Emilio Álvarez Icaza Longoria is the designated Executive Secretary of the IACHR. The Commission made its choice on July 20, 2012, of Emilio Álvarez Icaza for the post of Executive Secretary through a competitive call for resumés and after a comprehensive, open, transparent and participatory process. A Mexican national, Emilio Álvarez Icaza has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), as well as a Master’s Degree in Social Sciences from the Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO) from that country. In 1999 he was elected Counselor of the Electoral Institute of the Federal District; later, in 2001, he was elected President of the Commission of Human Rights of the Federal District (CDHDF), position he held until 2009. He has also practiced journalism in several media outlets, and teaches human rights at the Law School of the National University of Mexico (UNAM). He has written books and a number of articles that have been published in Mexican and foreign publications. He was the Director General of the National Center for Social Communication (Cencos) and cofounder of Civic Alliance, both of them civil society organizations from Mexico. He has been an independent consultant and expert in issues relating to human rights, democracy, citizen participation, civil society and public policy, in Mexico and in international organizations.
Elizabeth Abi-Mershed is the Assistant Executive Secretary of the IACHR and, since July 1, 2012, the Interim Executive Secretary. A United States citizen, she is the Commission's Legal Director, in charge of coordinating and supervising the preparation of all reports on cases and thematic and country reports. She also coordinates the work of the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Women, as well as the specialized group that litigates cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. She has worked at the IACHR since 1992 and has held the post of Assistant Executive Secretary since 2007. Elizabeth Abi-Mershed studied law at American University's Washington College of Law and did her postgraduate studies in international and comparative law at Georgetown University.
Catalina Botero has been the IACHR Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression since October 2008. A Colombian attorney, she served as Auxiliary Magistrate and Acting Magistrate at the Constitutional Court of Colombia and worked at other public institutions, such as the Office of the Ombudsman and Office of the Attorney General. She was founder and coordinator of the constitutional law specialty at the University of the Andes Law School and taught constitutional law at the same university for more than ten years. She has also been a guest lecturer at the Institute for Comparative Public Law at Carlos III University in Madrid (Spain), Simón Bolívar Andean University in Sucre (Bolivia), the Manuela Ramos Institute in Lima (Peru), the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, FLACSO (Ecuador), and the Northwestern University Law School, among others. She is the author of articles and essays on freedom of expression, constitutional law, international humanitarian law, international criminal law, and transitional justice.
Information on the number of employees of the IACHR Executive Secretariat (updated September 30, 2012)
|Cathegory||Regular Fund||Specific Funds||ICR (Indirect cost Recovery)||Total|
|Assistant Executive Secretary||1||0||0||1|
|Staff - Subtotal||33||23||1||57|
|Contracts by Results (CPR)||1||6||0||7|
Álvaro Botero Navarro works as a human rights specialist with the IACHR Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrants. He is a Colombian attorney who graduated from Del Norte University and has a master's in advanced human rights studies from Carlos III University in Madrid, Spain. He studied international migration at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and has completed human rights programs and academic residencies at universities in Finland, Italy, France, and Spain. He was awarded the IACHR Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship (2008-2009). Previously he has worked as a consultant for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) on issues related to access to justice for vulnerable groups in Ibero-America. He has also worked for UNDP and the government of Finland on human rights training programs in Guatemala. His experience also includes coordinating a program to monitor and evaluate indicators on quality of life and human rights in Colombia, and providing legal assistance to nongovernmental organizations. He has several publications to his name on human rights and transitional justice.
Cristina Blanco works as a human rights specialist with the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Mesoamerica and Spanish-Speaking Caribbean Regional Section. A Peruvian national, she earned her law degree at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, graduating summa cum laude, and she is a master's candidate in human rights at the same university. Before joining the IACHR, she worked for several years at the Pontifical Catholic University's Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, where she coordinated the academic area. She has also done various legal research projects and consultancies in areas related to human rights for academic institutions and organizations. She has also taught courses in international law and human rights at the Faculty of Law at her alma mater. She has been published in a number of books and magazines on human rights.
