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After evolving into a quasi-constitutional regime that boasts virtually universal recognition and a respectable compliance record in Latin America,[1] the Inter-American Human Rights System presently faces a life-threatening crisis. Several countries, under the leadership of the self-styled Bolivarian Axis of Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua,[2] have questioned the legitimacy of the key institutions, i.e., the Commission and Court. Not surprisingly, high-profile actors have intervened in this interfamilial war. Ecuador’s President, Rafael Correa, for instance, has urged the sponsoring Organization of American States, in the face of the ongoing dispute, to “revolutionize itself or disappear.”[3]

[1] The only Latin American countries that have neither signed the American Convention for Human Rights nor recognized the binding jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights are Cuba and Puerto Rico, which are not full members of the sponsoring Organization of American States.

[2] Nicaragua has played a relatively minor role in the controversy.

[3] Mabel Azcui, El presidente Correa dice que la OEA debe “revolucionarse o desaparecer,” El País (Electr. Version), June 5, 2012 (quoting Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa).