Baltasar Garzón (English)

Biography

Baltasar Garzón Real was born on October 26, 1955 in Torres, Jaén. The second of five children of a farmer and later gas station attendant Ildefonso Garzón Cruz. Torres now has a street named after the jurist. He attended seminars in Baeza and Jaén, but soon after, he abandoned his ecclesiastical studies.
The family moved to Seville, where Baltasar Garzón graduated in law from the University of the Andalusian capital in 1979. Having been selected No. 11 out of 51 applicants, he began his legal career on February13, 1981 in the court of Valverde del Camino, province of Huelva. A few months earlier, in November 1980, he married Maria Rosario Molina, with whom he has three children.
In 1980 he agreed to his legal career approving the appointment to Judge of 1st Instance and Instruction number 11 in his class. In February 1981 he was appointed Judge of First Instance and Instruction of Valverde del Camino (Huelva).
In August 1981 he took office as Judge of First Instance and Instruction Villacarrillo (Jaén). In July 1983 he was promoted to Magistrate. His first assignment was Vitoria (Court of First Instance and Instruction 3 of Vitoria (Alava) Second, in November 1984, the Court of First Instance and Instruction 3 of Almeria. In February 1987 he was appointed chief inspector of the General Council of the Judicial Courts for all of Andalusia.
In February 1988, he was appointed to the Central Court of Instruction No. 5 of the High court. His powers were those stated in Article 65 of the Organic Law of Judicial Power, as well as the law on terrorism. From this position, as one of the four judges in charge of instructing cases against terrorism and drug trafficking, he led many proceedings against the terrorist organization ETA and several major cases involving drug trafficking operations like “Nécora” (1990), which dismantled the organization led by Laureano Oubiña and “Python” (1991), with the arrest of the members of the so-called ” Charlines clan” who “fished” off the Galician coast.
In May 1993, he was in a position of special services within his legal career, when he ran as an independent in the PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Español [Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party]) lists in the general elections of that year and obtained the certificate of Member of Parliament for Madrid.
In July 1993, he was appointed Secretary of State-Government Delegate for the National Plan on Drugs. During the time he held this position he coordinated seven Ministries and those relevant to the 17 autonomous communities of Spain with their own budget, developing a permanent task of coordination with social organizations and Parliament. He also created a new structure that remained in place until 2005 and has evolved consolidating the action in the fight against drug trafficking in the Ministry of Interior.
He also coordinated international government policy on drugs by attending the UN agencies in Vienna and New York in compliance with such representation and signing bilateral agreements with other countries, such as Germany or Portugal, among others.
On May 16, 1994, after resigning from the post of Secretary of State and renouncing delegation, he returned to his position as a judge in the Central Court of Instruction No. 5 of the High court.
On March 1, 2005, following a study license granted by the General Legal Council, he joined as Senior Fellow at the Centre on Law and Security, School of Law, New York University, and as Professor of “Spanish Culture and civilization” in the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Centre of New York University.
On June 30, 2006, he returned to his work as a Magistrate Judge of the Central Court of Instruction No. 5 of the High court.
On 16 October 2008, Garzón was declared competent to investigate the crimes of Francoism with regard to crimes against humanity, but soon after was removed in favour of territorial courts where the graves of the victims were located. The right-wing union Manos Limpias [Clean Hands], brought charges against Garzón for prevarication (knowingly issue a decision contrary to law), claiming that it had exceeded his powers in the investigation of Franco. In May 2009, the Supreme Court agreed to hear and then also admitted two other complaints of Freedom and Identity and Falange Española de las JONS (Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista) [Spanish Phalanx of the Assemblies of the National Syndicalist Offensive].
In 2010 due to the opening of the trial called Historical Memory, he was suspended from duties.
On May 23, 2010, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague appointed him external consultant.
On May 20, 2011 he was appointed External Consultant for the OAS Peace Process Support Mission in Colombia.
On July 7, 2011, he joined the Committee for the Prevention of Torture of the Council of Europe.
. In November 2011, he began work as coordinator of the International observation on the process of reform of the legal system in Ecuador, until January 2013.
Garzón chairs the Fundación FIBGAR, Foundation for Human Rights organization and universal jurisdiction, whose headquarters are also in Madrid. The Foundation is currently developing programs in Spain, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico.
Since April 3, 2012, he has practiced law under the Bar Association of Seville (Spain)