Nerea Aparicio is a Human Rights Specialist in the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and has more than 14 years of experience in the human rights area and in institutional strengthening with the United Nations and with the IACHRH. Since joining the Executive Secretariat in 2006, Ms. Aparicio has focused on the following geographic regions: Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay) and Andean I (Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador). Currently, Nerea Aparicio is in charge of petitions and cases related to the Andean Section II (Peru and Bolivia). Previously, Ms. Aparicio served as a consultant for various clients, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on Parliamentary Immunity in Guatemala and the Office in Colombia of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, where she wrote a manual for assessing human rights and international humanitarian law violations for the Colombian Ombudsman’s Office. From 1995 to 2000 Nerea Aparicio served first as a Legal Officer in the United Nations Mission for the Verification of the Peace Accords in Guatemala (MINUGUA) in its Zacapa Regional Office and later as a Human Rights and Justice Officer in the Human Rights Area at the Headquarters, where she supervised the work in human rights of several UN Mission’s Regional Offices, she was MINUGUA’s focal point on the issue of reparations to victims of human rights violations and issues related to the establishment and functioning of the Historical Clarification Commission as well as the follow up of its recommendations. Nerea Aparicio is Spanish and U.S. citizen who earned her law degree from the University of Deusto (Bilbao, Spain) and her LL.M degree in International Legal Studies (LL.M) on human rights and business from the Washington College of Law at the American University in Washington D.C. Nerea Aparicio is a member of the Madrid Bar Association since 1997. She has published articles on human rights and has participated in numerous workshops and seminars involving NGOs, members of the security forces and Ombudsmen’s staff members.
Analía Banfi Vique
Analía Banfi Vique, an attorney with a degree in international relations, has worked at the IACHR since September 2007. She worked until June 2010 in the IACHR Registry Group and is currently a lawyer in the EFP Regional Section, which handles countries with languages other than Spanish. A Uruguayan national, she studied law and international relations at the University of the Republic (Montevideo, Uruguay) and obtained a master's degree in human rights and humanitarian law at the University of Paris II, Panthéon-Assas (Paris, France). Previously she was a co-writer on the 2006-2007 Report on Justice in the Americas, published by the OAS Justice Studies Center of the Americas; participated in preparing draft international instruments at UNESCO (Paris); and was an intern at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (San José, Costa Rica) and at the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (Brussels, Belgium).
E. Débora Benchoam
E. Débora Benchoam, an Argentine citizen, studied law at Georgetown University and did postgraduate studies in education at Columbia University's Teachers College. She has worked at the IACHR since 1999, where she has held such jobs as specialist in the areas of freedom of expression and rights of the child, and as the point person on matters related to Bolivia and Venezuela. Since 2009, she has been coordinator of the Protection Group.
Melanie Blackwell, a U.S. citizen, began working at the IACHR in 2006 as an administrative assistant on the Colombia desk. In late 2006, she was named administrator of the database for petitions and cases before the IACHR, a job she has held since then. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied languages. She learned Spanish in El Salvador as a child and honed her language skills through university exchange programs in Peru, Argentina, and Costa Rica.
Marisol Blanchard Vera
Marisol Blanchard Vera, a Chilean-U.S. attorney and human rights specialist, has worked at the IACHR since 2003. She is currently on leave for a sabbatical. Previously, she worked in the Southern Cone Section and is the Secretariat's coordinator for matters related to economic, social, and cultural rights. She worked at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) in Washington, and from 1995 to 2000 she worked in Chile for various law firms as well as centers for free legal assistance. Marisol Blanchard studied law at Diego Portales University and did a master's in international human rights law at the University of Notre Dame. In 2001, she won a New Voices Fellowship. She has done a number of publications on human rights issues such as freedom of expression, protection for human rights defenders, and economic, social, and cultural rights.
Lisl Brunner is a human rights specialist with the Commission's Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. She holds a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh, where she was graduated magna cum laude, and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the College of William & Mary. She has worked in various posts at the IACHR since 2008 and prior to that, she worked at a Research Assistant at the University of Pittsburgh and in criminal public defense. She speaks English and Spanish and has published several articles on human rights issues in the Americas.
Flor Elba Castro
Flor Elba Castro is an industrial engineer from Colombia. She has worked at the IACHR since July 2010, as a project management specialist with the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. From 2004 to 2009, she served as deputy director of planning and international cooperation at the Center for the Study of Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia) in Colombia. From 2001 to 2004 she was project manager for the Human Rights Promoters Network at the Office of the Ombudsman in Colombia. From 1988 to 2001 she worked as an adviser and manager in various areas of public management, specifically in planning and programming, public budget, and international cooperation, specializing in the design, formulation, execution, evaluation, auditing, and management of projects. She has a Master of Business Administration degree and has done postgraduate studies in human rights, transparency and accountability, and the fight against corruption.
