Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Honoring its geographical position as a bridge for dialog and international communication, Panama opened its doors for the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace to hold, on Wednesday August 13, the Judicial Forum "New Proposals for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide," sponsored by the National Bar Association, and the notable participation of expert panelists specializing on criminal law and genocide.
One of the objectives of these judicial forums is to generate constructive critical thinking about national and international crime policy in regard to genocide as a capital crime, for which purpose previous forums have been held in Paraguay and now Panama, in preparation for the official launch of this new project of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, which will take place in Bogota, Colombia, in September 2014.
The event was opened by the Vice President of the National Bar Association, Juan Carlos Arauz, who expressed his satisfaction of having the forum held in Panama, especially because this country is establishing a constituent process, and the forum will serve as an important source of ideas for the new Constitution of Panama.
Global Ambassador, Dr. William Soto, visionary and project creator of the International Judicial Forums: "JUSTICE FOR PEACE," pointed out the importance of being vigilant of global alarm signals that may indicate the presence of serious human rights violations which can trigger genocides, as has unfortunately already happened. He also stressed the importance of combating all forms of discrimination and the need to have permanent observatories to monitor these actions and draw public attention to them in order to prevent the repetition of these serious crimes.
Dr. Aura Emerita Guerra de Villalaz, specialist in Criminal Sciences and member of the ad hoc International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, recounted her experience in this important genocide case, one of the bloodiest in history, noting how the fact that this process is still being carried out is an example of how difficult it is to try this type of international crimes.
Another panelist, Dr. Dario Sandoval Shaik, a specialist in Private International Law and member of the Court of Honor of the National Bar Association of Panama, shared academic insights–through a historical analysis–on the need for urgent reforms to International Criminal Law, taking into account not only the genocides perpetrated during this century but throughout the entire history of mankind.
In concluding, Dr. Camilo Montoya, Prosecutor of the Superior Tribunal of Bogota and Project Development Council Director of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace contextualized the crime of genocide, and the reasons why the Justice for Peace project will be undertaken in several cities, with the aim to prevent and punish genocide.
The audience in attendance included officials of the National Bar Association of Panama, the German Ambassador to Panama, Hermann Sausen, World War II Holocaust survivors Jaime Segal and Felix Poznaski, as well as law students and journalists.