Press Release

IACHR To Conduct On-site Visit to Guatemala

July 21, 2017

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Washington, D.C.— The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will carry out an on-site visit to Guatemala from July 30 to August 4, 2017. The IACHR will observe the human rights situation on the ground, looking at issues related to justice, citizen security, inequality, discrimination, the legacy of the armed conflict, and freedom of expression. The Commission will also gather information on the situation of indigenous peoples, human rights defenders, and justice operators, as well as people in prisons and in other State institutions. The Commission appreciates the cooperation of the Guatemalan government and of civil society organizations in the planning and preparation for the visit.

The delegation that will carry out the visit will be led by the President of the IACHR, Francisco Eguiguren; the First Vice-President, Margarette May Macaulay; the Second Vice-President, Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño; and Commissioners José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez, Paulo Vannuchi, James L. Cavallaro, and Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva. Other members of the delegation will include the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Paulo Abrão; the Assistant Executive Secretary, Elizabeth Abi-Mershed; the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Edison Lanza; and specialists from the Executive Secretariat.

The Inter-American Commission will have meetings with authorities from the three branches of government and will meet with representatives of civil society. It will also gather testimony from victims of human rights violations and their family members in the various places it will visit. The delegation will go to Guatemala City, Alta Verapaz, Petén, and Huehuetenango. The IACHR will present its preliminary observations at the end of its visit, during a press conference that will take place on Friday, August 4, at 11:30 a.m. at the Westin Camino Real Hotel.

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. 103/17