Rosa Celorio works as an Attorney and Specialist for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights since December of 2004. In that capacity, she coordinates the execution of the legal work, projects, and the activities of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Women, and supports the work of the Subregional Section EFP, which handles countries with languages other than Spanish. She has worked in the field of human rights, discrimination and gender issues for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM-currently UN Women) in New York and Ecuador; as a Lecturer in Law for George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.; as a lawyer in the law firms of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey and Lehane in Boston and O’Neill & Borges in Puerto Rico; as well as in Greater Boston Legal Services and Centro Presente in Boston. Rosa Celorio is from Puerto Rico and studied International Politics and Law at Georgetown University, in Boston College, and in the Political Science Institute of the University of Strasbourg, in France. She is a member of the State Bars of New York and Massachusetts.
Daniel Cerqueira, a Brazilian citizen, has worked at the IACHR Executive Secretariat since January 2006, first with the Protection Group and now as a specialist with the Andean Region Section II (Bolivia and Peru). From May 2006 to September 2007, he worked as an attorney consultant and specialist for the IACHR Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. He holds degrees in law from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (2005) and in international relations from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (2005). Since December 2005 he has belonged to the State of Minas Gerais Bar Association. He obtained a Master's Degree(LL.M.) in international law at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He has had articles published in Portuguese and Spanish on international law, international human rights law, and international relations.
Lilly G. Ching-Soto
Lilly G. Ching-Soto, a Costa Rican attorney, studied law at the University of Costa Rica and earned her master's degree in international human rights law at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. She has been a human rights specialist with the Inter-American Commission since 2003. At the IACHR, she is part of the Litigation Group, which provides support in litigating cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Previously she worked in several capacities within the inter-American system, as a lawyer for the Inter-American Court (2001-2003), a Rómulo Gallegos Fellow at the IACHR (2000-2001), and an assistant in the legal area of the Inter-American Court (1998-2000).
Ivonne Cifuentes is the financial officer of the IACHR since May 2009. A Colombian citizen she graduated from the Universidad de los Andes as an Industrial Engineer with emphasis in finance and production, obtaining an academic certificate on economics at the same university. She worked as professors’ assistant performing research and teaching tasks in the Faculty of Engineering of the Universidad de los Andes. Before joining the IACHR, she worked at financial and private companies in Colombia as investment banker and planning analyst, and studied Mandarin Chinese and Chinese culture during the time she lived in Shanghai, China. Currently, she is pursuing an MBA (Master in Business Administration) at the IE Business School (Madrid, Spain) for which she has been awarded with a scholarship from the IE Foundation. She speaks English, Spanish and has knowledge in Mandarin Chinese.
Norma A. C. Colledani Toranzo
Norma A. C. Colledani Toranzo of Argentina is a human rights specialist with the IACHR, where she has held different positions since 2002. She is currently one of the lawyers on the team for the Southern Cone Regional Section. She is also in charge of issues related to economic, social, and cultural rights in the Executive Secretariat, and coordinates the Commission's Fellowship and Internship Program. Norma Colledani studied law at the National University of Tucumán, Argentina, where she graduated at the top of her class (2001). She pursued postgraduate studies in women's human rights at the National University of Chile and a master's degree (LL.M.) in international law and human rights at American University's Washington College of Law (2006), in Washington, D.C.
Evelyn M. Colón Arias
Evelyn M. Colón Arias, a lawyer from the Dominican Republic, is a human rights specialist. She has worked as an IACHR staff attorney since November 2008, first in the Registry Section and since January 2012 in the Friendly Settlement Group. She studied law at the Mother and Teacher Pontifical Catholic University (PUCMM) in Santiago, Dominican Republic; later she pursued advanced studies in international law and international relations at the Ortega y Gasset Institute, and a human rights specialization at Madrid's Complutense University. Previously she worked in her country as deputy academic director at the Public Ministry's National School, and was a professor of public international law and human rights at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (USAD) and at PUCMM.
