COMMENTARYLatin American Parliamentarians warn against undermining state sovereignty

By Posted on: | 08 November 2017

08 November 2017

by Katharina Rothweiler

The pressure increases. Members of the Hemispheric Congress of Parliamentarians denounced the violations on national sovereignty in Latin America by international institutions. They particularly warned of interventions made through the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. 

Recently, legislators from Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, and Guatemala gathered to express their concerns and disapproval. As elected Members of Parliament of the countries they represent, they rebuked the outside interference and warned of undermining the democratic process in the region.

The State of Costa Rica has been a primary target in recent years. On the matter of in vitro fertilization, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights submitted a complaint against the Costa Rican Supreme Court ruling in the case of Artavia Murillo vs. Costa Rica. The Inter-American Court on Human Rights decided Costa Rica’s absolute protection of life to be disproportionate and discriminatory.  It validated a presidential decree to legalize in vitro fertilization in Costa Rica steamrolling the legislative power, which had not passed the legalization.  

The Parliamentarians stated that this type of intervention is a grave violation of national sovereignty and their right to legislate and pass laws. Fabricio Alvarado, Member of the Costa Rican Congress, sees the agenda pushed by international institutions. He said that in many ways the Inter American System of Human Rights imposes policies that oppose national constitutions and laws in Latin America bypassing and undermining the power and responsibility of parliamentarians. 

Alongside Congressman Alvarado, more than 700 legislators from Latin America cosigned the Mexico Declaration during the I. Hemispheric Congress of Parliamentarians in Mexico City in June 2017. The new public address on 28 September just emphasizes the urgency of the legislator’s appeal.

The Organization of American States and its partner organizations should comply and not overstep the mandate under which they have been founded. Their mandate respects national sovereignty and does not assign faculty to the Inter-American System of Human Rights to interfere in national matters on social policy. In Latin America, we do not need yet another international body that explains to us how to live. We need a working democratic and legal system in as many countries as possible. Undermining these systems for whatever causes will cause more harm than good.

 

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