WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
15 Feb 2013 | News

Uruguay Must Overcome Impunity

Buenos Aires, San José, and Washington, D.C. —The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) express their deep concern over the impact of the transfer of judge Mariana Mota to the civil court system, who, until a few days ago, served as the Justice of the Penal (Criminal) Court. The Supreme Court’s decision to transfer judge Mota could have a major impact on the prosecution of cases of crimes against humanity.

At a time when Uruguay should be abiding by the decision emitted by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the Gelman case and, therefore, satisfying its obligation to organize state structures in order to overcome the state of impunity that surrounded the crimes committed by the state during the last dictatorship, the sudden and thus far unexplained transfer of judge Mota to the civil courts will deepen the difficulties currently facing the Uruguayan justice system.

The alleged legality of the Supreme Court of Justice’s order is insufficient to explain the unexpected decision to transfer Judge Mota, who had in her docket more than 50 cases linked to state terrorism committed during the last dictatorship and whose jurisprudence represented hope for Uruguayan society.

CEJIL and WOLA express their solidarity with the victims, their families, and with all of the Uruguayan society, who have continued for decades to fight for justice and an end to impunity. 


The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) is an organization for the defense and promotion of human rights in the Americas. The principle mission of CEJIL is to secure full implementation international human rights norms in all of the member States of the Organization of American States (OAS), through the effective use of the Inter-American Human Rights System and other international protection mechanisms.

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) promotes human rights, democracy, and social justice by working with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean to shape policies in the United States and abroad.

Contact in Buenos Aires

Liliana Tojo/ Director of the program for Bolivia and the Southern Cone/ [email protected] /  + 54-11 3340 9795 (cell) + 54 11 5031-2331 (office)

Contact en San José

Sergio Pacheco S. / Comunications/  spac[email protected] / + 506 2280 7473 (office) + 506 8816 2283 (cell)

Contacto en Washington, D.C.

Jo-Marie Burt / Senior Fellow / [email protected]/ +1 703 946 9714 (cell)