Militarization of the region at the IACHR

The militarization of public security is on the rise across the Americas, with very troubling consequences. For that reason, 17 organizations from 10 countries requested a regional hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which will be held on December 6.

The trend toward militarization is manifested in the armed forces’ direct intervention in security tasks, in some cases, and the adoption of military tactics and approaches by the police, in others. This often occurs in the context of “wars” on drug trafficking and terrorism, used to crack down on social conflicts or persecute groups identified as enemies of the state.

This phenomenon leads to greater human rights violations by state forces and the worsening of violence in general.

This situation will be discussed at a regional hearing before the IACHR that will be transmitted live tomorrow from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. local time in Washington DC (GMT -5), in Room A.

There, speakers will address overall tendencies (CELS), the role of the armed forces in the Northern Triangle (COFADEH), territorial occupations in Brazil (Justiςa Global and Conectas), the militarization of border zones (ACLU), and the impact of militarization in Mexico, with testimony from the parents of Jorge Parral, a victim of enforced disappearance. In addition, representatives of other organizations that solicited the hearing (among them Amnesty International, the CMDPDH of Mexico and the Myrna Mack Foundation of Guatemala) will participate in the exchange with Commission members.

The regional hearing was requested by Amnesty International; Asociación Civil Intercambios, Argentina; Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos (APRODEH), Peru; Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez (Centro Prodh), Mexico; Centro de Estudios de Derecho, Justicia y Sociedad (Dejusticia), Colombia; Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS), Argentina; Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (CAJAR), Colombia; Comisión Ecuménica de Derechos Humanos (CEDHU), Ecuador; Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH), Mexico; Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH), Honduras; Conectas Direitos Humanos, Brazil; Fundación Myrna Mack, Guatemala; Instituto Latinoamericano de Seguridad y Democracia (ILSED), Argentina; Justiςa Global, Brazil; Observatorio Ciudadano, Chile; Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos (Provea), Venezuela; Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) joined forces with them for the hearing.

CELS recently published a report entitled The Internal War: How the fight against drugs is militarizing Latin America. It reflects research on how these processes occur in the region: who finances them, how armies and police forces are trained and equipped, what operations are under way, in which countries are they deployed, and with what objectives. It also analyzes the consequences for human rights.