In the News

Roxanna Altholz in the news:

The secret history of Colombia’s paramilitaries and the U.S. War on Drugs

Roxanna Altholz interviewed by The New York Times, Sept. 10, 2016

“It’s crazy,” said Roxanna Altholz, the associate director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, who represents the Henríquezes. “These individuals are the worst of the worst. They are drug lords and war criminals. Why should they be getting any benefits?”

Killings, deaths at the border

Roxanna Altholz interviewed by USA Today, April 15, 2016

“We are alleging that the United States used excessive force against Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, that agents tortured Anastasio Rojas, and that the investigation was delayed and that it lacked impartiality and independence. That’s the core of our case against the United States.”

Death on the border: Family suing U.S. for “torturing and killing” Latino father at California-Mexico line, botching investigation

Roxanna Altholz quoted in Salon, April 8, 2016

“Unless the United States holds agents accountable for excessive use of force, they are allowing them to continue committing these crimes; they are signaling that violence against the most disenfranchised and vulnerable members of our community is permissible.”

Family seeks justice at human rights panel for man who died after border patrol altercation

Roxanna Altholz quoted in HuffPost Politics, March 31, 2016

“Part of this effort is to expose for the first time the very serious problems in the criminal investigation,” Roxanna Altholz of International Human Rights Law Clinic told reporters. “Not just the excessive use of force that ended Anastasio’s life, and not just the allegations of torture, but also the problems with the way these cases are investigated.”

Family asks multinational human rights panel for help in taser death at border in San Diego

Roxanna Altholz interviewed by Los Angeles Times, March 30, 2016

“This is also an opportunity for the U.S. to reform its criminal justice system and ensure these kinds of violations aren’t repeated,” Altholz said in a telephone interview.

Family of Mexican man “tortured & killed” by U.S. Border agents seeks justice at int’l tribunal

Roxanna Altholz interviewed by Democracy Now!, March 30, 2016

“We are submitting this suit to prevent the U.S. government from sweeping this horrific crime under the rug, and to ensure that the United States is held accountable for violence and impunity at the border.”

Campus researchers find flaws in Indian government’s response to sexual violence

Roxanna Altholz quoted in The Daily Californian, Nov. 15, 2015

“The goal of the report is trying to put together puzzle pieces,” said Roxanna Altholz.

A drug case in Washington tests global reach of victims’ rights law

Roxanna Altholz quoted in The National Law Journal, Oct. 30, 2015

“The defendant in this case is an extraordinarily unique individual. This is not a run-of-the-mill drug conspiracy case,” she said. Giraldo-Serna “committed the most atrocious crimes that you can imagine.”

The Dominican Republic must stop expulsions of Haitians

Roxanna Altholz and Laurel E. Fletcher write for The New York Times, July 5, 2015

For decades, Haitians and their progeny have served as a scapegoat for Dominican politicians who blame them for poverty, disease and crime. The Dominican Republic should put a halt to the sporadic roundups and summary expulsions. If it doesn’t, the international community must step in.

Rios Montt genocide plaintiffs seek international help after Guatemala court delays trial

Roxanna Altholz quoted in McClatchy DC, November 7, 2013

“There are, of course, concerns about unjustified delays,” said Roxanna Altholz…. “Rios Montt is an older man, and these crimes occurred over 30 years ago.”

New court ruling another obstacle in genocide prosecution of Guatemala’s Rios Montt

Roxanna Altholz quoted in McClatchy DC, October 25, 2013

“I found the Rios Montt trials and legal proceedings to be Kafkaesque almost,” said Roxanna Altholz…. “There are all kinds of factors that are confusing…. It’s not just that the system is arcane, it’s that it’s configured to support impunity.”

Dominican court’s ruling on citizenship stirs emotions in New York

Roxanna Altholz quoted in The New York Times, October 17, 2013

In 2010, the Dominican Constitution was amended to define undocumented residents as “in transit,” and the recent Constitutional Court decision retroactively applied the definition to all the undocumented parents of the children born in the country since 1929, Ms. Altholz said.