Paulina Corominas Etchegaray
Paulina Corominas Etchegaray is a Mexican attorney. She has worked at the IACHR since March 2006, currently in the Southern Cone Regional Section. Previously she was on the staff of Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (2001; 2002-2006). During her last university years, she worked in Mexico City for the Bufete Jurídico Gratuito Social A.C., providing legal consultation and representation to low-income people. She graduated from the Panamerican University Law School in Mexico City (2000). She pursued a Master of Fundamental Rights degree at Carlos III University in Madrid, Spain (2002); participated in the 33rd Study Session at the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France (2002); and studied human rights with a specialization in access to justice at the Ibero-American University in Mexico City (2004).
Michele Cuscana works as an administrative assistant for the Andean Region II (Peru and Bolivia). She worked at the IACHR between 2007 and 2008 assisting the Mesoamerican Region and the desks of English-speaking countries (United States, Canada and Caribbean). She returned to the IACHR in April 2012. At the OAS she also worked in the Summits of the Americas Secretariat as Documents Specialist and Administrative and Financial Officer. She graduated in Finances and Banking.
Silvia Fitte de Amieva
Silvia Fitte de Amieva has been the Commission's Project Officer since 2002. In that capacity, she is in charge of establishing relationships with outside donors to raise funds; administering those funds; and presenting donor reports. An Argentine national, she has an undergraduate degree in political science and a master's in international relations from the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, and a master's in international relations from Georgetown University. In 1980, she entered the Foreign Service Institute of the Argentine Republic through public competition and completed two years of study for a diplomatic career. She worked in diplomacy for 20 years. In 1987, she was appointed to the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the OAS; in 1996 she was posted to the Embassy of Argentina in Canada; and from 1998 to 2000 she was Consul of Argentina in Washington.
Patricia Gamarra, a Bolivian national, works an administrative specialist for the IACHR. She graduated from the University of Brasilia, in Brazil, with a postgraduate degree in hospitality and tourism. She speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and English. She has experience in a number of operational and administrative roles and is a specialist in coordinating and managing special events in both the private and public sector. Before coming to the IACHR, she worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers as an independent contractor and coordinated logistics for training workshops for the United State Agency for International Development. She also worked for 10 years at the Embassy of Bolivia.
Dania Giraldo started working at the OAS on August 1, 1980, and she is the IACHR Administrative Official since January 1, 1995.
Fanny Gómez works as a human rights specialist at the Unit for the Rights of Lesbians, Gays, Trans, Bisexual and Intersex Persons (LGTBI), within the IACHR, since its inception in February 2012. She works at the IACHR since July 2007, where she started as a fellow for the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Women. Fanny is a Venezuelan attorney and a graduate of Andrés Bello Catholic University (2003). She earned a Master of Laws degree with a concentration in international law at McGill University (2006). On a scholarship from the University of Chile, she pursued graduate studies in "Human Rights and Women: Theory and Practice" (2008). She completed the Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program (WLPPFP) at the Georgetown University Law Center (2010). Previously, she was an external consultant for Human Rights Watch and worked with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network to draft model legislation on violence and discrimination against women in sub-Saharan Africa. She is currently an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University.
Gloria Gordon, a Salvadoran national, works at the IACHR since 1993. She is currently the Documents Technician, function that includes the coordination and supervision of all the publications and decisions of the Commission. Before working at the OAS, she worked for the Food and Drug Administration of the US Federal Government. Previously, she served in the US Air Force, where she studied Administration.
Tatiana Gos is a lawyer from Argentina. She works at the IACHR since 2011 and is currently a Human Rights Specialist on the Litigation Group before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which provides support in litigating cases of the Inter-American Commmission before the IA Court HR. Before, she worked for the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Afrodescendants and against Racial Discrimination, and as a consultant for the Region on Mesoamerica and Spanish-speaking countries in the Caribbean. In her country, she worked several years at the National Public Defender's Office. In addition, she is assistant teacher of International Public Law at the Law School of the University of Buenos Aires, and she has taken postgraduate courses at the School of Political Science and International Studies at the Torcuato Di Tella University. She has also participated in projects of juridical investigation and has produced documents on criminal law, international public law and human rights.
