Advertisement

Mobilising the Inter-American Human Rights System: Regional Litigation and Domestic Human Rights Impact in Latin America

  • Par EngstromEmail author
  • Peter Low
Chapter
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)

Abstract

This chapter draws on theoretical insights from the literature on social movements and legal mobilisation to develop an analytical framework for understanding both how the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAHRS) fosters transnational litigation and how such mobilisation affects domestic human rights change. The chapter also empirically examines patterns of human rights litigation before the IAHRS, the System’s responses and the impact of such mobilisation. Building on the analysis of petition data, the chapter provides an in-depth qualitative assessment of key litigating human rights organisations in Peru, Colombia and Brazil. Overall, Engstrom and Low argue that organisations with a strategic vision that recognises both the potential and the limitations of the System are best placed to leverage IAHRS mechanisms and jurisprudence to achieve human rights impact.

References

  1. Abrão, Paulo, and Marcelo Torelly. 2012. Resistance to Change: Brazil’s Persistent Amnesty and Its Alternatives for Truth and Justice. In Amnesty in the Age of Human Rights Accountability: Comparative and International Perspectives, ed. Leigh A. Payne and Francesca Lessa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Anaya Muñoz, Alejandro. 2011. Explaining High Levels of Transnational Pressure over Mexico: The Case of the Disappearances and Killings of Women in Ciudad Juárez. The International Journal of Human Rights 15 (3): 339–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bastos Arantes, Rogério. 1999. Direito e Política: O Ministerio Publico e a Defesa dos Direitos Coletivos. Revista Brasileira de Ciencias Sociais 14 (39): 83–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Borda, Sandra. 2011. Política exterior y derechos humanos en Colombia: un manual para la contención de la presión internacional. In Derechos Humanos En Política Exterior Seis Casos Latinoamericanos, ed. Natalia Saltalamacchia Ziccardi and Ana Covarrubias Velasco. Mexico: Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo De México.Google Scholar
  5. Borda, Sandra, and Camilo Sánchez. 2013. La administración Santos y el proceso de reforma del Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos: De la negación y las concesiones tácticas al estatus descriptivo. Pensamiento Propio 38: 151–184.Google Scholar
  6. Boti Bernardi, Bruno. Forthcoming. Silence, Hindrances and Omissions: The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Brazilian Military Dictatorship. International Journal of Human Rights. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13642987.2017.1299915
  7. Burt, J.M. 2009. Guilty as Charged: The Trial of Former President Alberto Fujimori for Human Rights Violations. International Journal of Transitional Justice 3 (3): 384–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burt, J.M., and Casey Cagley. 2013. Access to Information, Access to Justice: The Challenges to Accountability in Peru. Sur: International Journal on Human Rights 10 (18): 75–95.Google Scholar
  9. CAJAR. 2001. Estrategia de exigibilidad jurídica de los Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales en Colombia mediante acciones jurídicas en el plano nacional e internacional.Google Scholar
  10. ———. Undated. Quiénes Somos. Retrieved from https://www.colectivodeabogados.org/?-Quienes-Somos264-
  11. Cavallaro, James L. 2002. Towards Fair Play: A Decade of Transformation and Resistance in International Human Rights Advocacy in Brazil. Chicago Journal of International Law 3 (2): 481–492.Google Scholar
  12. Conectas. 2004. Interview with Denise Dora. Sur: Revista Internacional de Direitos Humanos 1 (1): 57–58.Google Scholar
  13. Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDDHH). 2010. APRODEH: Acusados de violaciones a derechos humanos pidieron la cancelación de sus procesos, September 6.Google Scholar
  14. El Pais. 2011. Escándalo por masacre de Mapiripán será llevado a la OEA, October 27.Google Scholar
  15. Epp, Charles. 1998. The Rights Revolution: Lawyers, Activists, and Supreme Courts in Comparative Perspective. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  16. European Court of Human Rights. 2016. Pending Applications Allocated to a Judicial Formation, February 29. Retrieved from http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Stats_pending_2016_BIL.pdf
  17. Gamson, William. 1991. Commitment and Agency in Social Movements. Sociological Forum 6 (1): 27–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harvard International Law Journal Online (HILJO). 2011. An Interview with James Cavallaro. Harvard International Law Journal Online 52: 204–209.Google Scholar
