Ecuador continues to push for reforms to OAS’ Freedom of Expression Rapporteurship

The government of Ecuador will continue to push the Organization of American States, or OAS, to accept the reforms it proposed to the Inter American System on Human Rights and the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, or IACHR, according to newspaper La Hora. Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, said he will take the matter before the OAS' next General Assembly of foreign ministers on June 5 and 6 in Guatemala.

Even though the central topic of this assembly will be the fight against drugs, Patiño said Guatemala's foreign minister offered the Ecuadorian delegation "some time" to give an update on the conversations regarding the proposed reforms on financing and the change on the location of the Commission's headquarters, La Hora reported. The Ecuadorian delegation will also discuss its observations regarding the most recent report from the OAS' Special Rapporteurship on Freedom of Expression, which the government of Ecuador has dismissed as lies.

In early 2012, Ecuador presented a series of recommendations to reform the Inter American System on Human Rights, which critics described as an attempt to weaken the Rapporteurship on Freedom of Expression. However, in the OAS' last General Extraordinary Assembly, which took place in March 22, most of its members stood behind the Rapporteurship by not accepting changes to its financing system, which currently allows the option of raising funds from outside sources.

However, the Assembly also left open the possibility of continuing the debate over the way that the IACHR operates.


Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.