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Juanita Goebertus Estrada © Private

(New York) – Juanita Goebertus, a former member of the Colombian Congress and a longtime human rights advocate, has been named the new Americas director at Human Rights Watch.

Goebertus has been an international human rights and humanitarian law advocate throughout her career in government, academia, and civil society. She played an important role in negotiations that led to the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). She served as deputy director of the International Institute for Integrated Transitions, where she also had a regional Latin America brief.

“We are delighted that Juanita Goebertus, a dynamic and accomplished leader, will be heading up our Americas work,” said Sari Bashi, program director at Human Rights Watch. “We’re proud of the work our Americas division is doing and Juanita Goebertus is perfectly positioned not only to take it forward but take it to the next level.”

Goebertus recently completed her four-year term in the Colombian Congress. She was named the “best-performing member of the House of Representatives” for three consecutive years, based on a national survey. As a congresswoman she was a consistent champion of human rights and transparency, and built strong relationships with communities directly affected by human rights abuses.

“With independent state institutions and media freedom increasingly under assault in the Americas, civil society has a key role to play in defending the rule of law and fighting for the protection of human rights,” Goebertus said. “I cannot think of a better place from which to contribute to the fight than Human Rights Watch.”

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