  19. Hillebrecht, Courtney. 2012. The Domestic Mechanisms of Compliance with International Law: Case Studies from the Inter-American Human Rights System. Human Rights Quarterly 34 (2): 959–985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. IACHR. 2000. Annual Report 2000 – Chapter II: Administration of Justice and Rule of Law. Washington, DC: OAS.Google Scholar
  21. Kim, Audrey. 2012. The InterAmerican Commission and Human Rights Protection in Brazil. Rights News 30 (2): 3–5.Google Scholar
  22. Las2Orillas. 2013. Las batallas del Colectivo José Alvear, July 5.Google Scholar
  23. McAdam, Doug, John D. McCarthy, and Mayer N. Zald, eds. 1996. Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements: Political Opportunities, Mobilizing Structures, and Cultural Framings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  24. McAdam, Doug, Sidney Tarrow, and Charles Tilly. 2001. Dynamics of Contention. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. McCarthy, John D., and Mayer Zald. 1987. Resource Mobilization and Social Movements: A Partial Theory. In Social Movements: Perspectives and Issues, ed. S.M. Buechler and F.K. Cylke, 149–172. Mountain View: Mayfield Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  26. Merry, Sally, and Peggy Levit. 2009. Vernacularization in Action: Using Global Women’s Human Rights Locally. Global Networks 9 (4): 441–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mnookin, Robert, and Lewis Kornhauser. 1979. Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law. The Yale Law Journal 88 (5): 950–997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nolette, Paul. 2015. Law Enforcement as Legal Mobilization: Reforming the Pharmaceutical Industry Through Government Litigation. Law & Social Inquiry 40 (1): 123–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Noticias Uno. 2012. Colectivo de abogados devolverá honorarios por representación de víctima falsa, June 9.Google Scholar
  30. PBS. Undated. Speaking Truth to Power: Francisco Soberón, Peru. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/speaktruthtopower/francisco.html
  31. Root, Rebecca K. 2009. Through the Window of Opportunity: The Transitional Justice Network in Peru. Human Rights Quarterly 31 (2): 452–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rosato, Cássia Maria, and Ludmila Cerqueira Correia. 2011. The Damião Ximenes Lopes Case: Changes and Challenges Following the First Ruling Against Brazil in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Sur: International Journal of Human Rights 8 (15): 91–111.Google Scholar
  33. Santos MacDowell, Cecilia. 2007. Transnational Legal Activism and the State: Reflections on Cases Against Brazil in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Sur Revista Internacional de Derechos Humanos 4 (7): 28–59.Google Scholar
  34. Sarat, Austin, and Stuart Scheingold, eds. 1998. Cause Lawyering: Political Commitments and Professional Responsibilities. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Shawki, Noha. 2010. Political Opportunity Structures and the Outcomes of Transnational Campaigns: A Comparison of Two Transnational Advocacy Networks. Peace & Change 35 (3): 381–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sikkink, Kathryn. 2005. The Transnational Dimension of the Judicialization of Politics in Latin America. In The Judicialization of Politics in Latin America, ed. Rachel Sieder, Line Schjolden, and Alan Angell, 263–292. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  37. Simmons, Beth. 2009. Mobilizing Human Rights: International Law in Domestic Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tarrow, Sidney. 1998. Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. ———. 2005. The New Transnational Activism. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tsutsui, Kiyoteru, Claire Whitlinger, and Alwyn Lim. 2012. International Human Rights Law and Social Movements: States’ Resistance and Civil Society’s Insistence. Annual Review of Law and Social Science 8: 367–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Uribe Sanabria, Camila, and Natalia Restrepo Ortiz. 2013. Could the Interamerican Human Rights System Have Prevented the Existence of False Victims in the Mapiripán Case? International Law: Revista Colombiana de Derecho Internacional 23: 203–224.Google Scholar
  42. Vilhena Vieira, Oscar. 2008. Public Interest Law: A Brazilian Perspective. UCLA Journal of International Law & Foreign Affairs 1 (99): 219–261.Google Scholar
  43. Villarán, Susana. 2007. Peru. In Victims Unsilenced: The Inter-American Human Rights System and Transitional Justice in Latin America, ed. Due Process of Law Foundation, 105–107. Washington, DC: Due Process of Law Foundation.Google Scholar
  44. Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). 2011. A Human Rights Counteroffensive in Colombia, December 1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of the AmericasUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Independent Political AnalystBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations