Press Release

IACHR Elects New Board

February 8, 2019

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Sucre, Bolivia - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has elected its new authorities. Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño is now President of the Board of Officers, Joel Hernández García is the new First Vice President, and Antonia Urrejola Noguera is Second Vice President. The election was held in accordance with the Commission’s Rules of Procedure on the first day of this year’s first Period of Sessions, February 7, 2019. The other members of the Commission are Margarette May Macaulay, Francisco Eguiguren Praeli, Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva, and Flávia Piovesan. The Executive Secretary is Paulo Abrão, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression is Edison Lanza, and the Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights is Soledad García Muñoz.

The new President of the IACHR, Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, was elected to the IACHR on June 16, 2015, by the OAS Assembly General for a four-year term that began on January 1, 2016, and will end on December 31, 2019. She previously held office in Panama’s judiciary: she was a justice of the Supreme Court, which she was also vice president of; she also presided over the Second Chamber for Criminal Matters, and was a justice of the High Court for Children and Adolescents. She was part of the special commission that proposed constitutional reforms in Panama in 2011 and the commission that drafted the Constitutional Procedural Code in 2016. She lobbied for the passing of the Family Code and the laws against domestic violence, violence against women, and feminicide, among others. She holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy, literature, and education, with a specialization in educational sciences, and an undergraduate degree in law and political science. She pursued postgraduate studies in gender, with specializations in family and childhood and constitutional affairs. She is also a professor at the University of Panama, the Dr. César A. Quintero Higher Judicial Institute, and Panama’s Judicial Authority. She is a facilitator at the School of the Public Prosecutors regarding the new adversarial criminal system and also provides training on juvenile criminal justice. She is a consultant and advisor to international organizations on matters relating to early childhood, childhood and adolescence, and women and the family. She has advised on the processes of drafting, debating, and passing major laws on these matters, and is as ad honorem advisor to the Legislature of Panama. She has taught at Panamanian elementary and high schools for 28 years and at different universities in the country for 35 years. She is a citizen of Panama.

The new First Vice President, Commissioner Joel Hernández García, was elected on June 21, 2017, by the OAS General Assembly for a four-year term that began on January 1, 2018, and ends on December 31, 2021. He holds an undergraduate degree in law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a master’s degree in international law from the New York University School of Law. He was a member of the Inter-American Juridical Committee from 2015 to 2018, and is currently a member of the board of directors of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and president of the Mexican branch of the International Law Association. While part of Mexico’s foreign service, he was promoted to the rank of ambassador and served in various positions. From 2011 to 2013, he served as Mexico’s permanent representative to the OAS. In that capacity, he chaired the IACHR working group to strengthen the IASHR. He has been a guest professor in the fields of international law and international organizations in various academic institutions. He is a citizen of Mexico.

The Second Vice President, Commissioner Antonia Urrejola, was elected to the IACHR on June 21, 2017, by the OAS General Assembly for a four-year term that began on January 1, 2018, and ends on December 31, 2021. She holds an undergraduate degree in law from the University of Chile and a postgraduate degree in human rights and transitional justice. She was a human rights advisor to the Office of the President of Chile, particularly around the drafting and processing of bills relating to children, sexual diversity, and human rights institutions. She worked at the Special Commission on Indigenous Peoples and her work at the Ministry of National Assets and the Ministry of Planning and Cooperation focused on indigenous peoples’ rights. She was an advisor to the Ministry of the Interior, where she took part in the drafting and processing of various bills on national human rights institutions, political imprisonment and torture, and other issues. She has worked as a consultant to international organizations and was principal advisor to the former Secretary General of the OAS between 2006 and 2011. She is a citizen of Chile.
The IACHR wishes to thank Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay for her work as president of the IACHR over the past year.

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. 030/19