The Inter-American Bar Association – IABA – has as its purpose the promotion of the rule of law and respect for human rights. As an association of the lawyers of the Western Hemisphere, of Spain, the United Kingdom, and France, having an organizational history of 80 years in the political/juridical life of the Americas, the IABA is a is an authoritative point of reference for the said States concerning matters of international law.
In accordance with our institutional mission to promote the rule of law and to defend the rights and freedoms of human beings, the IABA is committed to promote respect for the Constitution, the laws, and the principles of democracy.
Constitutional democracies are based on the division of power among the different branches of government, establishing an effective system of checks and balances the purpose of which is to protect the Rule of Law and to prevent the abuse of power. Representative democracies are solidly based on respect for the legitimate expression of the popular will, by means of elections which are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution and of the law. Even more fundamentally, constitutional democracies are based on respect for the branches of government and institutions, the rights of persons, the decision of the voters, and the peaceful and orderly transfer of power.
The United States of America has historically been considered a paradigm of democracy. The reprehensible acts of political violence that occurred on the 6th of January, the attack on the United States Congress and the present fraught situation are putting the strength of its democracy to the test; nevertheless, we are confident that, given the strength of its institutions and the commitment of its citizens, that law and order will prevail and that it will continue to forge a more perfect Union.
The IABA profoundly rejects any and all attacks on the powers of the State, its independence and its integrity, as well as any act of political violence in any form and whatever their origin may be. The IABA supports the freedom of expression and the peaceful participation in political life based on the respect to the Constitution, the laws, and the rights of all. The exercise of those rights is not unrestricted and it does not protect acts of political violence, or the incitement thereof, or attacks on public institutions, or the incitement of such attacks, nor does it permit attacks on public institutions and the powers of the State, or the expression of or acts of discrimination, or attacks on the physical integrity of persons, or violations of their right to life. Such acts must be rejected and punished.
The IABA expresses its solidarity with the United States of America and supports respect for the separation of powers, the legitimate expression of the public will by means of elections conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the law, as well as the orderly transfer of power.
The democratic project assumes a firm commitment and constant effort on the part of both those who govern and those who are governed, including responsible actions of both, and respect for the norms, as well as fair and equal treatment under the law. The IABA urges the continuing effort and commitment of everyone to achieve societies that are more equal, fair and peaceful in the Americas and in the entire world. It requires everyone’s commitment
Roberto Flores de la Rosa
Lourdes Escaffi Venes