September 2, 2014, marks 10 years since the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IA Court) condemned Paraguay for the Panchito López Juvenile Reeducation Institute case (Instituto de Reeducación del Menor Panchito López).

Between 1996 and 2001, around 4000 children were subject to inhumane prison conditions in the Panchito López center for minors. This prison had the capacity to accommodate 15 inmates, however, it housed between 200 and 300 children at a time. Due to these conditions, during three fires that occurred between 2000 and 2001, twelve children died and dozens of others sustained injuries.

CEJIL celebrated the unveiling of the plaque and the naming of the education center, ”Gregoria Herminia, Serapio Cristian y Julia Inés Contreras,” named after three siblings who were disappeared by the military on August 25, 1982, during the Salvadoran armed conflict.

This important ceremony was presided over by the President of El Salvador, Sánchez Cerén, on September 11 and originated in the Hermanos Contreras et al v. El Salvador judgment that was issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2011. The case was brought before the international court by CEJIL and the Association for the Search of Disappeared Children (Asociación Pro-Búsqueda de Niños y Niñas Desaparecidos).

Washington, DC and Guatemala City, August 13, 2014. This year, important positions are up for renewal in the system of administration of justice in Guatemala, namely the position of the Attorney General and Public Prosecutor, as well as the members of the of the Supreme Court of Justice and the Courts of Appeals.

Unfortunately, the signing organizations consider that the Guatemalan State is not complying with international standards applicable to these types of appointments, which could compromise the principle of judicial independence that is fundamental in a democratic system.

Observation Mission on Human Rights in Paraguay

Between the November 11 and 14, CEJIL participated in an International Observation Mission on the Human Rights Situation in Paraguay. The Mission, formed by 43 representatives of diverse national and international social and human rights organizations, visited peasant and indigenous communities in four Paraguayan departments. The objective of the Mission was to reveal the human rights situation.

More information available here (in Spanish).