Press Release

IACHR Announces Establishment of Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts for Nicaragua

July 2, 2018

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Managua - Following recommendation number 3 of the Preliminary Observations of its working visit, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announces the establishment of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI, by its Spanish acronym) for Nicaragua, with the objective of contributing to and supporting the investigations of the violent acts that have taken place in the country since April 18th,  in the framework of the social protests.

The GIEI shall be composed of: Amérigo Incalcaterra, Sofía Macher, Claudia Paz y Paz and Pablo Parenti, persons of high technical level and recognized trajectory in the protection of human rights. The members of the GIEI have been selected by the IACHR and appointed by the Secretary General of the OAS. The members of the GIEI have arrived in Managua on July 1 to begin their work.

Amérigo Incalcaterra worked in the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as Regional Representative for South America, Representative in Mexico and Guatemala, and Deputy Director in Colombia. He also served as Deputy Commissioner of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). He participated in peacekeeping operations in Central America, served as Advisor to the UN Department of Political Affairs and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and advised the Special Representatives of the Secretary General. He held protection and programme positions with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Cuba and Angola.

Sofía Macher is a sociologist with a Master's degree in Gender Studies and a PhD in Sociology. She has been a Commissioner in two Truth Commissions (Peru and Solomon Islands), a consultant in five other transition processes (Colombia, Yemen, Libya, Sri Lanka and Tunisia), and participated in several others. She was a member of the OAS Dialogue on the return to democracy in Peru, representing civil society. She presided over the Reparations Council of the Peruvian State, which prepared the Single Register of Victims (2006-2014). She has held positions in various human rights bodies (National Human Rights Coordinator-Peru, Amnesty International and others).

Claudia Paz y Paz holds a PhD in Criminal Law and Human Rights from the University of Salamanca, Spain. Scholar, judge, litigator, she worked for more than 25 years to strengthen justice in Guatemala. Former Attorney General of the Public Prosecutor's Office of Guatemala (2010-2014). He worked for the IACHR as part of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) of Ayotzinapa, Mexico. She was Secretary of Multidimensional Security of the OAS (2017-2018).

Pablo Parenti is a lawyer (Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1995), Master in International Criminal Jurisdiction (Universidad Internacional de Andalucía, Spain, 2004). He is a federal prosecutor in Argentina and has been working for almost 20 years in cases of crimes against humanity. He was coordinator of the Public Prosecutor's Office's Unit for Coordination and Follow-up of Cases of Human Rights Violations during State Terrorism (2007-2012)and since 2012 he has been in charge of the Specialized Unit for Child Abduction during State Terrorism of the Attorney General's Office (MPF), currently under license.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) had obtained the consent of the State of Nicaragua to create a mechanism for international investigation into the acts of violence that have occurred since April 18 in that country through an agreement signed on May 30.

The GIEI will have, among others, the attributions of: technically analyzing the lines of investigation and making recommendations for actions with respect to the different levels of legal responsibility; analyzing whether in the investigation all the lines of investigation are being correctly exhausted and whether the appropriate legal figures are being used to frame the possible illicit acts and their perpetrators and, if necessary, recommending the actions to be implemented to guarantee that these objectives are achieved. The Group shall have guarantees of autonomy and independence, as well as access to investigation and security files in order to carry out its work.

The mandate of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts shall be six months and may be extended by agreement of the Parties. The IACHR will follow up on the recommendations provided by the Group through the Special Follow-Up Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI), which was installed on June 24 and is in the country following up on the implementation of the recommendations of the Preliminary Observations of the visit and the report “Serious violations of Human Rights in the context of protests in Nicaragua.” The IACHR also continues to follow up the situation of human rights in Nicaragua from its headquarters, through the Rapid and Integrated Response Coordination Room (SACROI, by its Spanish acronym).

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 and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence. 

No. 145/18