Declaration of the secretary-general on the designation of the executive secretary of the IACHR

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WASHINGTON, USA – In light of the statement issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) the secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS) states that, unfortunately, no progress has been made in the process of designating the executive secretary of the IACHR due to the existence of dozens of functional complaints that have been presented to the institutional mechanisms responsible for guaranteeing and promoting the rights of the Organization’s officials and for processing, in this case, the repeated complaints about possible rights violations.

We regret that the IACHR, despite being aware of dozens of complaints, in some cases for months, has not transmitted them to the office of the inspector general for their substantiation, which should ultimately have been carried out by the general secretariat. This lack of processing is a serious blow to its credibility. Obviously, the seriousness and gravity of the aforementioned complaints and the need to substantiate them have not allowed the approval of this designation to be granted as it was in 2016.

The presumption of innocence has been ensured, as well as that there is no impunity or defenselessness with regard to complaints of violation of the rights of officials within the IACHR or in any office of the Organization. Not while I’m secretary-general.

It is completely unethical and reprehensible to attempt to generate confusion regarding what constitutes the individual functional responsibility and accountability of one or more officials and what constitutes the autonomy of the IACHR.

The secretary-general’s job has been to ensure the autonomy and independence of the IACHR both in terms of the substance of its work and in the administrative area. This has been done and will continue to be done without fail. Likewise, it is expected that the institutional responsibilities of the secretary-general with regard to functional matters of the Organization will be understood. The secretary-general appreciates the willingness for dialogue expressed and hopes that it can be resumed after it was unilaterally interrupted by the IACHR yesterday, August 24.

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