Press Release

IACHR Presents its 2010 Annual Report

April 15, 2011

Washington, D.C. — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) today presented its 2010 Annual Report to the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs of the Organization of American States (OAS).

The report consists of four chapters that recount the activities carried out by the Commission and its Rapporteurships in 2010 and provide information on the processing of petitions and cases and the granting of precautionary measures throughout the year. In addition, Chapter IV contains special sections on the human rights situation in Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, and Venezuela, countries the IACHR believed warranted special attention in 2010.

With respect to Colombia, the report notes that despite the attempts aimed at dismantling the armed structure of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, illegal armed groups continue to be involved in the commission of crimes. The IACHR is keenly aware of the complex situation facing Colombia after five decades of violence, and the report stresses that the State has made commendable efforts to move forward with the peace process through the demobilization of armed actors and the protection of its citizens. The Commission also welcomes the dialogue between Colombia's new authorities and the IACHR, which will make it possible to move forward in the defense and promotion of human rights in that country.

With respect to Cuba, the report indicates that the restrictions on political rights, freedom of expression, and dissemination of thought, the lack of elections, the lack of an independent judicial branch, and the restrictions on the freedom of movement and residence constitute a permanent situation of violation of the fundamental rights of Cuba's citizens. The section on Cuba examines the impact of the economic sanctions implemented by the United States on the enjoyment of the human rights of the island's inhabitants, as well as political repression, deprivation of liberty of political dissidents, and restrictions on the right of residence and movement, among other matters.

With respect to Honduras, the report raises a number of structural issues in the areas of justice, security, marginalization, and discrimination that for decades have been problematic for the human rights of its people and that have worsened since the 2009 coup d'état. The section on Honduras contains information on murders, harassment, and persecution of human rights defenders and other social leaders; harassment and persecution of magistrates identified as opposed to the coup d'état; violations of the right to freedom of expression; and poor implementation of precautionary measures, among other matters.

With respect to Venezuela, the report examines the situation of freedom of thought and expression, the judicial branch’s lack of independence and autonomy from the political branches of government, the serious obstacles human rights defenders face in carrying out their work, and the situation of violence in prisons, among other matters. The report also notes the progress achieved in the area of economic, social, and cultural rights, both with the recognition of education, health, housing, and universal social security as constitutionally protected rights, and with implementation of policies and measures designed to correct the problems besetting vast sectors of the Venezuelan population.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 30/11