Defensoría del Pueblo (Human Rights Ombudsman Office)

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Defensoría del Pueblo (Human Rights Ombudsman Office)

The Defensoría del Pueblo, created to receive and handle citizen claims of any rights violation, is one of Latin America's most popular agencies. National, regional, and local Defensorías carry out investigations on their own or on behalf of an aggrieved party and present cases to the courts for prosecution. In many countries Defensorías also formulate legislation, develop administrative reforms, mediate conflicts, push for social service improvements, educate the public, and advocate for oppressed groups. But although their independence is guaranteed by law, Defensorías throughout the region are limited by budget cuts, political pressures, judicial ineffectiveness, and socioeconomic problems beyond their reach.

See alsoDemocracy; Human Rights.


Briceño Vivas, Gustavo, ed. El defensor del pueblo en Venezuela: La figura del Ombudsman. Caracas: Editorial Kinesis, 1993.

Comisión Andina de Juristas (CAJ). El defensor del pueblo: De la teoría a la práctica. Lima: CAJ, 1999.

Comisión Andina de Juristas (CAJ), ed. Acceso a la justicia y defensoría del Pueblo. Lima: CAJ, 2001.

Quinzio Figueiredo, Jorge Mario. El ombudsman: El defensor del Pueblo. Santiago, Chile: Editorial Jurídica de Chile, 1992.

Uggla, Fredrik. "The Ombudsman in Latin America." Journal of Latin American Studies 36, no. 3 (August 2004): 423-450.

                                             Mark Ungar

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Defensoría del Pueblo (Human Rights Ombudsman Office)

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