Segal McCambridge Austin Of Counsel Arturo Aviles and Chicago Associate John Lee were recognized by the International Senior Lawyers Project (“ISLP”) in its 2015 Annual Report for their ongoing service to the organization over the past several years. Mr. Lee and Mr. Aviles both have extensive experience working on human rights cases in Central and South America. Together, Mr. Lee and Mr. Aviles have worked with ISLP and the American Bar Association on human rights projects in Mexico and Peru.
In 2014, in association with ISLP and the ABA, Mr. Lee and Mr. Aviles undertook an investigative trip to Peru on behalf of a national human rights group based in Lima, to determine whether it would be possible to bring a case in U.S. Federal Court pursuant to the Alien Tort Statute. The Lima group represented various affected groups in the Cajamarca region of Peru who had suffered potential human rights violations related to environmental and security issues associated with gold mining activities in that region. After traveling to the mine area and interviewing representative groups, Mr. Lee and Mr. Aviles determined that the current state of US law made it unfeasible to bring such a case.
Currently, the two attorneys are working on the case of a human rights attorney in Mazatlán, Mexico whose life has been threatened due to her work representing a group of comuneros who were removed from their land to make way for the construction of the Picachos dam near Mazatlán. They have submitted a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for precautionary measures and will soon file a petition on the merits with the Commission.
Since incorporating in 2000, and with support from foundations, law firms, lawyers, and government programs, ISLP has sent hundreds of experienced lawyers to work, pro bono, with clients in more than 50 countries and has delivered more than $110 million worth of pro bono legal assistance through both on-site projects and remote analysis and advice. ISLP is now widely recognized for the high quality law-related assistance and capacity building it offers to select clients – including civil society organizations, least-developed country governments, and other institutions – with scarce resources and little or no access to experienced lawyers to help them meet important rule of law and development needs. For more information on ISLP, visit www.islp.org.
ISLP often teams with the American Bar Association’s Justice Defender Program, which defends human rights advocates from harassment by taking down legal barriers to advocacy, mobilizing the global legal community and holding governments accountable for restricting human rights activities. For more information on the Justice Defender Program visit http://www.americanbar.org/groups/human_rights/justice_defenders.html.