Author: Alonso Gurmendi

Cocaine is a big problem in Latin America. According to the UN, 99.5% of worldwide coca cultivation is concentrated in just three countries: Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. Under pressure from the Global North, Latin American nations have reduced the problem to a plan to contain cocaine flows through mostly violent means, to disastrous humanitarian consequences. In several states, violence has...

Between 1980 and 2000, Peru went through what Peruvians call “La Época del Terrorismo”, or “The Era of Terrorism”. In those years, the Shining Path, a Maoist-inspired terrorist group, launched an attack on Peruvian democracy seeking to establish a Khmer-Rouge-like dictatorship. According to Peru’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission, its Supreme Court, and The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the “Era...

As evidenced in Part I, Latin American states have not been keen to allow expansive interpretations of the rules for use force in foreign soil. Latin America is a region historically subjected to foreign intervention, and as such, the rules it designed, especially in the pre-Charter era, were always very much thought out from a perspective of protecting “the invaded”,...

Ever since its very first articulations, the “unwilling or unable test” has relied heavily in the time-tested legitimacy of the 1837 Caroline Affair, where British forces sunk a vessel manned by Canadian rebels in American territory. Dressing such a visible and well-known case in the cloth of “unwilling or unable” allows its proponents to argue that its underlying principles have...

Since February 21st, 2018, Rio de Janeiro has been under military intervention. Brazilian President, Michel Temer, has tasked the armed forces with ending the “serious endangerment of public order” caused by the drug war between various armed gangs and paramilitary militias in Rio’s favelas, or shantytowns. The use of armed forces for control of crime is not a strange occurrence...

[Alonso Gurmendi Dunkelberg is Professor of International Law at Universidad del Pacífico, in Peru.] I want to draw readers’ attention to a recent decision of the Brazilian Tribunal Superior Eleitoral (TSE), Brazil’s top electoral court, regarding the mandatory nature of UN treaty body decisions. The case centers on former President Luis Inazio da Silva’s (better known as “Lula”) disqualification from the...

[Alonso Gurmendi Dunkelberg is Professor of International Law at Universidad del Pacífico, in Peru.] After the social, political, economic, and humanitarian collapse of Venezuela at the hands of Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorial government, Latin America (and South America in particular) is facing an unprecedented migratory crisis it does not seem to be ready for. As of 2017, the International Organization for Migration...

[Alonso Gurmendi is Professor of International Law at Universidad del Pacífico, in Peru.] As seen in Part I, Colombian transitional justice mechanisms have played a key role in the evolution of the Inter-American Court’s jurisprudence on proportionality of punishment. In this second part, I will analyze whether the Court’s Colombian case-law can influence Peru’s discussion regarding a hypothetical humanitarian pardon for...

[Alonso Gurmendi is Professor of International Law at Universidad del Pacífico, in Peru.] In recent months, most commentaries coming out of South America have focused on the Colombian Peace Agreement with the FARC. There is, however, another post-conflict country positing interesting legal questions. In parallel to Colombia, Peru has been engaged in its own debate over whether international and domestic law...