Friday, June 08, 2012

IACHR flap

Manuela Picq has a great take on the IACHR human rights flap in Al Jazeera. We should focus less on ideology and more on speaking to power.

Cases involving extractive industries also blur the lines between political parties on the right and the left. The form may vary, but the substantive content of these cases does not. Following in the footsteps of authoritarian governments before them, progressive governments on the left from Bolivia to Brazil are being taken to court for human rights abuses. Beyond the inevitable disillusionment with the arrival of the left to power, the current situation shows that human rights violations transgress familiar political and ideological camps.   
The point is not to tar political parties on the right and the left with the same brush, however, but rather to point out that it may matter less whether the right or the left is in power as much as to call attention to the fact that that it is in the nature of power itself to resist and deny mechanisms of accountability. And that is precisely why the IACHR will always be necessary.

Governments don't like human rights criticism. Period.

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