As a judge

Competence as a judge in the last 22 years has included the following subjects:

• Investigation of terrorist offenses.
• Investigation of drug trafficking and money laundering.
• Investigation of counterfeiting crimes.
• Investigation of organized crime and phenomena of corruption connected thereto.
• Investigating crimes of genocide, torture, terrorism and other international crimes.
• Cases of passive extradition and European Arrest Warrants and crimes committed abroad.
• International Legal Cooperation.
Some of the main activities include

Terrorism

ETA. 1988 onwards. Countless investigations on operating terrorist groups of the terrorist organization and the arrest of those responsible for numerous attacks resulting in deaths, kidnapping, extortion, threats, fire, damage, interception of explosives, heavy weapons … Conducted proceedings against other satellite organizations such as the Kale Borroka or Y groups.
Garzón designed an operating system which has been helped investigate KAS, EKIN, XAKI, JARRAI, SEGI, Pro amnesty Managers, ASKATASUNA, EGIN, a network of companies that supported the organization declaring the illegality of various formations. Both the Spanish Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights endorsed these actions.
1998. Closure of the newspaper Egin and the radio station Egin Irratia, accused of collaborating with ETA. In 2001 he issued an order closing the magazine Ardi Beltza whose director, Pepe Rei, had previously been prosecuted under the “Egin case”.
2001. He ordered the arrest of thirteen people linked to the Pro Amnesty Managers movement (Gestorak), nationalist organization supporting the fight for the return of ETA prisoners. He also undertook the outlawing of Batasuna, in a writ published in Madrid on August 26, 2002, for an alleged crime of integration into a terrorist organization.
2003. Baltasar Garzón suspended the activities and ordered the closure of the premises in Spain and abroad of the Communist Party of Spain (reconstituted) PCE(r) considering it the political arm of the First of October Antifascist Resistance Groups (Grapo)

GAL. The Anti-Terrorist Liberation Groups (GAL) were vigilante groups who practiced what is called state terrorism or “dirty war” against the criminal organization ETA and its environment. Garzón investigated the action of this gang following the kidnapping of a French citizen, Segundo Marey. As a final result various former senior Interior Ministry officials, including a minister were sentenced to prison.

Protocolo Garzón [Garzón Protocol]

Baltasar Garzón included in his investigations into terrorist offenses a process to strengthen safeguards for incommunicado detainees for terrorism cases, according to international standards of UN and human rights agencies which at that time were not assumed in Spain. This is called Protocol Garzón.

Guantanamo.

As Judge of the High court in 2009, Baltasar Garzón opened a case to investigate possible “perpetrators, inductors, necessary collaborators and accomplices” of crimes of torture committed at Guantanamo after allegations by Hamed Abderrahman Ahmed, Lahcen Ikassrien, Jamiel Abdul Latif al Banna and Omar Deghayes. In November 2010 Wiki leaks revealed that Garzón was considered dangerous to U.S. interests and a formula was sought to prevent him continuing his investigation.

Drug trafficking.

He made major operations against drug trafficking and drug money laundering, both in local networks and international criminal gangs. As is the case of the Nécora, Green Ice, Troika, UCIFA operations, among many others.

Financial crimes.

Garzón has undertaken significant actions against corruption and economic crimes such as the Pretoria or Gürtel operations which caused sentencing to disqualification by the Supreme Court.

Historical report.

He was declared competent to investigate crimes of the civil war and the Franco-era initiating the case which had to be inhibited in favour of the regional courts. He met with strong opposition from the Office of the High court. Thanks to the process that he started the existence of more than 130,000 missing people came to light. This case was prosecuted but acquitted by the Supreme Court. Garzón is the only Spanish magistrate who has dared to address these crimes.

Universal justice.

The warrant for the arrest of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet or the Scilingo case and death flights of Argentina’s dictatorship, gave Garzón international fame.