Priscila Horwatt, a Peruvian national, studied Administration in Tourism and Hotels in the private university San Martín de Porres. She works ath the Inter-American Commission since 2006. She first worked as administrative assistant preparing the paperwork of cases, petitions and precautionary measures of Argentina. She currently works in the Regional Section Southern Cone, which deals with matters of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, in the different procedural stages and thematic areas.
Leonardo Jun Ferreira Hidaka
Leonardo Jun Ferreira Hidaka is a Brazilian attorney and member of the Brazilian Bar Association. He graduated from Pará State Federal University in Brazil (2000). In May 2004 he graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame’s LL.M. (Master of Laws) Program in International Human Rights Law. He was a lawyer with the Department of International Protection and Defense of Human Rights at the Pará Society for the Defense of Human Rights (SDDH), a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Belém, in the state of Pará (2000-2001). He also worked as an attorney with the International Human Rights Program at GAJOP – Legal Aid to Grassroots Organizations, an NGO in Recife, in Pernambuco state (2001-2003). He started working at the IACHR in 2004 on a Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship and is now an attorney in the EFP Regional Section, which handles countries with languages other than Spanish. He has coauthored several books on human rights.
Lilia Koechlin, of Peruvian nationality, began working at the IACHR in July 2006 as an administrative assistant. She currently does administrative and support tasks on the DMS and PCMS systems. She studied at the Main National University of San Marcos (executive secretarial studies), at the Catholic University of Peru (English), and at Garcilazo de la Vega University (Economics). She worked in Peru as an executive secretary in the Ministry of Economics and Finance; in the Credit Management Office of the Banco Industrial; and at the SUNAT National Administration of Systems and International Consultancy until 2002. In the United States, she worked as a secretary in the Inter-American Development Corporation at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) until June 2006.
Flor de María Landázuri
Flor de María Landázuri, a Peruvian national, attended the Universidad Católica del Perú, where she studied Public Relations. In Peru she worked at SATCO, an airline. In the United States, she started volunteering at the OAS in 1980, where she worked in several Departments, until in 1996 she was transfered to the IACHR. At the Commission she worked in the Documents section, then as administrative assistant for country desks, and currently she supports the Protection Group and the Documents Office.
Mario López-Garelli, a Paraguayan national, is an attorney with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. He has worked at the IACHR since 1995. He is currently responsible for coordinating the Commission's EFP Regional Section (composed of Brazil, Canada, United States, Haiti, Suriname, and the OAS Member States in the English-speaking Caribbean); the activities of the IACHR Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families; and the Inter-American Commission's sessions and hearings. He has worked on cases and issues involving a number of OAS Member States and has participated in a number of onsite investigation visits and special sessions outside headquarters. Before he joined the IACHR Executive Secretariat, he served as Executive Secretary of the Paraguayan National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO, legal adviser with the ITAIPÚ Binational Entity, and Professor of Law at the National University of Asunción.
Clara Cecilia López Moreno
A Colombian citizen, Clara Cecilia López Moreno studied languages, with a specialization in English and Spanish, at the National Pedagogical University of Bogotá. She had studied to work as a business secretary. She received a scholarship from the Youth for Understanding Program to participate in a one-year exchange program in the city of Los Angeles, where she finished high school. She has worked at the IACHR since 2007 on the Registry Group. Previously she worked for three years as an administrative assistant at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). She also worked for 10 years as a language teacher at Cafam High School in Bogotá. She has also worked as an executive secretary at the Ministry of National Education in Bogotá and the National Pedagogical University.
Isabel Madariaga is a Chilean attorney and human rights specialist. She has worked at the IACHR since 2000. She is coordinator of the Mesoamerica and Spanish-speaking Caribbean Regional Group and of the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. From 1985 to 1999, she worked in Chile in the field of human rights and indigenous peoples. Isabel Madariaga studied law at the University of Chile and did postgraduate studies in Democratization Processes and Human Rights at the same university. She is the author of several publications on the inter-American human rights system and the rights of indigenous peoples.
