On April 4, 2000, Judge Antonio A. Cançado Trindade, President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and Judge Alirio Abreu-Burelli received His Excellency Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, in San José, Costa Rica. President Cardoso's arrival marked the first visit of a Brazilian Chief Executive to Central America. In honor of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, President Cardoso donated a bust of the jurist Rui Barbosa, a noted defender of civil liberties and principal author of the 1891 Brazilian Constitution which established the Republic.
The President was accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Ruth C.L. Cardoso, and a distinguished retinue which included the Minister of External Affairs, Mr. Luiz Felipe Lampreia, his wife, Mrs. Lenir Lampreia, the Human Rights Secretary of State José Gregori, Ambassadors Joao Carlos de Souza-Gomes, Osmar Chohfi, Federico Araujo, Valter Pecly, and Eduardo dos Santos, as well as the Minister Marco Antônio Diniz Brandao, among other officials.
President Cardoso reiterated both his own personal commitment and the commitment of his country to the protection of human rights, which was formalized on December 10, 1998 when Brazil recognized the contentious jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Furthermore, the President showed great pride regarding the accomplishments of his countryman, Judge Cançado Trindade, who is the first Brazilian to serve as President of an international tribunal. Mr. Cardoso emphasized Judge Cançado's great academic and professional accomplishments in the field of international human rights.
For his part, the President of the Inter-American Court, Judge Cançado Trindade, expressed his satisfaction at this first visit of a Brazilian president to the Inter-American Court. He was particularly pleased by President Cardoso's role in Brazil's recognition of the Tribunal's jurisdiction. Judge Cançado Trindade underscored the importance of both the visit and the recognition, which signifies for Brazilian citizens an additional guarantee of the protection of their human rights and also strengthens the institution of the Court. Nevertheless, the President of the Tribunal added that there is still a long way to go in the journey to achieve a complete regional system of human rights protection. Finally, Judge Cançado Trindade thanked President Cardoso for the bust of Rui Barbosa, who was the Brazilian Plenipotentiary Delegate for the Second Hague Peace Conference of 1907.
The composition of the Inter-American Court is the following: Antônio A. Cançado Trindade (Brazil), President; Maximo Pacheco-Gomez (Chile), Vice-President; Hernan Salgado-Pesantes (Ecuador); Oliver Jackman (Barbados); Alirio Abreu-Burelli (Venezuela); Sergio Garcia-Ramirez (Mexico) and Carlos Vicente de Roux-Rengifo (Colombia). The Secretary of the Court is Manuel E. Ventura-Robles and the Deputy Secretary is Renzo Pomi.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is an autonomous judicial institution of the Organization of American States, formally established in 1979. It is composed of jurists of the highest moral standing and competence in the field of human rights, in accordance with the American Convention on Human Rights.
For further information, please address all requests to:
Manuel E. Ventura-Robles
Secretary, Inter-American Court of Human Rights
P.O. Box 6906-1000
San Jose, Costa Rica
Telephone: (506) 234-0581, Fax: (506) 234-0584
San José, April 6, 2000.
(*) The contents of this release are the responsibility of the Secretariat of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The official text of the documents may be obtained by submitting a written request to the Secretariat at the address provided at the end of this document.