The three Trials against Garzón

In 2010 Baltasar Garzón faced three trials, two on charges of corruption and one for bribery. Information has been gathered on the three lawsuits against Garzón both journalistically and legal.
The first was due to his investigation on the Gürtel case, the second for wanting to respond to victims of the Franco-era, and the last trial cases held in New York.
The Criminal Court of the Supreme Court accused him of the intervention of prison conversations of Gürtel defendants in relation to their lawyers. He was acquitted by the court with jurisdiction to investigate crimes and disappearances of the Franco-era and the third case was closed.

Historical Report

Judge Baltasar Garzón declared himself competent in October 2008 to investigate the disappearance of the victims of the Franco-era. In his order, the judge attributed a systematic plan of extermination of opponents and repression which ended with at least 114,266 missing to the dictator Francisco Franco and 34 other leaders who led the rebellion against the Government of the Republic. The judge framed these facts in the context of crimes against humanity.
With those involved dead there was no criminal liability, so the corresponding regional courts had to take care of these cases. Garzón was inhibited a month later in favour of the 62 courts according to the law.
The chief prosecutor of the High court, Javier Zaragoza, opposed to the openness of this process and accused Garzón of starting a “general cause” against Franco. The prosecutor requested the annulment of the investigation, calling it “legal nonsense.” Zaragoza considered these facts were prescribed and forgiven by the Amnesty Act of 1977.

A controversial investigating judge

But the right-wing union Manos Limpias, brought charges against Garzón for prevarication (knowingly issuing a decision contrary to law), claiming that he had exceeded his powers in the investigation of Franco. In May 2009, the Supreme Court agreed to hear this case and also admitted two other complaints of Freedom and Identity and Falange Española de las JONS. The Supreme also added the report of the chief prosecutor of the High court which had already expressed opposition to its arguments.
The investigating judge on the case was the Supreme Court judge Luciano Varela, a man critical of Garzón, who described him as a “star judge.” In 2008 the same judge Varela was also responsible for the complaint that Garzón allegedly charged $ 1.7 million for a few courses at the University of New York, but rejected the bribery and corruption offenses of which he was accused.

Manos Limpias

Manos Limpias is led by Miguel Bernad, a former leader of the far-right party New Force. This union has filed a number of complaints many of which have been rejected. Liberty and Identity, conservative ideology association also presented another complaint of alleged transgression. Finally, it joined the case against the judge, Falange Española de las JONS, which asked for 20 year disqualification for Garzón, arguing that he wanted to take charge of a case when he knew he was not competent.
Specifically the reports of enforced disappearances by family of Franco’s victims claim many Phalangists in executions and “removal” of the missing. The judge dismissed Falange on a formal matter on April 23. According to the investigating judge, Falange entered assessments that hindered the truth or falsity of the arguments. On October 18 the Supreme court upheld his dismissal of the cause.
The magistrate filed a motion calling the allegations “blatant retaliation.” He added: “To attribute senior officials of the Franco dictatorship with a crime against the nation’s top agencies and the form of government may be debatable, but in any case it is a case of corruption.”

Commencement of hearing

Garzón’s defence said that Garzón’s performance would have been unfair only “if he had forsaken the victims who demanded justice; if they had been denied the right to know; if he had refused to admit very serious criminal allegations.” For its part, the Office of the Supreme Court argued against the complaint and without understanding that in no case, a case of corruption would have occurred.
In April 2010 Baltasar Garzón challenged the magistrate Luciano Varela. The judge advised the right-wing organization Manos Limpias on their indictment. In an order, he suggested deleting certain parts of writing and even in one paragraph Garzón’s defence claimed that entire paragraphs had been plagiarized from the order of 3 February by the investigating Supreme judge. Gonzalo Martínez Fresneda, magistrate advocate spoke of bias in terms of Varela’s actions. The challenge was rejected and on 12 May the trial against Garzón began who was suspended by the GCJ, as required by law.