Víctor Madrigal-Borloz has been a senior specialist with the Commission since 2007. He oversees the initial examination of all petitions that are received and manages an IACHR program to eliminate the processing backlog. Previously he coordinated the Commission's Litigation Group, where he supervised the litigation of all cases, advisory opinions, and provisional measures before the Inter-American Court. Prior to that, he served as an attorney at the Inter-American Court (San José, Costa Rica) from 1995 to 1997, and headed its Legal Department from 1997 to 1999. From 1999 to 2002, he was Project Manager and from 2002 to 2004, Senior Legal Adviser and Team Leader for Access to Justice at the Danish Institute for Human Rights (Copenhagen, Denmark). Since 2002, he has chaired the annual international sessions of the International Centre for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (Copenhagen), and he chaired its 2006 and 2009 General Assemblies. He cofounded the Costa Rican Association of International Law (1992) and the Latin American Council of International and Comparative Law (1994), and was coeditor of its law review, Foro Latinoamericano, from 1994 to 1996.
Karin Mansel is a licensed attorney of the Lima Bar Association with a comprehensive knowledge of international human rights law. At the IACHR Ms. Mansel works with Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. She graduated from the Catholic University of Peru Law School and she has earned an LL.M. degree in Public International Law from Leiden University. Immediately prior to assuming her current position in July 2006 she was based in Peru working for the Ministry of the Presidency in development issues. In 2004 Ms. Mansel earned the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She has also worked as Assistant Legal Officer at the Victims Participation and Reparation Unit of the International Criminal Court and at the Institute of International Studies of her hometown university. She was also an intern at the Executive Secretariat of the Andean Community and legal assistant at Peña, Lozano, Faura & Associates, in Peru.
Ana Cecilia Márquez-Rey
Ana Cecilia Márquez-Rey, who is from Peru, began working at the IACHR in 1994. She is now a senior secretary in the office of the Executive Secretary and works directly for him. Her tasks include coordinating the work of the administrative assistants in the Commission's Executive Secretariat. Ana Cecilia Márquez-Rey completed her technical studies as an executive bilingual secretary in Lima, Peru. Before coming to the United States in 1992, she worked in the private sector, including at the commercial firm Hogar S.A. and the Banco de los Andes in Cuzco, Peru.
Catalina Martínez Coral
Catalina Martínez Coral, a Colombian citizen, works as a human rights specialist with the IACHR Registry Section. She graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) and the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, where she obtained master's degrees in political science (2008) and in international law with an emphasis on human rights (2009). In 2010 and 2011, she worked as a legal officer with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). She has also been a professor of public international law at the Pontifical Javeriana University in Bogotá. From 2006 to 2009, she gained professional practicum experience with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and the IACHR.
Fiorella Melzi is a Peruvian attorney and human rights specialist. She has worked for the Inter-American Commission since August 2006, first with the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Women and now with the Mesoamerica and Spanish-Speaking Caribbean Regional Section. Before that, she worked for the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman of Peru, for the United Nations Population Fund, and for nongovernmental organizations. She graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Lima, Peru. She earned a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) at the Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto, Canada, on a scholarship from the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme. She is a member of the Lima Bar Association.
Joyce Mendoza, a Peruvian national, has worked at the IACHR since 2007. She is currently an administrative assistant and specialist in the Press and Outreach Office and the Commission’s Thematic Rapporteurships. Joyce Mendoza studied in Lima to be an executive bilingual secretary. Before coming to the IACHR, she worked for 15 years as international sales supervisor and business manager at a travel and tourism wholesale company, Viajes Iberoamérica Perú, and attended many international sales and marketing seminars.
Jorge Humberto Meza
Jorge Humberto Meza Flores is a Mexican attorney and human rights specialist. He has worked in the IACHR Office of the Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders since its creation in March 2011, during the Commission's 141st session. Prior to that, he was working in the Unit for Human Rights Defenders on a fellowship. He earned his law degree with honorable mention at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He worked in his country as a research assistant at the UNAM Institute for Legal Research, and at the same university's Office for the Coordination of Postgraduate Law Specialties. He has been a consultant on several human rights research projects at public institutions in Mexico and at the IACHR Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. He has written several articles on human rights.
Gloria Amanda Molina
Gloria Amanda Molina, of U.S. nationality, began working at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 1997 as administrative assistant. She is currently working in the EFP Regional Section at the Commission. She completed her studies in Managua, Nicaragua.
Sandra Morin, a Bolivian national born in Cochabamba, is administrative assistant for the Regional Section Andean I, which deals with matters of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. She works at the IACHR since 2006.
