On October 28, the last thematic hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was held within the framework of the 185th regular period of sessions. On this occasion, the Commission heard for the first time civil society organizations present their complaints about the situation of religious freedom in the region, a problem that has been constantly overlooked by agencies during the evaluations of the state of human rights in the region.
The hearing was attended by representatives of civil society, who reported different forms of violation of religious freedom in constant expansion in the region and which should be addressed by the organization. One of these complaints refers to the situation of attention to religious freedom in the context of organized crime and armed conflicts in the region, a reality that has particularly affected countries such as Colombia, El Salvador, Haiti and Mexico. The organizations also referred to the phenomenon of the increase in religious diversity, a situation that has visibilized the different violations of the religious freedom of indigenous communities and African communities. The organizations also denounced cases of countries where discriminatory acts have been committed through regulations contrary to the American Convention on Human Rights, as has been observed in Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Argentina, and especially the persecution of members of the Catholic Church by the government in Nicaragua.
The organizations that participated in the session were the Observatory for Religious Freedom in Latin America (OLIRE), the International Institute for Religious Freedom (IIRF), Clínica Jurídica de Interés Público y Derechos Humanos de la Universidad de La Sabana and Fundación Resiliencia Colombia, Red Latinoamericana y del Caribe por la Democracia (Redlad), Otros Cruces (Chile), Consejo Regional y Popular Indígena de Xpujil (Mexico), Conectas Direitos Humanos (Brazil), Organización de Desarrollo Étnico Comunitario (ODECO) (Honduras), ADF International, Consorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad Religiosa (CLLR), Centro Católico Multimedial (CCM), The International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU, Comisión Permanente de Derechos Humanos Internacional (Nicaragua), Conciencia Nacional por la Libertad Religiosa A. C., Consejo Argentino para la Libertad Religiosa, PRODECI Argentina and Centro Tomás Moro Bolivia.