Evidence of support

Thousands of people attended the concentrations and demonstrations across Spain on April 24, 2010 to denounce the impunity of Franco and support Judge Baltasar Garzón, convened by reconnaissance platforms to the Historical Report
The largest rally was held in Madrid, where organizers recognized that attendance at the march that passed between Puerta de Alcalá and Puerta del Sol surpassed their most optimistic expectations “by far” (about 100,000 attendees were estimated). The rally ended with the reading of a manifesto by the filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, the writer Almudena Grandes and the poet Marcos Ana, who spent 23 years in Franco jails.
The text, followed by a minute’s silence for all the victims of Franco, said “the consequences of a process that, in a democracy dirties’ the memory of the victims of Francoism, despises the pain of their children, their grandchildren and condemns aspirations for justice for hundreds of thousands of Spanish families.”
In Barcelona more than four thousand people filled the Plaza de Sant Jaume. The concentration convened in Seville was attended by the mother and sisters of Garzón, a native of Jaén, where also some three hundred people participated in an act of support to the judge that were repeated in places like Zaragoza, Murcia, Cáceres, Valladolid, León , Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas, Santander, Valencia and Gijón, among others.
Acts supporting Garzón had the presence of numerous left-wing political parties such as Cayo Lara and Gaspar Llamazares (IU), Pedro Zerolo (PSOE) and Joan Herrera (ICV) – while they were harshly criticized by the PP, whose president, Mariano Rajoy, accused them of a “brutal and undemocratic” campaign against the Supreme Court.

Absolution

The representative of the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) Reed Brody reported the “double standards” of the Spanish Justice, which investigated dictatorships such as Chile and Argentina but has indicted a judge for doing the same with Franco. 47 In the same vein, Ronald Gamarra, Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Coordinator of Peru and the civil party lawyer in the trial of former President Alberto Fujimori convicted of crimes against humanity, expressed surprise “that countries do not want judges who rightly legitimize their Judicial Power, who are independent and who prefer honour and justice to the shameful past.”
While this was happening with international impact of grief and amazement, hundreds of citizens living in Latin America linked to independence organizations in the Basque Country and in many cases close to ETA ideology, terrorist organization against which the magistrate had acted for years, signed a document that rejected the Franco regime, but did not support Garzón, whom they accused of persecuting the Basques, Catalans, Galicians and the government of Venezuela.
The Supreme Court acquitted Baltasar Garzón on February 27, 2012. The judgment ruled that the magistrate incurred in excess of the interpretive rules, but that such conduct did not constitute the crime of corruption. It was also stressed that, by initiating the case against Franco, he sought to protect victims from injury. In the same vein, an editorial in The New York Times, dated February 5, 2012, stated that “Pursuing him threatens justice.”

Gürtel case

Judge Baltasar Garzón uncovered the Gürtel network in February 2009 after a year of investigating. It was the largest pattern of corruption related to a political party, the PP, discovered to date. The object of the investigation lay in a network of companies that obtained lucrative contracts with governments ruled by the Partido Popular.
The magistrate sent the ringleader to prison, Francisco Correa, his cousin Antoine Sánchez and Pablo Crespo, former secretary of the PP organization in Galicia.
During the investigation at the request of the police, the magistrate authorized monitoring of the conversations involving the main players held in jail with different visitors received but stressed the need to preserve the rights of defence in any case. The fear of those in charge of the case was that those involved could be trying to hide millions of Euros.

The prosecuting attorney

Ignacio Peláez, former prosecutor on leave from the High court, formerly co-accused with Garzón and attorney Jose Luis Ulibarri, filed a complaint for these recordings. Ulibarri was never in prison, but Pelaez came to the prison to talk to others involved in Gürtel who were not his clients.
As a lawyer, Peláez had been tried with Alberto Cortina and Alberto Alcocer, (Los Albertos) due to a fake letter with which the businessmen sought to counter the accusation of the Urbanor case which was finally extinguished by prescription. However, the court ultimately could not find “sufficient evidence” to prove the falsity of the letter and was acquitted.

