WASHINGTON Ė PEN International, the IFEX network and 16 renowned writers, including Mario Vargas Llosa, called on Thursday for emergency funding to address the severe financial crisis being experienced by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, or IACHR.
In a joint letter, the writers and groups urged Organization of American States, or OAS, member states and observer countries, as well as other donors, to help the IACHR financially.
The IACHR expects to suspend essential work and lay off 40 percent of its staff by late July if it does not receive about $2 million needed to continue minimal operations for the year before June 15.
The signatories expressed concern over the IACHRís serious financial crisis and the devastating impact it will have on human rights in the Americas.
The letter was signed by PEN International, 16 renowned writers and 11 IFEX organizations, including Human Rights Watch, the International Press Institute, Reporters Without Borders, the International Publishers Association and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, or WAN-IFRA.
The writers are Mario Vargas Llosa, Carmen Boullosa, Alvaro Enrigue, Ariel Dorfman, Elena Poniatowska, Anabel Hernandez, Francisco Goldman, Jennifer Clement, Homero Aridjis, Laura Esquivel, Lydia Cacho, Luisa Valenzuela, Andrew Solomon, Gioconda Belli, Gloria Guardia and Margaret Atwood.
The IACHRís staff will ask OAS members to respond to the financial crisis at the annual general assembly June 13-15 in Santo Domingo.