Segal McCambridge Attorney John Lee Represents Former Mayor in Human Rights Case


August 26, 2016

Segal McCambridge Chicago Senior Associate John Lee appeared at a hearing before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (“Inter-American Court”) in the case of Lupe Andrade v. Bolivia (CDH-01-2015/141) on June 23, 2016 in San Jose, Costa Rica. Mr. Lee, in association with  Notre Dame Law Professor Doug Cassel, has been handling Sra. Andrade’s case before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (“Inter-American Commission”), and more recently the Inter-American Court, for more than 15 years.

Sra. Andrade, who was mayor of La Paz, Bolivia from 1999 to 2000, was one of the first female mayors of a major Latin American city. After uncovering elements of corruption in the La Paz city government, Ms. Andrade was accused of corruption herself, with six criminal cases being opened against her.   Eventually, she spent more than six months in prison and endured onerous precautionary measures that, until just recently, placed severe restrictions on her freedom of movement and her ability to earn a living.

After exhausting all possibilities for relief from the government of Bolivia, Sra. Andrade turned to the Inter-American Commission for assistance, filing a petition with the help of the Northwestern University Center for International Human Rights in June 2002. Professor Cassel, who was director of the Northwestern Center at the time, brought on Mr. Lee, who had recently finished law school, to assist him in the case.

After more than 10-years of ultimately failed negotiations with the Bolivian government to resolve the case, conducted by Mr. Lee, former US Ambassador Robert Gelbard, the Inter-American Commission, and Sra. Andrade’s attorney in Bolivia Coty Krsul, the Commission forwarded Sra. Andrade’s case to the Inter-American Court in February 2015.  As stated by the Commission, the Andrade case against Bolivia, “will enable the Inter-American Court to delve deeper into the application of specific criteria related to the right to be prosecuted within a reasonable period, particularly in cases with multiple defendants. This case also offers the Court an opportunity to analyze the limitations stemming from the adoption of precautionary measures in the context of a criminal case, as well as the circumstances under which such limitations are compatible with the American Convention on Human Rights.”

Pictures and video of the hearing are available at the Inter-American Court website: Under Caso Andrade Salmon Vs. Bolivia.  Mr. Lee anticipates that the Court will issue a ruling in Sra. Andrade’s case by the end of the year.