The Hon. Vanessa Ruiz, IAWJ President, Sent a Letter to the Association of Judicial Magistrates of Paraguay Following the Killing of Judge Diana Eveline Mereles Duarte in the Courthouse

June 29, 2020

Dear President and Colleagues of the Association of Judicial Magistrates of Paraguay,

On behalf of over 6,000 judges in more than one hundred countries around the world, the International Association of Women Judges joins in expressing its sympathy for the tragic death of the Paraguayan Judge Diana Eveline Mereles Duarte, Judge of the Civil, Commercial and Labor Court of Hernandarias, Alto Paraná. In her personal life, she was a mother, wife, and daughter. Our deepest condolences to her husband, son, family, and close friends. As well to her professional colleagues, the judges in Paraguay.

Our mourning for her untimely death is compounded by our complete disbelief at and rejection of the conditions that allowed this tragic event. Judge Mereles Duarte just took office this year and she was assaulted and murdered within the Court while executing her judicial duties. Appropriate security measures for judges is an essential condition not just to protect their rights but to safeguard that they can fulfill their Court duties with the integrity, independence, and equanimity required for just resolutions.

We urge the Judiciary and authorities to review the circumstances of the case and take the necessary measures to prevent a similar event in the future. May the life and death of Judge Mereles Duarte inspire a complete and effective effort for the benefit of all judges.

Best regards,

The Hon. Vanessa Ruiz, President of the IAWJ