Human Rights Review

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 143–164 | Cite as

The Power of the Pen: Human Rights Ombudsmen and Personal Integrity Violations in Latin America, 1982-2006.

  • Erika MorenoEmail author
  • Richard Witmer


Recent scholarship has focused on the effects of institutional design and constitutional provisions on human rights protections. Democratic institutions, like other manifestations of credible commitment to human rights, seem to play a role in human rights provisions across the world. Yet, there is still a great deal that we do not know about domestic institutions like the human rights ombudsman, an institution created specifically to protect human rights, on human rights provisions. We conduct an examination of the effects of the human rights ombudsman (which may go by the name Defensor del Pueblo, Procurador de Derechos Humanos, or Comisionado Nacional de Derechos Humanos), on personal integrity violations across Latin America, 1982–2006. We find evidence that this understudied institution had significant and positive impacts on reducing such violations.


Human rights Ombudsman Latin America 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceOmahaUSA

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