Press Release

IACHR Completes Successful Forum on Transitional Justice for Salvadoran Justice Sector

September 10, 2019

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) completed on August 16, in San Salvador, its successful Forum on Transitional Justice, aimed at El Salvador’s justice sector.

The Forum was one of several actions to promote technical cooperation and boost capacities within the state components of the justice sector, in joint efforts with El Salvador’s Coordinating Commission for the Justice Sector through the latter’s Technical Executive Unit (UTE, by its Spanish acronym). The Forum sought to disseminate knowledge about the rights to justice, truth, and reparation, as well as duties concerning memory and non-repetition of serious human rights violations. And it also sought to assess progress and pending challenges in this field. This activity is part of the Regional Project on Human Rights and Democracy, which is implemented jointly with the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). The Project seeks to increase knowledge and awareness about the Inter-American Human Rights System and its standards, and targets key local actors in charge of protecting and defending human rights in the States of the Northern Triangle of Central America.

The Forum—which brought together more than 160 officials of El Salvador’s justice sector—was facilitated by the IACHR. Several thematic panels addressed various aspects of progress made on transitional justice and pending challenges on the issue. Specialized panel discussions were led by the IACHR President, Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, and by experts Erick Giovanni de León and Josephine Marie Burt. They encouraged debate on progress made and future challenges concerning transitional justice, based on inter-American human rights standards, public institutions with a human rights perspective, and comparative experiences on institutional coordination to prevent impunity.

“This kind of setting to come together and exchange experiences facilitates dialogue about best practices developed in other countries and helps to build better societies in the Americas and to disseminate a cultural approach to respect for human rights,” Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño said about the Forum. “The Inter-American Commission will remain ready to keep cooperating with the Salvadoran State, through technical assistance, in all efforts made to ensure an effective exercise of the rights to truth and justice in El Salvador,” said IACHR Executive Secretary, Paulo Abrão. 

The IACHR deems it necessary to strengthen and pursue investigations, prosecutions, and punishment for perpetrators of past human rights violations, to draw up guidelines to manage historical records, and to preserve sites for memory and awareness, aimed at preventing and eradicating patterns of structural impunity.

The IACHR extends its gratitude to officials of the justice sector, to the UTE, to international experts, and to the State of El Salvador, for their willingness to take part in this technical cooperation initiative, in order to promote institutional capacity-building to address the multiple challenges that are inherent in 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. 222/19