The prosecution, against

In February 2010, the Prosecutor of the Supreme Court described the complaint filed by attorney Ignacio Peláez as “legal fraud”, but the Supreme agreed to hear it anyway, despite the appeal in court against the admission of the complaint. The prosecution argued that the intervention of the recordings had at all times had the necessary judicial authorization and had also provided key data on money laundering activities of the accused. The investigating judge in the case was judge Alberto Jorge Barreiro.
Judge Garzón’s successor in the case in the High Court of Justice of Madrid, Antonio Pedreira, endorsed the intervention of these communications as well as the two anti-corruption prosecutors assigned to the case. The judge of the Criminal chamber of TSJM José Manuel Suarez Robledano was also in agreement with this action.

The democratic right of citizens

For defence lawyers in the Gürtel case the tracks were “monstrous” or “unconstitutional.” They accused him of having acted “moved by reasons of the State, which is the excuse of tyrants.”
Baltasar Garzón said in his closing argument that “the only reason of the State that I understand is the democratic right of citizens”, adding: “I assume every one of the decisions that were taken reflexively fulfilling the strictest legality.”
His defence lawyer, Francisco Baena Bocanegra, recalled that the wiretapping law was still to be developed and thus far all judges applied their discretion on how to apply these tapes under the law.

Eleven year disqualification

On February 8, 2012 the Court II of the Supreme Court informed the judge of the sentence of eleven years disqualification, a fine of 2,520 Euros and the order to pay the costs of prosecution. The judges Joaquín Giménez García, Andrés Martínez Arrieta, Miguel Colmenero Menéndez de Luarca, Francisco Monterde Ferrer, Juan Ramón Berdugo Gómez de la Torre, Luciano Varela Castro and Manuel Marchena Gómez unanimously signed this sentence.
In their opinion, having ordered the tapping, Garzón had revived “practices that in modern times are only found in totalitarian regimes where everything is considered valid for obtaining information that matters, or allegedly matters.” They also considered that the judge caused “a drastic and unjustified reduction of the right of defence” to the Gürtel lawyers. They said it was an “arbitrary act, devoid of reason, which dismantles the constitutional architecture of the criminal process and a fair trial.”
Baltasar Garzón appealed in May 2013 to the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that he had been convicted of “a nonexistent offense” and that “his fundamental rights had been manifestly and grievously” violated. If successful, he could once again be a judge as the Strasbourg rulings are binding on Spain. In his writ of amparo he declared having been the object of “singular criminal treatment generating inadmissible legal uncertainty for judges and magistrates.” Also, the judges who condemned him “tailor made” the offense for him, since “in Spain there is no law regulating phone tapping.” Garzón termed the reasoning of the judgment against him as “contradictory, unreasonable and arbitrary” recalling that the prosecution supported the recordings. He added to the high European Court that he felt “the scapegoat for the ills and shortcomings of the Spanish laws.” Finally, he observed that the judgment violates “judicial independence gathered in the Constitution” as it was considered “a criminal act which it was not in this case” and Garzón merely “fulfilled his obligation without violating any law.”

Santander case

The lawyers and José Luis Mazon and Antonio Panea filed a lawsuit against Baltasar Garzón in January 2010 in connection with courses organized by the King Juan Carlos Centre at New York University taught by the judge between 2005 and 2006 during the time who was on leave for studies. Garzón was accused of having profited from money provided for these courses by the Banco de Santander. The complainants stated that after his return from USA and return to the High court, one of the complaints he had affected several executives of Banco de Santander of misappropriation of the company SCI Gestión. On this basis they filed a case against Garzón for alleged crimes of corruption and bribery which became known as the Santander case.
Banco de Santander and the University of New York denied any payment from the bank. It was the university who through the King Juan Carlos ad Centre made the payments due for participation in Baltasar Garzón courses. This was confirmed by Garzón himself when he had to testify before the Supreme Court on April 15, 2010, clarifying that he had not received any amount from the financial institution. The judge was shown a letter to Emilio Botín endorsing the good work of the University. This letter addressed in familiar terms was interpreted by the complainants as a sign of familiarity. Garzón replied providing letters to other political or institutional leaders such as Mariano Rajoy or Felipe González where he signed off with a “hug” or “a big hug.”

