Press Release

IACHR Unveils Shortlist for the Position of Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression

April 30, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) analyzed the applications received for the position of Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression (RELE for it signs in Spanish), in the framework of the announcement made on January 10 and the call published on January 13, 2020. The Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression reports to the IACHR, works in coordination with the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR, and is based at OAS headquarters in Washington, D.C. 

During its Internal Session on April 29, 2020, the Inter-American Commission selected ten finalists, listed below in alphabetical order of last names: Ávila Pinto, Renata of Guatemala; Cañizález, Andrés of Venezuela; Herrera Ulloa, Mauricio of Costa Rica; Lauría, Carlos Martín of the United States; Loreti, Damián Miguel of Argentina; Martins, Paula Ligia of Brazil; Quiñones Cely, Clara Beatriz of Colombia; Ruelas Serna, Ana Cristina of Mexico; Vaca Villarreal, Pedro of Colombia; and Wilson, Andrea L. M from Jamaica. In total, the Commission received 81 applications. This list is based on the criteria established in the call for applications, as well as on gender parity and the representation of the different regions of the Americas. See the process of the call for applications.

"We are very pleased with the interest in this contest on the part of highly qualified individuals with extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the area of freedom of expression," said the President of the IACHR, Commissioner Joel Hernández. "We had to choose from a large number of candidates of high excellence, as reflected in the level of the finalists". 

The process by which the Commission selects the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression is governed by the relevant regulations. With the publication of the names of the finalists, a public consultation process is opened. In accordance with Article 15.4 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR will receive observations from OAS member states and civil society on these finalists. The deadline for submitting observations is from April 30 until midnight, June 15, 2020 (Washington, D.C. time), through this system. The Executive Secretariat of the IACHR will contact the finalists to produce a video to be published on the IACHR website within the next two weeks, explaining their proposals in the event that they are elected Special Rapporteur.

Following the presentation of comments, the IACHR will select five candidates from among the finalists who will be interviewed by the plenary session of the Commission. On July 13, 2020, the Commission will announce the list of five selected persons who will be interviewed on September 14 and 15, 2020. On the latter date, the IACHR will announce the new head of the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. The RELE Rapporteur will begin his or her work on October 6, 2020. In accordance with Article 15 of the IACHR's Rules of Procedure, the Rapporteur is appointed for a period of three years, renewable for one more period, unless the mandate of the Rapporteurship ends before the end of that period.

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. 096/20