Freedom of Expression

IACHR elects Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression



No. 29/08





Washington, D.C., July 21, 2007 — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) today elected Colombian attorney Catalina Botero Marino as Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression.


The IACHR would like to underscore the excellent quality of the interviews with the five finalists for the position. In its Resolution 04/06, dated October 26, 2006, the IACHR established among the rules of procedure that guide the appointment of Special Rapporteurs that it would make public the criteria on which it based its decision on the election. To this effect, the Commission would like to emphasize Dr. Botero Marino’s knowledge about the right to freedom of expression and about the inter-American human rights system. The Commission also took into consideration her strategic vision and work plan for the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, as well as her outstanding professional career in the academic field, as a judge, and in the Office of the People’s Defender of Colombia.


Dr. Botero Marino has been working as Auxiliary Magistrate in the Constitutional Court of Colombia since 2005. Previously she had held a number of posts, including: National Director of the Office for the Promotion and Dissemination of Human Rights, in the Office of the People’s Defender of Colombia; Director of the Consultancy for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law at the Social Foundation; adviser for the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Nation; and professor and researcher at the Law School of the Universidad de los Andes. She received her law degree in 1988 at the Universidad de los Andes and did postgraduate studies at that university, as well as in Madrid, Spain, at Universidad Complutense, the Center for Constitutional Studies and the Universidad Carlos III.


The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression is full-time, functionally independent office with its own budget. It was established by the IACHR in 1998 and operates within the Commission’s legal framework. It is responsible for safeguarding the protection and promotion of freedom of thought and expression in the region.