Mariella Onetti was born in Lima, Peru. She began working at the IACHR Executive Secretariat as an administrative assistant in the Registry Section. Since then, she has been in charge of handling administrative tasks related to the petitions under review and fielding questions asked by users of the inter-American human rights system. Her administrative experience in the legal field stems from her years of service at the Law Offices of Romeny Wright, P.C., at Realty Title Services, and at SMS Title and Escrow, all based in the U.S. state of Virginia. Mariella Onetti obtained her degree as an executive secretary in Lima, Peru.
Andrés Pizarro Sotomayor
Andrés Pizarro Sotomayor is a Panamanian attorney and human rights specialist. Since October 2009, he has worked for the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas. Previously he worked at the IACHR on a fellowship (2007-2008), and was a consultant at the Due Process of Law Foundation (2006-2007) and at Citizens Alliance for Justice (2006-2007). He did a professional practicum at the Florida Coalition against Human Trafficking (2009), was an intern with the Project for Support and Modernization of the Prison System in Panama (2005-2006), and was a volunteer in the prison program run by the Catholic Church's Justice and Peace Program in Panama (2004). He graduated from the School of Law at Santa María La Antigua University in Panama (2006) and did a master’s in human rights (LL.M.) at the University of Notre Dame Law School in the United States (2009). He has several publications on human rights to his name.
Federico Portillo is a Salvadoran attorney and human rights specialist, and he works with the Commission's Protection Group. He graduated with a degree in legal sciences from Central American University (UCA) in 2004, and obtained a scholarship to complete a master’s in human rights protection from Spain's Alcalá University in 2007. He has taken courses on social programs and human development. He coordinated a CAFTA-USAID project on "Employment Rights of Persons with HIV/AIDS"; received a Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship from the IACHR (2008-2009); did a professional practicum at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and at the Office of the Ombudsman in Spain; and worked for various institutions in El Salvador.
María Claudia Pulido
Maria Claudia Pulido, a Colombian citizen, is a Senior Specialist at the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR since 2001. An attorney graduated at the Law School of the Universidad Externado de Colombia (1986) with graduate studies in Criminal Law at the same university (1988), she specialized in Human Rights at the Superior School of Public Administration (1992) and has an MA in International Law with concentration in human rights from the Washington College of Law, American University (1997 -1998). In her professional career, María Claudia Pulido worked in different areas of protection, promotion and defense of human rights. In the Colombian State, she worked in institutions such as the National Direction of Criminal Instruction, the Office of the General Attorney, and the Office of the Public Prosecutor, where she was responsible of the launching of the Unit of Human Rights Prosecutors. She has also work in regional non-governmental organizations, such as the Center for Justice and International Law. Maria Claudia Pulido is currently in charge of the coordination of the Southern Cone Section and the coordination of the Administrative and Financial Section of the Executive Secretariat; in addition, she is part of the team of the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty. Previously, she was officer at the Guatemala and Peru desks, and general coordinator at the Executive Secretariat.
Lorena Cristina Ramírez
Lorena Cristina Ramírez is currently a human rights specialist with the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the IACHR. She received her law degree Summa Cum Laude in 2002 from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) in Dominican Republic. She holds a Masters degree in Fundamental Rights by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Spain and subsequently studied a LL.M. (Masters of Laws) at the University of Iowa as a United States Department of State Fulbright Scholarship recipient. Before joining the IACHR she was a practicing lawyer in the Dominican Republic, as well as a professor and researcher for the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), on the subjects of Constitutional Law, International Law and Human Rights Law. She interned for International NGO Ayuda en Acción in Madrid. Also, she worked as research assistant for the Institute of International Finance and Development of the University of Iowa as well as a Professional Visitor at the Inter-American Court for Human Rights in San José, Costa Rica.
Ilcia Rivas, who is from El Salvador, has been living in the United States since 1997. She began working at the OAS in 1999 and joined the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in June 2004 as an administrative assistant. In the last three years, she has worked as an administrative specialist. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in business administration. She is currently pursuing graduate studies in business administration.
Leonor Rivera Correa
Leonor Rivera Correa, a Peruvian National, works at the IACHR since 2006. Initially, she worked as Administrative Assistant for the Desks of Bolivia, Peru and Dominican Republic; later she was the Administrative Assistant of the Andean II Region (Peru and Bolivia). Currenlty, she is the Administrative Assistant of the Court Group. In Peru she worked for the Banco de la Vivienda, in the liquidation process of the same Bank, and later in the liquidation processes of the Banco de Fomento, Mutuales de Vivienda and Entidades Financieras.