Citizenship in the Dominican Republic

Roxanna Altholz interviewed by WNYC, The Brian Lehrer Show, October 8, 2013

The decision has implications for about a half a million people in the Dominican Republic…. The decision links the right of nationality of Dominican-born Haitians to the legal status of their parents. So, any child or any adult whose parents cannot prove their legal residency in the Dominican Republic will be stripped of their nationality.

Experts fear Dominican ruling on Haitian migrants could cause crisis

Roxanna Altholz quoted by the Associated Press, September 28, 2013

Roxanna Altholz … said she was concerned about how the Dominican Republic has very deep roots of violent racism against Dominican-Haitians and Haitians. “Are they going to do summary expulsions? Is the Dominican Republic going to conduct raids? I don’t know how they’re going to implement this decision,” she said.

The AP story ran in dozens of outlets, including the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Businessweek.

Roxanna Altholz Denounces U.S. Policy on Jailed Colombian Drug Lords

-PBS WIDE ANGLE, September 10, 2010 by Jennifer Janisch and Oriana Zill de Granados

According to Roxanna Altholz, a Colombian-American lawyer and Acting Head of University of California, Berkeley’s International Human Rights Law Clinic, the confessions were an important part of Colombia’s peace process. “In the U.S., justice looks something like long prison terms,” she says. “In Colombia, justice is truth…. They had incentives in Colombia to talk,” says Altholz. “What incentives do defendants facing drug charges and long jail sentences in the U.S. have to talk about their human rights abuses in Colombia?”

-The Washington Post, September 11, 2010 by Oriana Zill de Granados and Chisun Lee

Roxanna Altholz … who represents Colombian victims of paramilitary violence, said the United States has broken a promise made on the day of the extraditions by Ambassador William R. Brownfield…. “So far,” Altholz said, “none of those promises have been kept.”

Roxanna Altholz Discusses New Report on Extradited Colombian Paramilitaries

Just the Facts Podcast, March 2, 2010 Host Adam Isacson

“The report, Truth Behind Bars, provides an update on the status of US drug prosecutions that involve these 30 paramilitary leaders.  It also evaluates what the impact of the extraditions has been on the Colombian accountability measures; the ongoing human rights and corruption investigations in Colombia.”

Roxanna Altholz Criticizes U.S. for Keeping Extradited Drug Lords from Colombian Authorities

Colombia Reports, February 16, 2010 by Kirsten Begg

“Those who form public policy in the U.S. have a moral and legal responsibility to help Colombian authorities resolve these horrendous crimes. If the U.S. actively supports confessions, this will help to strengthen the state, to resolve murders in Colombia and to dismantle the violent drug cartels,” said Roxanna Altholz, associate director of the IHRLC.

Roxanna Altholz Wants U.S. to Cooperate with Colombian Investigations of Drug Lords

El Espectador, February 15, 2010 by Diane Carolina

“Those who form public policy in the U.S. have a moral and legal responsibility to help Colombian authorities resolve these horrendous crimes. If the U.S. actively supports confessions, this will help to strengthen the state, to resolve murders in Colombia, and to dismantle the violent drug cartels.”

Roxanna Altholz Accuses U.S. of Failing Victims of Colombian Paramilitary

The Miami Herald, Oct. 9, by Frances Robles

Roxanna M. Altholz, Associate Director International Human Rights Law Clinic … said the U.S. government is not doing all it can to make sure the victims get justice. She represents victims of seven paramilitary chiefs, including bosses Diego Murillo (aka ‘Don Berna’) and Salvatore Mancuso. ”The reality is,” she said, ”that they are striking deals with individuals who are responsible for more murders than [Chilean dictator Augusto] Pinochet.”

Roxanna Altholz to Defend Victims of Colombian Paramilitaries

Inside Costa Rica, July 26, by Helda Martinez human rights lawyers from the United States announced in the Colombian capital that they will defend the victims of paramilitary chiefs who were recently extradited to the United States. “Analyzing U.S. legislation, we want to outline a strategy that would allow us to take legal steps to enable the victims to participate in the prosecutions against the extradited paramilitary chiefs,” said Colombia-born Altholz…. “We cannot expect immediate results, but we are completely dedicated to this.”