The member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) appointed new directors for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) and for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CorteIDH) this Friday (12), during the 51st General Assembly, which it happens semi-attendance in Guatemala.
The new members, elected for the period 2022-2025, are Roberta Clarke, from Barbados, Colombian Carlos Bernal Pulido and Mexican Joel Hernández García, re-elected to the position. As for the Human Rights Court, Rodrigo Bittencourt Mydrovitsch, for Brazil, were nominated by Argentine Verónica Gómez, Costa Rican Nancy Hernández López and Chilean Patricia Pérez Goldberg.
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Despite the decision being endorsed by a majority of the 34 delegations present, there was criticism. About 60 Colombian popular organizations signed a letter rejecting Carlos Bernal Pulido’s candidacy for Cidh, denouncing that in his country the magistrate has a history of decisions in the Constitutional Court that would have harmed the human rights of social leaders.
This was not the only controversy at the OAS Annual Assembly. Nine delegations (Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Argentina, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago) questioned the presence of representatives of Venezuelan opponent Juan Guaidó at the meeting, saying that the event sets a “serious precedent”.
Venezuela was the first country to formally withdraw from the OAS, in April 2019, denouncing the organization’s relationship with attempted coup d’etats.
Venezuela and Nicaragua were at the center of the debate during the last three days of the OAS session. The right-wing bloc of governments is seeking to pass a resolution that does not recognize the legitimacy of the Nicaraguan elections that ended with the victory of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) with more than 70% of the votes, both for the presidency and for the Legislature .
Regarding Venezuela, Colombia’s Deputy Minister for Multilateral Affairs, Maria Carmelinda Londoño, proposed a resolution that would express the “OAS’s concern with the change in the democratic order and the deterioration of the economy.”
Both proposals were denounced by the progressive benches as external interference.
“The OAS should be an inclusive organization that promotes political dialogue, cooperation and state development, but it is not,” said Mexican representative Luz Elena Baños Rivas.
With 73 years of history, the OAS, which proposed to bring together all 35 countries of the American continent, is trying to regain its international prestige at this 51st annual assembly with the motto “For a renewed America”.
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Several Latin American countries denounce the organism’s relationship with coups d’etat, as in Bolivia in 2019, or other destabilizing activities, such as the recognition of the self-proclaimed president Juan Guaidó, in Venezuela.
Faced with the organization’s inefficiency, Mexico and Bolivia are taking up the proposal of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez to replace the OAS with another continental alliance, strengthening the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
This Friday the closing ceremony of the annual assembly will be held and the 2023 meeting will be held in Peru.
Edition: Thales Schmidt