2016: Taking stock

As the present year draws to an end, we feel bound to fulfill the usual ritual of taking stock of the main events of the past 12 months. 2016 is filled, no doubt, would meaningful events, some expected at one point or another, like Fidel Castro’s death. Some unexpected and for many people scary, like […]

Peace In Colombia

After 52 years of armed conflict between the government of Colombia and the FARC (the Spanish language acronym for Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces) and following protracted negotiations, the Colombian government and the insurgents have reached a detailed agreement to reach a peaceful solution to the longest lasting armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere. The conversations […]

Against Discrimination

If we were allowed to choose only one norm as representative of the spirit of the human rights system, it would be, no doubt, the prohibition of all forms of discrimination on grounds based on traits a person may not change or it is not legitimate to demand that it be changed. Examples of such […]

Patricio Aylwin, the first democratic president of Chile (1990-1994) after the military dictatorship of 1973-1990 passed away

It has been said, rightly, that Patricio Aylwin will be remembered, on many accounts, as a great President of Chile, but that his human rights legacy was perhaps his foremost contribution. At the time of his inauguration, in March of 1990, there were not many precedents of what is today called transitional justice and at […]

International Women’s Day

On March 8 the International Women’s Day was commemorated. The deep skepticism of many vis-avis this kind of commemorations is understandable. In recent times they have multiplied, spurred by United Nations or by shopping malls. However, both International Women’s Day and Human Rights Day (celebrated every December 10) are not the object of such scorn. […]

Gender equality and sexual diversity

Race, gender and religion have been historically the main grounds for arbitrary discrimination. By ‘arbitrary discrimination’ we mean a different treatment based on characteristics that persons cannot change or that is not legitimate to demand that they change them. Nowadays, racial discrimination is generally condemned, although there are still important remnants. Similarly, with significant exceptions, […]

Human Rights: 2015 assessment

A proper global assessment of human rights for the present year would largely surpass the extension of a brief column. Let us limit ourselves, then, to pointing out the most outstanding trends. These are the following ones: 1. Regarding global security, the main event is, of course, the sheer power acquired by the Islamic State, […]

The abusive use of confidential information

In a well ordered market, every economic agent should gain knowledge at the same time of relevant information for making their decisions. Now, different public authorities, as well as high level executives of some private corporations who represent or safeguard the interests of consumers or stockholders usually possess, due to their position, information about future […]