Press Release

IACHR Concludes Commemorative Visit to Argentina

September 13, 2019

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Washington, D.C. - The IACHR concluded its visit to Argentina as part of the celebrations to mark its 60th anniversary and the 40th anniversary of the historic on-site visit to the country.

The IACHR took part in a ceremonial event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its on-site visit to Argentina in the company of the country’s president, Mauricio Macri, and members of his cabinet, which took place at the president’s official residence in Olivos, Buenos Aires.

At the ceremony, IACHR president Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena noted that “for 60 years, the IACHR has continued to fulfill its mandate to observe, promote, and protect the human rights of the inhabitants of the Americas, which are grounded in their human dignity. The IACHR stands in solidarity with all of humanity, which is the only way it can take on the challenges that the Inter-American System of Human Rights must overcome.”

The IACHR took part in commemorative events at the School of Law at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and in activities alongside different human rights and civil society organizations at the emblematic Center for Memory and Human Rights (Espacio Memoria y Derechos Humanos), which occupies the former site of the Higher School of Mechanics of the Navy (Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada), an illegal detention and torture centre. The activities that the IACHR took part in included the official opening of an exhibition, 1979–2019: The IACHR Visit, and a roundtable that was open to the public on the impact of the IACHR’s work and its visit to Argentina and the current challenges facing the region.

“For the IACHR, remembering the historic visit to Argentina in 1979 is a source of both pride and heartrending pain, not just because of what it meant for the thousands of victims of the civilian–military dictatorship but also because of how it has shaped the development of the inter-American system and the promotion and protection of human rights in the region ever since,” said Commissioner Antonia Urrejola, the rapporteur for memory, truth, and justice. “That visit brought the serious human rights violations perpetrated by Argentina’s military regime as state policy to the attention of the international community, particularly the phenomenon of forced disappearance,” she added.

These commemorative activities are a testimony to how committed the state of Argentina, civil society organizations, and the world of academia are to promoting and protecting human rights and strengthening the Inter-American System of Human Rights (IASHR). The Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Paulo Abrão, added that “the IACHR once again expresses its deep gratitude to the state of Argentina and civil society for their support and hard work in organizing these significant events to mark the 40th anniversary of the on-site visit to the country and the IACHR’s 60th anniversary.”

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. 226/19