IACHR

Staff

Emilio Alvarez Icaza Emilio Álvarez Icaza

Emilio Álvarez Icaza Longoria is the Executive Secretary of the IACHR since August 16, 2012. 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-Mexico). In 1999 he was elected Counselor of the Electoral Institute of the Federal District; later, in 2001, he was elected President (Ombudsman) of the Commission of Human Rights of the Federal District (CDHDF), position he held until 2009. He has been professor of human rights in the Graduate Division of UNAM’s Law School, among other scholarly activities. He has been panelist and given conferences in more than 300 forums, seminars, and coloquia in Mexico, the United States, Europe and Latin America. He has published more than 80 articles in Mexico and other countries; and he is author of the book “To understand: Human Rights in Mexico.” In addition, he has participated in several civil society initiatives, including as Director General of the National Center for Social Communication (Cencos) and as cofounder of Civic Alliance, A.C. 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. He has also participated in printed media, and in radio and TV programs. He has received more than 50 recognitions, awards and national and international distinctions.

Elizabeth Abi-Mershed Elizabeth Abi-Mershed

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 Catalina Botero

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
Executive Secretary 1 0 0 1
Assistant Executive Secretary 1 0 0 1
Lawyers 16 15 0 31
Other professionals 4 1 1 6
Administrative Staff 11 7 0 18
Staff - Subtotal 33 23 1 57
Contracts by Results (CPR) 1 6 0 7
Total 34 29 1 64

Álvaro Botero

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.

Analía Banfi Vique 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’s Registry and is currently a lawyer in the EFP (English, French, Portuguese) 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). Since January 2013 she’s an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University.

E. Débora Benchoam 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 Melanie Blackwell

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

Marisol Blanchard Vera, a U.S. and Chilean attorney and human rights specialist, has worked in the IACHR since 2000. She currently coordinates the work of the Secretariat related to the rights of boys, girls and adolescents. She has held different responsibilities within the office, including the coordination of the Secretariat and as Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary, of the Rapporteurship on Human Rights Defenders, and of Social, Economic and Cultural Rights. She has also coordinated work involving Mexico, El Salvador and Paraguay, and has collaborated in different thematic rapporteurships such as freedom of expression, indigenous peoples’ rights and migrants, as well as with the South Cone section. She worked at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) in their Washington, D.C. office, and worked in a law firm and as a public defender in Chile from 1995 to 2000. As a law graduate of the University Diego Portales, Marisol was admitted to the Chilean Bar Association. She graduated cum laude with a Master’s Degree in International Human Rights Law from Notre Dame University, and in 2001 she was awarded with the New Voices Fellowship by the Academy for Educational Development. She has published human rights articles in various topics including freedom of expression, human rights defenders, and social, economic and cultural rights.

Flor Elba Castro 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 Rosa Celorio

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.

Lilly G. Ching-Soto 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 Ivonne Cifuentes

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

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.

Paulina Corominas 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 Michele Cuscana

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

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.

Sofía Galván Sofía Galván

Sofía Galván Puente currently serves as Human Rights Specialist at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), with the Mesoamerica and Spanish-Speaking Caribbean Regional Section; in addition she also focuses on disability rights. She is a Mexican lawyer who earned her law degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), and pursued an LL.M., magna cum laude, in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame – Law School. For four years Sofía Galván was the Director of Disability Rights International for Mexico & Central America, an international organization dedicated to promoting the human rights and full participation in society of people with disabilities worldwide. Prior to that she worked at the Inter-American Human Rights Court as Visiting Professional and at the IACHR as a “Rómulo Gallegos” Fellow. She was also a Notre Dame Fellow at the American Bar Association Rule of Law Iniciative, and collaborated in the Organization of American States’ Electoral Observation Mission in Guatemala as an International Observer. Likewise, she has worked on issues of disability issues and international human rights law in various settings such as government agencies, human rights commissions, universities, legal offices and NGOs. In addition, she has been involved in academic responsibilities such as writing legal publications national and internationally, giving lectures in the Americas and Europe, and teaching.

Patricia Gamarra Patricia Gamarra

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

Dania Giraldo started working at the OAS on August 1, 1980, and she is the IACHR Administrative Official since January 1, 1995.

Fanny Gómez-Lugo Fanny Gómez-Lugo

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 Gloria Gordon

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.

Priscila Horwatt

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.

Lilia Koechlin

Lilia Koechlin

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.

Mario Lopez-Garelli Mario López-Garelli

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 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.

Karin Mansel Karin Mansel

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

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 CoralCatalina 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 Fiorella Melzi

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 Joyce Mendoza

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

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 Mariella Onetti

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

Andres Pizarro Sotomayor is a Panamanian attorney and human rights specialist. He currently works as an attorney at the Mesoamerica and Spanish-Speaking Caribbean Regional Group (since December 2013); he previously worked as a human rights specialist in charge of the operations of the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas (from October 2009 to November 2013); and in the past he worked as a legal fellow at the Registry Group of the IACHR (2007-2008). Before that, he worked as a consultant for 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), and was an intern with the Project for Support and Modernization of the Prison System in Panama (2005-2006), among other projects. He graduated from the School of Law at Santa María La Antigua University in Panama (2006) and did a master degree in Human Rights Law (LL.M.) at the University of Notre Dame Law School in the United States (2009). He has several publications on human rights, including the translation into Spanish of the Sourcebook on Solitary Confinement by Dr. Sharon Shalev.

Federico Portillo Federico Portillo

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.

Maria Claudia Pulido 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 Friendly Settlements Group; 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 coordinator of the Administrative and Financial Section of the Executive Secretariat.

Ilcia Rivas Ilcia Rivas

Ilcia Rivas, citizen of El Salvador and the United States, 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 also holds a double Master in Business Administration and Master of Science with Specialization in Project Management.

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

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

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 Angels Simon

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.

Hilaire Sobers Hilaire Sobers

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 Ronald Soltes

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 Marta Tavares

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.