Commission Receives Complaints About Human Rights Situation In The US, Venezuela And Ecuador

Migrant agricultural workers in a field of California.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held on Tuesday the second day of the 154 session and receive reports, among others, on the situation of the right to freedom of expression in Ecuador, forced migration and persecution of community advocates LGBTI in Central America, and the situation of economic, social and cultural rights in Venezuela.

Also receive reports on Chile, Peru, Paraguay and Haiti. The period ends on 20 March. On Monday, the Commission received complaints about the “serious impact” on human rights in the draft canal in Nicaragua, lack of guarantees during trials in military courts Guantanamo Bay (Cuba) and job discrimination against immigrant’s undocumented immigrants in the United States.

During the development of the first day of hearings, the Commission discussed two issues related to Nicaragua five on the US.


The OAS body responsible for monitoring human rights in the continent, received complaints about the grant to Chinese firm HNKD of a proposed canal linking the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean Sea through a wet 278 kilometers long.

“We are witnessing the worst privatization of natural reserves in Nicaragua in the history of our country, and there are serious risks of corruption,” he said in relation to this project Mónica López, COCIBOLCA activist group.

According eleven organizations attended the hearing, the channel will cause “forced displacement of more than 100,000 people” and gives the Chinese firm “unrestricted rights over natural resources such as forests or water.”

One of the seven members of the Commission, the Paraguayan Rosa María Ortiz, urged the Government of Nicaragua to “ensure transparency” project, which “will last for many years if you get to build and will merit a control, because the temptation to corruption is great.”

Guantanamo prison

In one of the hearings devoted to the United States, lawyers of two prisoners accused of planning the attacks of September 11, 2001 in Washington DC, New York and Pennsylvania, and held in the Guantanamo prison, asked to remove the military commissions used to judge their clients, considering them to be “illegal” under international law.

The Pakistani military lawyers Ammar al Baluchi and Mustafa al Hawsawi Saudi, facing a death sentence in the military commission judge charged the 11-S, first appeared before the Commission to order the “immediate closure” of these courts martial.

Lt. Col. Sean Gleason, responsible for the defense of Al Hawawi, told Efe that the trial on the 11-S should be moved to a civil jurisdiction, offering “a fair trial in accordance with international law”.

Military commissions are “designed” to “hide and suppress evidence of criminal conduct by state actors, silence the victims of torture and ensure impunity” of those responsible for violations during interrogation of terror suspects said the military lawyer Walter Ruiz.

Undocumented immigrants in the US

In another meeting on Monday four civil rights organizations demanded the US more protection for the 8 million undocumented immigrants who are allegedly discriminated against because of their status and, after suffering accidents, do not receive the same protection and assistance to the rest.

The Commission discussed the cases of two Mexicans who allegedly suffered discrimination for being undocumented labor: Francisco Berumen Lizalde and Leopoldo Zumaya.

“We ask the Commission to order the United States to change their laws and practices for unauthorized workers have the same rights as the rest,” he told Efe Rebecca Smith, organization Project National Employment Law.

The US labor market policies were also criticized during a session on the right of labor association, in which one of the speakers was Cathy Feingold, the main union America, AFL-CIO.

“The undocumented workers working in some of the most dangerous jobs, low wages and are denied their legal rights,” criticized Feingold.

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