Manuel Marchena, investigating judge of the case in Court II of the Supreme Criminal Court even ordered the Civil Guard to investigate the accounts, bank deposits, tax returns and holdings that Baltasar Garzón may have held with any entity. He wanted to know the amount received by Garzón from the University of New York during his leave. But the investigation of judge Marchena went further, investigating (and making public) personal accounts of Garzón’s relatives in an action that was criticized. Paradoxically, in January 2012 the Supreme Court itself filed a complaint by prescription against the president of Banco Santander, Emilio Botín, accused of bribery as he was accused of these alleged payments to judge Baltasar Garzón when he was at the University of New York. However, the case against Garzón for the same alleged facts, continued.
Finally, the complaint was filed by the investigating judge due to not finding evidence of extortion and considering that, in any event, the alleged crime of improper bribe would have been prescribed.

As an Author 

Baltasar Garzón was not only an informative object but also has a long history as the author of opinion pieces in the media.
Here is a selection of texts written by Baltasar Garzón in the newspaper El País

In other countries

Baltasar Garzón and the Baltasar Garzón International Foundation also develop human rights and universal justice projects in other countries, especially in Latin America, where the foundation has recently opened two locations in Buenos Aires and in Morelos (Mexico) and works on projects in Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador, Paraguay and Tanzania, among others.

Colombia

ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIP FOR ETHNIC GROUPS, INDIGENOUS OR AFRICAN DESCENTS IN COLOMBIA.
The Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ) [Javeriana Catholic University] in Cali, Colombia consistent with its social duty and commitment to the environment, in 2011 created a scholarship aimed at ethnic minorities living in the country with the idea of promoting the training of new generations of professionals and individuals committed to a more caring, more educated and more just society.
This scholarship is awarded biannually by the Rector of the Javeriana, Cali and covers 100% of the tuition for an undergraduate program, for a baccalaureate student who comes from an indigenous ethnic group or Afro-descendant population.
Baltasar Garzón International Foundation (FIBGAR) took over in 2012 of seven of these grants, of which five correspond to the medical school and two to Psychology. Scholarships are academic and for accommodation.
As a continuation of this project is the provision for an intercultural centre that offers the necessary accommodation for students. This centre will serve for better relationships between students and scholarship students, promoting diversity and inclusion in the same context.
TV SHOW “HABLEMOS DE PAZ Y DERECHOS HUMANOS” [LET’S TALK PEACE AND HUMAN RIGHTS] IN COLLABORATION WITH CANAL CAPITAL
“Hablemos de paz y de Derechos Humanos” is a television program that aims to reflect and analyse the peace process and the defence of human rights in Colombia. It aims to provide the most objective view possible about the degrees of forward or reverse, both in negotiations and peace, and the protection and defence of human rights in the country, from the statements of actors in these processes and inputs from Colombian and foreign experts.
The execution, management, investigation and implementation of the program are the responsibility of FIBGAR; is led and directed by Baltasar Garzón and Pedro Medellin. The program airs on Wednesdays for one hour in the review section of Canal Capital.
The International Foundation Baltasar Garzón is not only responsible for the conduct and completion of the broadcast but has also conducted a rigorous and important campaign to promote programs on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
The account “Hablemos de paz” [Let’s talk about peace] on the two social networks was created on September 27, 2012. These spaces have promoted each of the interviews broadcast on Canal Capital and have also made mention of each of the subjects covered.
FIBGAR performs a rigorous analysis of social networks and weekly communication methods to determine the influence of each interview on public opinion.

ADVICE, GUIDANCE AND GENERAL SUPPORT PROJECT FOR THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR OF COLOMBIA IN THE MACROCRIMINAL INVESTIGATION STRATEGY.
With the advice of Baltasar Garzón, FIBGAR initiated this project for advice, guidance and support to the Public Prosecutor of Colombia in the macrocriminal investigation strategy. One of the continuing challenges of Colombian society as a whole has been the fight against organized crime in its various manifestations. From the ongoing fight against drug trafficking and money laundering, to confronting the various manifestations of organized violence in venues such as paramilitary and guerrilla actions and the activities of certain legal armed groups, all efforts have come together to overcome a certain amount of impunity and that sometimes have questioned the very action of the State in its mission to ensure the safety of all Colombians.
To this end, the Baltasar Garzón International Foundation presented a proposal to support the development of a comprehensive investigation strategy against serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law, and its relationship with other national realities like terrorism, corruption and organized crime in its various forms.
The work of the Foundation raises three lines of action to the Public Prosecutor’s Office:
1. Analysis of the Impact of the Directive on the criteria for prioritizing criminal investigation.
2. Investigation strategy for macrocriminal crimes.
3. Advice to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Mexico

