Juan Mendez Appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

Juan Mendez Appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

Congratulations to my old friend (and currently WCL colleague) Juan Mendez on his appointment as UN special rapporteur on torture.  Professor Mendez has a long and distinguished record of service and achievement in the human rights field, including heading Americas Watch at Human Rights Watch for many years, a term as president of the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights, a professorship at Notre Dame law school, service as the UN special rapporteur on prevention of genocide, heading the International Center for Transitional Justice and, well, the list goes on and on.  But I want to point out that not only is Juan a visiting professor now at my school – he studied here many years ago as an LLM student, after he fled the generals’ regime in Argentina.  (Juan and I spent some exciting times together in Panama at the time of the US invasion in 1990; we did a couple of missions there just after the invasion took place, and wrote the HRW reports on it as well as an article for the Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence.)

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Perfect successor for Manfred Nowak. I’m sure he’s going to do a good job. The Human Rights Council is doing well now. The 1st of August they chose Chris Heyns as successor of Philip Alston on extrajudicial killings. Also a good choice.

Juan E. Mendez

Dear Ken,
Many thanks for your very kind words.  And also for remembering our mission and report on Panama.  I consider it a highlight of my career.  And we did get a response from the Pentagon!
I do rely on you and your readers for suggestions and ideas to make the most ot of this difficult mandate.
Warm regards,