María Isabel Rivero
María Isabel Rivero is a Uruguayan journalist and has been director of the IACHR Press and Outreach Office since July 2007. She started working at the Commission in 2006, through a competition for the post of press coordinator for the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. She studied social communications at the Catholic University of Uruguay and has a Master of Latin American Studies degree from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Before joining the IACHR, she was a journalist for 15 years, working for an international news agency in Santiago (Chile), Asunción (Paraguay), Montevideo (Uruguay), and Washington, D.C. (United States).
Silvia Serrano Guzmán
Silvia Serrano Guzmán is a Colombian attorney who graduated from the Autonomous University of Bucaramanga and is an LL.M. candidate at Georgetown University. She has worked as a human rights specialist at the IACHR since 2006 in different posts, and since 2009 she has been part of the Litigation Group, which provides support in litigating Commission cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. She also coordinates the work of the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child. Silvia Serrano has a number of human rights publications to her name and regularly participates in training and educational programs on human rights.
Angels Simon has been involved with the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child since June 2012 as an expert consultant on human rights. Before that, she was Regional Program Manager for the nongovernmental organization Save the Children Sweden, where she ran cooperation programs for the Latin America and Caribbean Region (2006-2012). She has also worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Colombia (2003-2006) and at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), both in its Kosovo Mission, as an expert in democratic institutions and human rights (2000-2001), and as an electoral verification officer (2001). Angels Simon obtained her law degree from the University of Barcelona, where she pursued doctoral studies with a research fellowship, and she has a specialization in European public law from the Academy of European Public Law. She taught at the University of Barcelona and the University of Lima, and did a research residency at Uppsala University in Sweden (2002). She has also led various research projects on the rights of children, has been a speaker at seminars, and has coordinated regional and international forums with human rights authorities and organizations.
A citizen of Barbados and Jamaica, Hilaire Sobers has worked at the IACHR as a human rights specialist since 2004. He is currently assigned to the Special Rapporteurship on People of African Descent and Against Racial Discrimination, and to the Unit on the Rights of LGBTI Persons. He graduated from the University of the West Indies (1986) and the Norman Manley Law School (1988), and has done postgraduate studies at the University of Warwick (2003). Before coming to the IACHR, he worked in the field of human rights in Jamaica, where he served as Executive Director of the Independent Jamaican Council for Human Rights. He has also consulted with a number of international human rights organizations, particularly on human rights issues in Jamaica and the Caribbean relating to the death penalty, police abuses of citizens' rights, discrimination against the LGBT community, among others. Outside of the Caribbean, he has participated in international human rights missions to countries like Turkey and South Africa. A former columnist for the Jamaica Observer, Hilaire Sobers has written a number of newspaper articles on these issues.
Ronald Soltes, of U.S. nationality, began working at the IACHR in 2008 as a part-time administrative assistant in the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Women. Shortly thereafter he was hired full time, and he now works for the Mesoamerica and Spanish-Speaking Caribbean Regional Group. He graduated from George Mason University, where he studied languages. He learned Portuguese in Brazil and also speaks Spanish.
Marta Tavares is a Venezuelan attorney, and she currently works as a human rights specialist with the IACHR Registry Group. She graduated from the University of Zulia in 2002 and did her postgraduate studies in international human rights law at American University's Washington College of Law (2007). She was a Rómulo Gallegos Fellow (2007-2008) and did a number of professional practicums at nongovernmental organizations based in Washington, D.C. She has also worked on the state of Zulia’s Civil and Commercial Court and Court for the Protection of Children and Adolescents.
Catalina Ugalde is a Bolivian attorney. She has worked for the IACHR since March 2012 as a human rights specialist with the Friendly Settlement Group. Previously she worked as a political analyst in the Political Analysis and Scenarios Section of the Department of Democratic Sustainability and Special Missions of the Organization of American States (OAS), and as a consultant to the Permanent Mission of Bolivia to the OAS. In 2007 she obtained a master's degree in diplomacy and international relations at the Diplomatic School of Madrid, Spain.