Advice to the Mexican government to draft a Victim Support Law.
In October 2012, holders of the Executive Branch of the Free and Sovereign State of Morelos and FIBGAR signed an agreement whereby they must coordinate efforts for the development of the Integral Law on Victim Services for the State of Morelos and relevant activities for better application.
The Baltasar Garzón International Foundation will advise the Government of the State of Morelos for the development of a Victim Support Law. This is to raise social, employment and legal aid for the benefit of those who have suffered a crime of Human Rights violation.
In this regard, on April 30, 2012, the Mexican Chamber of Deputies unanimously approved the General Law of Victims on the basis of which the State is obliged to repair the damage, whether moral or material, to victims of any kind of crime, who must also be protected.
FIBGAR OFFICES IN MORELOS (MEXICO)
On September 4, 2013, the Baltasar Garzón International Foundation opened its offices in the city of Cuernavaca, in the State of Morelos. FIBGAR president, Baltasar Garzón said during the ceremony that the new site is to “promote a culture of activism, promotion, security, development and defence of human rights as well as development cooperation of the people in a culture of legal certainty and peace.”

Argentina

The Baltasar Garzón International Foundation opened a centre at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on October 15, 2013, through collaboration with the Metropolitan University for Education and Work and the October Foundation. The three entities will conduct programs related to: native peoples, environmental rights, universal jurisdiction, migration and conflict resolution and mediation.
During the opening ceremony there was a conference “Dialogue on the prospects and defence of Human Rights in Latin America” which involved Estela de Carlotto, of Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo and Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú, which was moderated by Baltasar Garzón.
More information: Fibgar opens office in Argentina
The difficulties for judging crimes committed within Operation Condor, an operation that coordinated political repression in several South American dictatorships, formed the core of the debate at the World Forum on Human Rights in Buenos Aires. (05/12/2013). Read the full story in eldiario.es:

El Salvador

COMPLAINT FOR CRIMES COMMITTED IN EL SALVADOR
The Baltasar Garzón International Foundation, the Human Rights Institute of the Universidad Centroamericana “Jose Simeon Cañas” (IDHUCA) and the Human Rights Centre at the University of Washington are investigating crimes committed during the armed conflict in El Salvador, through documents declassified by the U.S. State Department, national and international press articles and other documentation, including interviews with witnesses, victims, military experts and others.
Once the report is completed, FIBGAR will begin with the legal arguments and the structure of the complaint.
More information: Complaint for the crimes committed in El Salvador
Fibgar joins the complaint against the Santa Cruz massacre
Tanzania
SAFEGUARD THE HADZABE
The Hadzabe are an ethnic group of Tanzania, located in the vicinity of Lake Eyasi, with a lifestyle very similar to the Palaeolithic and a language characterized by clicks, which is the oldest on the planet. But the modernization and expansion of other people threatens its cultural legacy, so FIBGAR along with The Kobo Trust Foundation will work to ensure that the cultural manifestations of this ethnic group are declared Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
More information: Safeguard the Hadzabe

Paraguay

Invited by the Commission for Truth and Justice, Baltasar Garzón visited Paraguay, where he arrived with a specific proposal: Introduce a judicial investigation initiative for Operation Condor in Paraguay, in coordination with other countries where in the 70s, this criminal pact signed by the dictators of the Southern Cone was applied to persecute opponents beyond national borders.
In the capital Asunción, the former Spanish judge asked the Attorney General to investigate “crimes of repression” under the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner in the country (1954-1989).
Read the full story at Ultimahora.com

Panama

24 JANUARY 2014. Baltasar Garzón called for a transparent management in negotiations performed by the Panama Canal and the consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) [Groups Joined by the Canal], in order to know the problems that exist to complete the project to widen the oceanic route. Read more at La información.