On May 29, 2000, Judge Antonio A. Cançado Trindade, President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, received His Excellency Dr. Andrés Pastrana, President of the Republic of Colombia, at the headquarters of the Court in San José, Costa Rica. During his visit to the Court, President Pastrana was accompanied by a distinguished retinue which included the Colombian Minister of External Affairs, Dr. Guillermo Fernandez de Soto, and the Colombian Ambassador to Costa Rica, Dr. Julio Aníbal Riaño Velandia, among other officials. Also present at the event were His Excellency Dr. Miguel Angel Rodríguez Echeverría, President of the Republic of Costa Rica, Dr. Roberto Rojas, Minister of External Affairs, and the Costa Rican Ambassador to Colombia, Dr. Luis Varela Quirós.
In his words of welcome, the President of the Inter-American Court, Judge Cançado Trindade, stated that this visit represents an historic event for the Tribunal, and confirms a very positive tendency of unification and constructive dialogue between the states of the Inter-American system and the organs in charge of upholding the American Convention on Human Rights and other important human rights norms in the hemisphere. He recalled that, in the last months, the Inter-American Court has been equally honored by the visits of two other Latin American Chief Executives: the President of the Republic of Paraguay, Dr. Luis Miguel González Macchi, and the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Dr. Feranndo Henrique Cardoso.
The President of the Court emphasized the rich legal tradition of Colombia, which has greatly contributed to the development of Latin American legal thinking. He also recalled that Colombia hosted the Ninth International Conference of American States that adopted the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man in 1948, the first international instrument of its kind. Since then, Colombia has actively participated in the strengthening of that instrument; toward that end, it was the second American state to ratify the American Convention on Human Rights and accepted, in 1985, the contentious jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court. Finally, the Presient of the Court noted that Colombia has always been a friend to the Inter-American system and has always provided its valuable assistance in the protection of human rights.
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, May 29, 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.