Juan E. Mendez

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Juan E. Méndez joined Notre Dame Law School in 1999 "as professor of law and director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights. A native of Lomas de Zamora, Argentina. Professor Méndez has dedicated his legal career to the defense of human rights and has a distinguished record of human-rights advocacy.

"In 1970, Professor Méndez earned his law degree from Stella Maris University, a Catholic university in Mar del Plata, Argentina. In his early law practice, he represented trade unions working for labor reform, but quickly became involved in representing political prisoners. As a result, the Argentine military arrested him, subjecting him to torture and administrative detention for 18 months. During this time, Amnesty International adopted him as a prisoner of conscience.

"After his release from detention, Professor Méndez moved to the United States where he worked for the Catholic Church in Aurora, Illinois to protect the rights of migrant workers. In 1978, he joined the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under the Law in Washington, DC. In 1982, a nascent Human Rights Watch asked him to launch its Americas program and open its Washington, DC office. For 15 years, he worked with HRW, concentrating his efforts on human-rights issues in the Western Hemisphere. In 1994, he became the organization's general counsel.

"Since 1996, Juan Méndez has served as executive director of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in Costa Rica where, among other things, he has had the opportunity to teach courses on human rights to police and military officers, lawyers, journalists, public officials, and others. He is a member of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (2000-2003), of which he is currently president (2002-2003)." [1]

In 2003 he was a board member of the Memory, Truth and Justice: Comparative Perspectives on National Reconciliation.

"As a result of his involvement in representing political prisoners, he was arrested and subjected to torture and administrative detention for a year and a half during the Argentinean military dictatorship. During this time, Amnesty International adopted him as a "prisoner of conscience". After his release from detention in the late 1970s, Mr. Méndez moved to the United States." [1]


Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Juan E. Mendez, The Global Conference on the Prevention of Genocide, accessed December 17, 2007.
  2. International Advisory Board, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, accessed December 11, 2009.
  3. Save Darfur Coalition Board, organizational web page, accessed April 22, 2012.
  4. Editorial Board, International Journal of Transitional Justice, accessed April 8, 2010.

External links