Academy Co-Director Diego Rodríguez-Pinzón introduces Alumni Association President Juan Pablo Albán at the 2006 Awards Luncheon

Welcome to the Friends of the Competition!

The purpose of this page is to establish and maintain a communication space between all the Inter American Human Rights Moot Court Competition Participants Society members and related persons.

Our goal is to continue to develop relationships with Competition participants long after they have written their memorials and presented their oral arguments. Competition alumni have gone on to start non-profit organizations, work at newly-created State-level human rights commissions, and teach international human rights law to future human rights activist throughout the region.

Check back here often as the alumni group expands. We intend to highlight alumni and connect past and future participants.

Join us as we begin a new decade of stimulating law students throughout the world to question the status quo and to use the law to redress human rights violations.



The Board of Directors 2014-2015 of the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition Participant Association:


Felix Humberto Paz Moreno is a lawyer from Panama, a political scientist from the Universidad de Panama, and an accepted lawyer by the Fourth Chamber of General Affairs of the Supreme Court of Panama. He is a former participant of the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition (having participated in 2011), and has acted as a coach in the 2012 Competition and as a Judge in 2013 and 2014. He also coached universities for the Eduardo Jimenez Arechaga competition in Costa Rica in 2011. Mr. Paz Moreno has participated in research groups on procedural law from the Colombian Institute of Procedural Law (Instituto Colombiano de Derecho Procesal) at Cartagena de Indias in 2011 and 2011 at Bogota. He has published several articles such as “La Oralidad en el Proceso Civil” as part of the memoirs of the VII Congress of Procedural Law of Panama (Congreso Panameño de Derecho Procesal) and the Universitas journal No. 7-2010 of Pontificia Universidad Javeriana of Colombia. He is the author of different publications on the grounds for criminal appeal in the criminal system in a human rights study. Currently, Mr. Paz Moreno works as a lawyer in the fields of human rights law, criminal procedure law and administrative law. As for academics, he’s a student earning a master’s degree in procedural law and criminal law. For his master’s degree in procedural law, his thesis deals with the Conventionality Control in the case law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. He also teaches criminal procedure law at Universidad de Panama.



Santiago Medina Villareal, from Colombia, is a former participant (2004), coach (2005-semifinalists, 2014) and judge (2008), memorial judge (2007, 2008, and 2009) of the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition at American University. He has participated as a Judge (2006-2009) of the Eduardo Jimenez de Arechaga competition at Costa Rica. He is the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition Participant Association (2010-2011). He serves as Legal advisor of the Secretary of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (2006-2010). Mr. Medina has post-graduate skills in criminal law, human rights law and philosophy. With more than eight (8) years of professional experience in justice administration (national and international), responsibility for abuses in the past, historical memory and impunity for human rights abuses and research and analysis of comparative law on human rights protection. He is a consultant of international cooperation agencies (GIZ, Human Rights Centre of Washington University, Historical Memory Centre – Colombia). He has litigation experience for cases on human rights violations. He has academic experience as a professor of public law, human rights law, international criminal law, international humanitarian law and socio-juridical research.


Jose Antonio Morales Notario was born in Villahermosa, Tabasco, México. He was licensed in law from Universidad Juarez Autonoma de Tabasco (UJAT) in Mexico where he got his law degree with the thesis: “Los Trabajadores Mexicanos Indocumentados en los Estados Unidos.” Mr. Morales has a master’s degree in public administration, obtained with the research paper “El pago de la Reparación del Daño en los delitos patrimoniales, como una forma de extinguir la acción penal a pesar de la negative del ofendido de otorgar el perdon, especificamente en el delito de daños”. He is currently a PhD candidate, preparing his thesis, which is titled: “Revision a la Pena de Reparacion de Daños.”

He is a research associate at UJAT where he has worked for over 21 years and where he has given lectures on civil procedural law, administrative law, public and private international law, and alternative methods of dispute settlement. Mr. Morales speaks Italian and English.

He previously worked for the Human Rights State Commission of Tabasco as a Social Communications Director, Complaints and Recommendation Coordinator, Orientation and Complaints Director and Adjunct Visitor. He was the Post-Graduate Chief and Research Coordinator of the Social Sciences and Humanities Academic Division of Universidad Juarez Autonoma de Tabasco and head of his own law practice. Currently, Mr. Morales works as the Head of the legal division of the Transparency and Information Access Unit of Municipio de Centro, Tabasco (2013-2015).

He participated as a coach in 2010 and 2011 and as a judge in 2014 for the Inter-American Human Rights Competition of American University. He has also acted as a judge for the Eduardo Jimenez de Arechaga competition in Costa Rica. Mr. Morales has given lectures and courses on human rights law. In 2013, he participated as a visiting scholar in Chicago, Illinois; he has published several articles about transparency and access to public information, rewarding of damage reparations in criminal procedures, gender violence, and more. He is currently working on various projects, two of which are “el rol de las Cortes Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en su lucha por la igualdad de Género” and “La igualdad de género en la educacion virtual”       


Felipe Franco Gutierrez is a Colombian lawyer, with a postgraduate degree in administrative law from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia. He was a former participant of the Francisco Suarez S.J Human Rights Competition in 2008 and the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition in 2009.

