Colombian Pedro Vaca was elected as the new Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), this OAS body reported on Tuesday.
Vaca, whose appointment has already received the approval of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, must assume office on October 6 for a period of three years, renewable once, the Commission said.
This lawyer specialized in Constitutional Law, current executive director of the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP) in Colombia and a member of the Global Board of Directors of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), celebrated the news on Twitter.
“Freedom of expression is a right as important as it is fragile. I receive this autonomous decision of the IACHR from the centrality that plays the right to express oneself freely in democratic systems. Proud to be part of this team for human rights in the region” , said.
Vaca will replace the Uruguayan Edison Lanza, who ends his mandate that began in 2014. The IACHR highlighted the work of this lawyer with a background in journalism, noting his “effective leadership” in defending and protecting the right to freedom of expression in the region.
Lanza thanked the Commission for the recognition of his work, “especially” for allowing him to carry out his role “with autonomy and independence,” he tweeted.
The IACHR said that the call for competition for the position of Special Rapporteur was published on January 13, and thanked the 81 people who came forward for their interest.
Vaca was chosen from among other finalists announced in July by the IACHR: Ana Cristina Ruelas, from Mexico; Carlos Martín Lauría, from the United States; Damián Miguel Loreti, from Argentina; and Paula Ligia Martins, from Brazil.
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