Resolution on the situation of impunity for heinous crimes in the Americas

Guided by the aims and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other relevant instruments.

Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes a series of rights which States have committed to respect, including the right to an effective remedy, before the competent national courts to protect against acts that violate the fundamental rights granted by the constitution or by law.

Recalling that the American Convention on Human Rights establishes the obligation of States to respect the right to a fair trial and a general obligation to respect human rights through the adoption of measures necessary to make them a reality.

Recognising that in recent decades the America region has been the focus of acts of violence, crimes against humanity and serious violations of human rights perpetrated by state and non-state entities in the contexts of dictatorships, authoritarian democracies and internal armed conflicts.

Considering that our countries in America have long-standing debts for the punishment of crimes against humanity that happened in the past but also crimes that continue to happen on a large scale such as arbitrary arrests, torture, murders, internal displacement and enforced disappearances.

Recalling that, as stated by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, impunity is the cause and consequence of serious human rights violations.

Concerned by the growing militarisation of public security, the increase of violence and the deterioration of the democratic rule of law across the American continent.

Recognising that also there has been a large number of journalists and human rights defenders killed in the last few years in the region.

Rushed by the increase in the violent homicide rate and the recurring cases of arbitrary arrests, disappearances and torture that remain completely unpunished.

FIDH, meeting in Taipei (Taiwan) from 21 to 25 October 2019 for its 40th Congress, urges the governments of the Americas to:

- Make efforts to eradicate violence, especially, murders, caused by a militarised security policy.

- Choose strategies for citizen security designed to prevent crime.

- Reiterate their commitment to international mechanisms to protect human rights.

- Request assistance from the United Nations, the Organization of American States and/or the International Criminal Court to implement extraordinary mechanisms to combat impunity and corruption, which help in the investigation and prosecution of heinous crimes, dismantling criminal networks, encouraging the right to truth and ensuring the exchange of competencies, knowledge and best practices to strengthen state institutions.

Build at the regional level efficient and simple inter-state cooperation mechanisms to search for missing people, notably migrants, designed to give the families answers about their relatives’ fate and whereabouts.

- Strengthen cooperation with the International Criminal Court so that it can exercise positive complementarity over cases in its jurisdiction.

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statement