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An Overview of the Crime of Genocide in Latin American Jurisdictions

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Genocide is included in most Latin American Criminal Codes that were enacted long before the adoption of the Rome Statute. Genocide's criminalization in Latin America has, to a large extent, deviated from the Genocide Convention definition with respect to the actus reus, mainly concerning the protected groups. However, the existing jurisprudence does not shed much light on the reasons or justifications for such a deviation; it is rather inconsistent in some instances. The implementation of the Rome Statute offers mixed signals as to the legal and policy trends in Latin America with regard to the scope of genocide. The fact that the codification of crimes against humanity has gained momentum with the entry into force of the Rome Statute implies an increasing need to reflect on the coherence of the domestic criminalization of core crimes.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of International Criminal Law, Educatis University, Switzerland; External Professor of International Law, Universidad Privada Boliviana, La Paz, Bolivia; International Committee of the Red Cross, Regional Delegation for Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru


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