N° 17/10




Washington, D.C., February 3, 2010 — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held a working meeting on January 28-29, 2010, with the participation of four new Commissioners who took office on January 1st. In this meeting, the IACHR distributed its rapporteurships on thematic areas and countries. The Rapporteurships are now distributed as follows:


·         Luz Patricia Mejía, IACHR Chair: Rapporteur for Argentina, Ecuador y Bolivia, and Rapporteur on the Rights of Women; she is also the IACHR Delegate for the OAS Working Group to Examine the Periodic Reports of the States Parties to the Protocol of San Salvador on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

·         Felipe González, IACHR Vice-Chair: Rapporteur for Brasil, Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaraga, and Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families.

·         Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro: Rapporteur for United States and Venezuela and Rapporteur on the Rights of Children; he will also be responsible for the special studies on Public Security and Human Rights.

·         Dinah Shelton: Rapporteur for Chile, Guatemala, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, and Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

·         María Silvia Guillén: Rapporteur for Colombia, Panamá and Uruguay, and Rapporteur on the Rights of Afrodescendants.

·         Jesús Orozco Henríquez: Rapporteur for Canada, Paraguay and Peru; he will also be responsible for the Human Rights Defenders Unit.

·         Rodrigo Escobar: Rapporteur for Costa Rica, Mexico and Dominican Republic and Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty.


The Commissioners who took office on January 1st are Rodrigo Escobar Gil, María Silvia Guillén, Jesús Orozco Henríquez, and Dinah Shelton.


Commissioner Rodrigo Escobar Gil is a citizen of Colombia. He was a Justice of the Constitutional Court of Colombia in the period 2001-2009 and was its President from February 2007 to February 2008. He was General Director of the Rotating Fund of the Ministry of Justice, as well as a consultant attorney and legal representative for various private companies and State entities for 16 years. He has also been Professor of Public Law at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and the Universidad Sergio Arboleda, among other universities in Colombia. At the Universidad Sergio Arboleda, he serves on the School of Law's Human Rights Committee and the organizing committee for the university's Institute of Human Rights. He studied law at the Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá and earned his doctorate at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. He has written three books and dozens of academic articles, and has given seminars and conferences on human rights and other topics.


Commissioner María Silvia Guillén is a citizen of El Salvador. She is Executive Director of the Foundation for Studies on the Application of Law in El Salvador (FESPAD) and an Alternate Judge of the Central American Court of Justice. She is also a member of the Pro Remembrance Human Rights Working Committee of El Salvador and the Salvadoran Coalition for the International Criminal Court. Commissioner Guillén has also served as a member of the El Salvador Supreme Court of Justice's Commission of Inquiry into Irregular Diplomas, the Court of Appeals for the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, and the Special Commission for a comprehensive assessment of the Attorney General's Office. She has been a Professor of Law at the university level and teaches in FESPAD's Legal Update Training Project. She has been a consultant and researcher for various organizations, including the United Nations, the Arias Foundation, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and FIAN International. She graduated with a law degree from the University of El Salvador.


Commissioner Jesús Orozco Henríquez is a citizen of Mexico. He is a researcher in constitutional law, human rights, the judiciary, and comparative law, among other areas, at the Legal Research Institute of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Previously, he served for 16 years as a Magistrate on Mexico's highest electoral courts, first in the Central Chamber of the Federal Electoral Court and then in the Higher Chamber of the Electoral Court of the Judiciary. He earned his law degree with honors from UNAM, and he received a master's degree in comparative law from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author or co-author of 8 books and the coordinator or editor of another 15, and he has written more than 100 articles for academic publications.


Commissioner Dinah Shelton is a citizen of the United States. She is the Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law at the George Washington University Law School. Previously, she was Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame Law School. She also has been a Visiting Professor at various law schools in the United States and France. Commissioner Shelton also directed the Office of Staff Attorneys at the United States Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit and was Director of Studies at the International Institute of Human Rights. She studied law at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She has been an international law consultant for the World Health Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the UN Institute for Training and Research, among others. She has written, co-written, or edited 19 books and authored dozens of book chapters and articles on human rights and international law.


The Commission will elect its new board of officers during its 138th regular period of sessions, which will take place March 15-26, 2010.


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 Commission is composed of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.


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