ALBA/Puffin Foundation Award for Human Rights Activism to Baltasar Garzon – Speech Notes – PDF

2011 ALBA Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism to Baltasar Garzon

Honor to be here—MR CCR–

We–litigators in the human rights community—

are judge garzon’s children –stand on his shoulder in our work–

He is the Legal Revolutionary

changed what intern justice for international crimes meant—

key problem is prohibitions torture genocide aggressive war only enforced against the weak and the defeated—not against the powerful or the winners—

not against the US not against Israelis not against the allies for Dresden

That means impunity for the powerful and more and more crimes for the future

More than any single person—more than any other judge—

judge garzon spent his most important judicial moments trying to establish that the strong like the weak—had to held accountable for torture murder and genocide—

judge garzon broke the mold no longer business as usual

a pioneer—great courage —lightning bolt—scared the pants off the officials in countries around the world– US—

Case I am sure you are aware of—that did it–Pinochet case 1998

Spanish—invest judge—tremendous indep powers cases initiated by Spanish citizens

Indicted Pinochet for torture genocide role in op condor–and then issued an arrest warrant executed in UK

Earth shattering former head of state not just against some 3rd world dictator but from a westernized country with a dictator supported by the US—

State visit to thatcher in all his finery—-we loved it

Although–Never did face trial in Spain UK medical but prosecution begun in Chile–

If there is a building block of international justice—Pinochet case is it—led to ICC and–murderers and torturers fearful of similar national prosecutions—

When Bush Cheney Rumsfeld and others embarked on the notorious US torture program they knew they wld get a pass in US and thought no country wld investigate the leaders of the most powerful nation on earth—

They were wrong

They did not count Judge Garzon in their equations

Judge Garzon–took action—boldly—

he began an investigation of the US torture program—

a program much like operation condor–

a case in which CCR is co—counsel—katie and claire are here—

As he said in opening the case—against the US torture team—the evidence showed–

“an approved systematic plan of torture and ill-treatment on persons deprived of their freedom without any charge and without the basic rights of all detainees as set out and required by applicable international treaties.”

Despite judge garzon’s suspension—that case continues—actively–­Scares the daylights–both bush and Obama every effort as wiki shows

The Bushs the Cheneys the Rumsfelds of the world—now travel at peril of arrest—thanks to judge garzon –the prado is not on their agenda—

And just look at what Judge Garzon’s work made possible in Switzerland Switzerland was to be his first trip to Europe after presidency

CCR prepared a criminal case against Bush–“I ordered waterboarding and wld do it again”

Fearing the criminal prosecution—this former president of the United States—canceled the trip—remarkable –once the most powerful man in the world—is practically on a no fly list-

147 countries-signatories to the CAT- can do what Switzerland might have done-

And who can we all thank—Judge Garzon—

And of course the Spanish civil war eases—judge garzon serves in the audiencia national —invest international crimes-

–an irony of the anger at him for looking into the disappeared in that war—is that the audiencia—was established the same day in 1977 when the Franco’s repressive public order courts were closed—

and now the politics of those draconian courts have reemerged in an effort to leave unexamined the 114,000 disappearances of the civil war—our hope—our efforts —must be to stand behind judge garzon-

make impossible the burying of history and the stories of the disappeared—demand drop the charges, reinstate judge garzon let him do his job—let the history of the Spanish civil war—be shown to Spain and the world–