Media Center



  October 19, 2007

Washington, October 19, 2007—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held its 130th period of sessions from October 8 to 19. During the sessions, the IACHR held hearings and working meetings, participated in a special meeting of the OAS Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs, had a working luncheon with the Central American Council of Human Rights Prosecutors (CCPDH), and met with magistrates and public prosecutors in an event organized by the College of the Americas (COLAM), among other activities. The IACHR welcomes and appreciates the active participation of the States and civil society in its sessions, which strengthens the inter-American system for the protection of human rights.

Twenty-seven hearings were held during these sessions. The President of the Commission, Dr. Florentín Meléndez, wishes to recognize as a positive step the fact that representatives of the government of the United States confirmed publicly that there would be no problem with the Inter-American Commission visiting any immigration detention facilities it chooses. This was stated during the hearing on the “Human Rights Situation of Migrant Workers, Refugee Children and other Vulnerable Groups in the United States.” The IACHR would also like to make special note of the hearing held on the “Situation of Descendants of Fugitive Slaves of the Colonial Period (“Quilombolas”) in Brazil, as an example of the Commission’s efforts to closely follow the situation of Afro-descendents in the region.

The Commission also held 28 working meetings. The IACHR President would like to express his satisfaction concerning the information provided by authorities of the state government of Oaxaca on the implementation of the recommendations he made during his visit to Mexico last August. The President also noted with satisfaction the willingness of the parties to move forward on friendly settlements in all the working meetings held on the following cases involving Mexico: Reyes Penagos Martínez, Cruza Avila Mondragón, Modesto Patolzin Moicen and Víctor Pineda Henestrosa. On another matter, a working meeting was held concerning the AMIA case, related to the investigations into the 1994 attack perpetrated on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina. Given that the State could not report concrete measures adopted in recent months or progress in the investigation process, the IACHR President deplored the deadlock encountered in the process of seeking a friendly settlement in this case and urged the State to redouble its efforts, especially with regard to investigating and bringing to light the facts about the attack.

The Inter-American Commission would like to call attention to the signing, during this period of sessions, of an agreement with the University of Quebec in Montreal for the creation of the “Brian Tittemore” Scholarship, which will enable an alumnus of that university to undertake legal efforts in support of the IACHR Executive Secretariat, with external funding. Brian Tittemore, a Canadian attorney, carried out an outstanding role as a principal specialist at the IACHR from February 1999 until his death in December 2006. At the signing of the agreement, the first beneficiary of the Brian Tittemore Scholarship was welcomed to the IACHR Executive Secretariat.

On December 31, 2007, the terms to which Commissioners Evelio Fernández Arévalos and Freddy Gutiérrez were elected come to an end. The President of the Commission thanks Commissioners Fernández Arévalos and Gutiérrez Trejo for their service to the IACHR during the 2004-2007 period. The Inter-American Commission would especially like to recognize and express appreciation for the efforts of Commissioner Fernández Arévalos, who served as President of the Commission in 2006.

The IACHR will hold its 131st period of sessions at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., from March 3 to 14. Under Article 62.2 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure, the deadline for presenting applications for hearings and working meetings for those regular sessions is January 23, 2008.

An annex to this press release is available on the IACHR Web site (

Press contact: María Isabel Rivero
Tel. (202) 458-3867
Commission’s Website:

Reference: IACHR-54