Press Release

IACHR Announces the End of the First module of Training Course on Transitional Justice for the Justice Sector in El Salvador

September 11, 2018

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announces that the first module of a training course on transitional justice for members of the legal sector in El Salvador has recently concluded. The course was part of a technical cooperation project for state capacity building and was organized in partnership with the Coordinating Commission for El Salvador’s Legal Sector.

The training activity is part of the “Regional Human Rights and Democracy Project,” which is being implemented jointly with the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). The aim of the project is to contribute to strengthening knowledge about the Inter-American Human Rights System and the inter-American standards among key local players who are responsible for protecting and defending human rights in the Northern Triangle of Central America.

The training workshop will be held in four consecutive modules from August to November 2018 and will address various topics relating to transitional justice. Over 70 participants from El Salvador’s legal sector will attend the course.

The first module was held between August 27 and 30, 2018, in San Salvador. The opening ceremony was attended by high-ranking government authorities and the Second Vice President of the IACHR, Commissioner Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva. The second module will take place between September 17 and 20.

The Inter-American Human Rights System (ISHR) has been working on the serious human rights violations that have occurred during dictatorships and armed conflicts in the Americas. During the organization’s first 30 years in operation, it focused on monitoring and protecting human rights in these contexts, which were marked by massive, systematic violations. The Inter-American System has also addressed state obligations and inter-American standards relating to what has been defined as transitional justice.

"Significant progress has been made in the region in terms of access to justice for crimes against humanity, the promotion of the right to memory and truth, and reparation for victims," said Commissioner Luis Ernesto Vargas.

In recent decades, some countries have made progress on prosecuting past cases, creating National Truth Commissions, opening historical archives on serious human rights violations, recognizing the right to comprehensive reparation, and establishing memory policies, among other measures.
"The Inter-American Human Rights System has contributed to these advances through its two bodies and has intervened on behalf of victims and their families, setting standards and ensuring compliance with the states’ obligations, in accordance with the principles of transitional justice," said the President of the IACHR, Commissioner Margarette Macaulay.

"However, we still need to strengthen these processes and make headway on investigations, trials, and sanctions against those who planned and perpetrated human rights violations. Guidelines also need to be established regarding the treatment of historical archives and the preservation of sites relating to memory and awareness in order to prevent and attack the patterns of structural impunity that are present in most countries in the region and to provide adequate reparation for victims," said Commissioner Antonia Urrejola, who leads the Memory, Truth and Justice Unit.

In this regard, as part of its mandate, “the IACHR is at states’ disposal to provide technical assistance to strengthen and promote these processes of memory, truth, justice, and reparation," said Executive Secretary Paulo Abrão.

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. 204/18