Honduras Human Rights Training ProgramProsecuting Human Rights Crimes in National Courts
December 4-6, 2007
In December 2007, CJA completed its first human rights training program: “Prosecuting Human Rights Crimes in National Courts” was held December 4-6 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The training brought together 80 Honduran prosecutors and a faculty of legal practitioners from Latin America, Spain and the United States with experience and expertise in the prosecution of human rights abusers.
In addition to covering the basics of international law, investigation and case development, the sessions provided participants with specific examples of legal strategies used by prosecutors, judges and attorneys for non-governmental agencies in the national courts of Argentina, Chile, Peru, Spain and the United States.
The training faculty included Eduardo Freiler, Judge of the Argentine Federal Court of Appeals and one of the lead prosecutors of abuses committed during the "dirty war," and Sergio Muñoz, President of the Supreme Court of Chile and a lead prosecutor of Pinochet-era abuses.
» A full list of faculty members with biographical information is available here.
Honduran Attorney General Leonidas Rosa Bautista stated at the training that “[the Honduran Government] has not done enough to prosecute those responsible for human rights abuses. This training by CJA is a first step to change that fact.”
Attorney General Rosa Bautista requested that CJA organize the training after the verdict in our U.S. civil case against former Honduran military intelligence chief Juan López Grijalba. He also stated his intention to prosecute López Grijalba for human rights abuses based on evidence developed in CJA's case. The prosecution of López Grijalba would be the first human rights prosecution in the country's history and would have regional impact.
CJA is working to replicate the training program in other countries transitioning from periods of abuse. The focus of our training work will remain on the practical "how to" specifics of human rights prosecutions in national courts. We will also continue to include experienced practitioners in our training faculty with an eye to sharing best practices from national human rights prosecutions in different countries.