Hearing in the Inter-American Human Rights Commission in regards to the lack of an Ombudsman in Argentina
On October 28th, in Washington D.C., the Inter-American Human Rights Commission held a topical hearing on the impact that the lack of an Ombudsman position has had on the validity of human rights in Argentina.
The hearing was requested by ACIJ, Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC), Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN), Instituto de Estudios Comparados en Ciencias Penales y Sociales (INECIP) and Poder Ciudadano. In this context, representatives from these organizations and from the Argentinian State presented before members of the Commission.
This hearing was inspired by the lack of leadership in the institution since 2009, due to the National Congress’ failure to comply with its obligation to propose and designate an Ombudsman, a situation which has gotten significantly worse since December of 2013 when the Deputy Ombudsman’s term ended, thus temporarily leaving the position under the control of the Secretary General. In this regard, the organizations are leading a local campaign to raise awareness of this alarming situation. The campaign is called “Un Defensor del Pueblo y para el Pueblo”. For more information about the entire campaign, please visit http://defensorparaelpueblo.org/ (in Spanish).
During the Hearing, the representatives of the petitioner organizations revealed their profound concern for the institutional fragility afflicting the Ombudsman, the conditionings brought by the current situation for an independent and proactive functioning of the institution, and the concrete consequences of the entity’s gradual loss of influence with respect to the most relevant public discourse for securing human rights in the country.
In this context, the court reporter for Argentina, Commissioner Paulo Vannuchi, manifested his will to offer his services in order to facilitate a dialogue between various involved actors, which will help reach a satisfactory solution to the conflict and the timely designation of an Ombudsman.
Click here for the report presented to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (In spanish).