Press Release

IACHR Applauds Successful High-Level Dialogue on Transitional Justice in El Salvador

June 10, 2019

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Washington, DC—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) applauded the success of the High-Level Dialogue on Transitional Justice with the Salvadoran justice sector, which was held on April 24, 2019, in San Salvador.

The aim of the event was to foster reflection and the exchange of ideas on the progress that has been made in implementing inter-American human rights standards on transitional justice in El Salvador and the challenges that remain. The dialogue was part of technical cooperation activities to strengthen state capacities in the judiciary and was organized in collaboration with the Coordinating Committee for the Justice Sector of El Salvador through the Executive Technical Unit (UTE). The activity was part of the Regional Human Rights and Democracy Project, which is being implemented in partnership with the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). The project seeks to strengthen knowledge of the Inter-American Human Rights System and its standards among key local stakeholders who play a part in protecting and defending human rights in the states of the Northern Triangle of Central America.

This dialogue that the IACHR facilitated was attended by around 70 officials from the justice sector and addressed different aspects of how transitional justice is conceptualized. These include the obligation to carry out investigations and guarantee justice and the rights to truth and memory, full reparation, and guarantees of nonrepetition.

At the end of the day, a High-Level Dialogue took place between the Coordinating Committee for the Justice Sector of El Salvador, the executive secretary of the IACHR, Paulo Abrão, the United Nations special rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation, and guarantees of nonrecurrence, Fabián Salvioli, experts from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and human rights experts from the IACHR’s Executive Secretariat. At the dialogue, the participants exchanged ideas on the advances the sector has made in the area of transitional justice and the challenges it is still facing.

IACHR executive secretary Paulo Abrão remarked that “spaces like this dialogue are essential for promoting transitional justice and the application of inter-American standards, which will enable the state of El Salvador to overcome the challenges it is facing and move toward compliance with the international obligations it has committed to.”

In this sense, the IACHR understands that every society has the inalienable right to know the truth of events surrounding past human rights violations, the reasons for these events, and the circumstances in which serious crimes came to be committed, in order to prevent such events from happening again. Likewise, states have a duty to prevent human rights violations, to investigate violations that took place within their jurisdiction with due diligence so as to identify those who were responsible for them, to impose appropriate sanctions on them, and to ensure that victims are provided adequate reparation.

The IACHR wishes to thank the state of El Salvador for its trust and willingness to engage in this event. The IACHR also wishes to express that it is available to provide ongoing technical cooperation and to contribute to strengthening the justice sector's ability to take on the multiple challenges that are an intrinsic part of the fight against impunity.

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. 144/19