UN expert on mercenaries visits El Salvador, Panama

8 May 2002

A United Nations expert is visiting El Salvador and Panama for talks with authorities in both countries on efforts taken to combat mercenary activities.

A United Nations expert is visiting El Salvador and Panama for talks with authorities in both countries on efforts taken to combat mercenary activities.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the question of the use of mercenaries, Enrique Bernales Ballesteros, was scheduled to arrive today in Panama City, where he will meet with officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Supreme Court of Justice, the Attorney-General Office and the National Police.

Earlier Wednesday, Mr. Bernales Ballesteros wrapped up a three-day official visit to San Salvador, where he met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, María Eugenia Brizuela de Avila, the Minister of National Defence, General Juan Antonio Martínez Varela, as well as top justice and human rights officials. He also met with representatives of non-governmental organizations and other individuals.

The Special Rapporteur was invited by both countries to discuss what he has called “the gaps, conflicting requirements and deficiencies of wording of the international legislation regarding mercenaries,” and to examine the problem of the legal definition of a mercenary and the relation between mercenary activities and terrorism.

 

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