republic of Guatemala on March 24-29, 2003, at the invitation of the government of President Alfonso Portillo, to observe the human rights situation in that country. During the visit, the Commission particularly focused its attention on a series of issues including the administration of justice, efforts to end impunity, the situation of human rights defenders, and the discrimination against and social exclusion of indigenous peoples, women, and children, among other matters. The Commission underscored the fundamental importance of these issues for achieving the effective observance of the rule of law in a democratic society, and at the same time noted that democracy and the rule of law are necessary conditions for achieving the observance of and respect for human rights. More information: Press Releases 6/03 and 8/03
Visit to Guatemala (July 23-26, 2002)
A delegation of the IACHR, led by Commissioner Susana Villarán and the Executive Secretary, with the participation of the Unit for Human Rights Defenders, visited Guatemala to evaluate the situation of defenders in that country. During the visit, the delegation met with government authorities and representatives of different sectors of civil society. It also participated in the Second Regional Consultation on Human Rights Defenders and the National Workshop on Human Rights Defenders, both held in Guatemala City.