Impunity and Grave Human Rights Violations

Redress for grave human rights violations continues to be an unpaid debt in Latin America, with serious repercussions for the victims and their families. Impunity remains a problem as the region’s judicial systems struggle to strengthen their independence and develop specialized capacities to investigate and prosecute atrocities.

The Impunity and Grave Human Rights Violations Program seeks to strengthen criminal prosecutions, truth processes and reparation and preservation of memory in Latin America. It also promotes compliance with international standards and the use of Inter-American and International law to improve legislation, policies and practices. 

To achieve these objectives DPLF conducts comparative research and promotes exchanges of experiences and the sharing of lessons learned in the Americas and other regions of the world. We extend technical assistance and share this information with justice officials, civil servants, civil society organizations, and victims groups.

The program has presented amicus curiae briefs in relevant judicial processes and organized trainings for civil society representatives and public servants as well as meetings to exchange experiences. The program has also disseminated relevant information on the challenges in addressing impunity through our institutional magazine (AportesDPLF #18 and our Blog Justicia en la Américas).

Another outstanding contribution of the program has been the systematization of the most important jurisprudence produced by national Latin-American courts applying international law. We published two volumes of our Digest of Latin American Jurisprudence on International Crimes (Volume I and Volume II) and a third Digest of Latin American Jurisprudence on the Rights of Victims ( Volume III). Each of these volumes analyze national judicial decisions (see the full text of the actual decisions here for volumes  III, and III) in criminal prosecutions of international crimes and the rights of victims from the perspective of international standards. These Digests have proven to be a valuable resource to judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and activist throughout the region and beyond.


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