Author: Alonso Gurmendi

Over at Just Security, my friend Adil Haque has written a fantastic post on self-defense and non-state actors. Adil’s main point is that Article 51 of the UN Charter does not apply to armed attacks by non-state actors given its “Latin American origin”. He explains how it should be read in accordance with the Act of Chapultepec, which referred only to inter-state uses of force. I highly...

I want to call readers attention to an important case coming out of Brazil. This week, the 2nd Regional Federal Tribunal (TRF2), based in Rio de Janeiro decided a case against Antônio Waneir Pinheiro Lima, a retired army sergeant, accused of raping and torturing Inês Etienne Romeu, the sole survivor of a clandestine torture center known as the “House of Death”. The case is relevant because,...

A few weeks ago I presented my book on the Peruvian armed conflict at FIL, Lima’s International Book Fair. The book, “Conflicto Armado en el Perú: La Época del Terrorismo bajo el Derecho Internacional” (“Armed Conflict in Peru: The Times of Terrorism under International Law”), published by Universidad del Pacífico Press, explores how politicized misinformation on the conflict’s history has...

Last Monday, Prof. Stephen Walt published a controversial article on his Foreign Policy blog. The title (which he did not choose and has since been changed) was regrettable: “Who Will Invade Brazil to Save the Amazon?” Written as part of the fallout from Brazil’s new (and terrible) deforestation policy, the post asks what exactly should the international community do to prevent states like Brazil from causing...

Recently, there’s been many a discussion in the Global North on the semiotics of law. What does it mean to say there was a genocide in Canada or that ICE runs concentration camps. In general, these debates follow a similar pattern: specific groups of people are outraged that scholars and experts would use the correct terminology to describe a policy they support, because it sounds...

You have heard the news and know what might happen. Your President may pardon a war criminal. You, certainly, disapprove. You believe in international justice and you are convinced war criminals need to be punished for their crimes. You want to do something about it, but you have read the blog posts and newspapers. Judging by recent experience, the ICC will likely not help. Yours...

A few days ago, the New York Times broke an explosive story on Colombia. The journal claimed Major General Nicacio Martínez, the head of the Colombian Army, had issued new and worrisome targeting orders for his troops. Soldiers were requested “not to demand perfection” and to “do anything to boost their results”. According to the article, the order asks commanders to “launch operations with 60...

I wanted to draw readers’ attention to an important case decided this Wednesday by Colombia’s Special Jurisdiction for Peace, the tribunal set up to spearhead its transitional justice process. The case involves the extradition request of Seuxis Pauxias Hernández Solarte, better known as “Jesús Santrich”, a demobilized FARC commander accused of narco-trafficking by the US. As a demobilized FARC member, Santrich is covered by the Colombian Peace...

The Amazon is a 7,000,000 km2 ecosystem, containing the world’s largest rainforest, boasting some 390 billion trees, 2.5 million species of insects and over 2,000 species of birds and mammals, spanning the territories of eight states (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela). It is also the name of a company worth 810 billion dollars. Back in 2012, Amazon – the company – applied to register...

I wanted to call readers attention to a particularly interesting ongoing case regarding recognition of governments in the context of Venezuela. The case (Rusoro Mining Ltd. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) revolves around damages caused to Rusoro, a Canadian company, by Venezuela’s nationalisation of the gold mining sector. In 2016, an ICSID tribunal ordered Venezuela to pay approximately one billion...

Perhaps it is too early to be talking about a Venezuelan transition, but then again, it is never too early to be prepared. Presuming the Lima Group does avoid American military action in Venezuela and secures a workable plan for elections, how would a post-Maduro transitional justice scheme look like? Accountability seems to be of great importance to the Lima Group....