Mr. Franco has been an assistant professor in public international law and international human rights law at Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Senora del Rosario and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. He has also collaborated in several research papers with the Centre of International Law Studies “Francisco Suarez S.J” and the Due Process of Law Foundation.

Most recently, he worked as a legal advisor of the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombia, dealing with precautionary and provisional measures at the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights, on behalf of the Colombian state.

Mr. Franco is currently a grad school student in the M.A Program on International Affairs at the School of International Service at American University in Washington D.C.


The incoming Board of Directors wishes to welcome the new members of the Participant Association and also invite all the ex participants of the competition to register as members. If you have any question or suggestion that will contribute to improve the work of the Participant Association and the Competition don’t hesitate to contact us at the email:

You can also keep updated on the Association on their facebook page.


Previous Board of Directors

Board of Directors 2011-2012

President: Namiko Matzumoto
First Vice President: Laura Alicia Camarillo
Second Vice President: Mildred Lissette Hernandez
Secretary: Jose Lemus
Treasurer: Javier Galindo

Board of Directors 2010-2011
President: Daniel Andrés Salamanca Pérez
First Vice President: Ana Priscilla Ortíz Saborío
Second Vice President: Chacel Colorado Piña
Secretary: Santiago Medina
Treasurer: Marianna Belalba

Board of Directors 2009-2010
President: María José Veramendi Villa
First Vice-president: Juan Carlos Arjona Estévez
Second Vice-president: Jorge Calderón Gamboa
Secretary: David Cordero Heredia
Treasurer: María Daniela Rivero K

Board of Directors 2008-2009
President: Ángela Ramírez
First Vice-president: Carlos Bernal
Second Vice-president: David Cordero
Secretary: Santiago Pérez Calderón
Treasurers: Karlos Castilla and Adolfo Sánchez Alegre*
*For the period 2008-2009, the Board of Directors had two treasurers, due to the fact that there was a tie between two candidates and the Draft Bylaws do not establish what process to follow in case of ties.

Founding Board of Directors 2006-2008
President: Juan Pablo Albán
Vice-president: Julio José Rojas
Secretary: Nelson Camilo Sánchez



"Outstanding Contributions to the Competition" Award 2011: Adolfo Sanchez Alegre

Previous "Outstanding Contributions to the Competition" winners:

“Outstanding Contributions to the Competition” Award 2010: Namiko Mazumoto Benitez

Namiko Matzumoto Benítez, is probably one of the people that you can see more frequently in the competition since 1998 when she represented the Universidad Veracruzana where she is currently a professor. Mrs Matzumoto is a technician in accountancy, graduated from the Centro de Estudio Tecnológicos number 13 in Xalapa, Veracruz and is also a Lawyer from the Universidad Veracruzana. She has a Masters degree in Juridical Psychology and Criminology from the Instituto Universitario de Puebla and has a Ph.D. degree from the same institution at Xalapa’s Campus. She was the coach of her university’s team in 2002 and 2003, and she has been a judge since 2004. Currently, she is the Chief of the Communications of the Administrative Tribunal Unit of the State of Veracruz, full time researcher at the General Direction of Research of the Universidad Veracruzana and teaches Interamerican Human Rights System and International Humanitarian Law courses at the Law Faculty of the same university. Every participant that has ever been judged by her remarks on her outstanding knowledge of the Universal and Inter-American Systems as well of International Humanitarian Law. Out of the audiences, Namiko has become an endearing friend for coaches and participants, as well as judges and directors of the Academy.

“Outstanding Contributions to the Competition” Award 2009: Dr. David S. Berry

Dr. David S. Berry is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus, in Barbados. He teaches the general course in Public International Law, specialized courses in Caribbean Integration Law, Law of International Organizations, and International Mooting. He practices in the areas of Inter-American human rights, Caribbean Community law, investment arbitration law and the law of the sea.

Dr. Berry has been participating in the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court competition every year since 1999 (with the exception of two years when he was overseas). He first attended the competition as an observer, and was immediately convinced to bring teams of students. The University of the West Indies sends two (2) teams each year because it represents the entire Caribbean region. At this time, the University serves 16 different countries or territories in the West Indies: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. UWI’s teams are competitively selected, on the basis of both written and oral arguments, with all second and third year law students being eligible. Depending upon the composition of the two teams, one team tends to represent the Eastern Caribbean regions and the other the Western. Although the UWI team members are given basic training through their participation in the International Mooting course, they are faced with the challenge of learning the Inter-American jurisprudence pretty much on their own, and without the luxury of many English language textbooks. But the participation by UWI students in the moot court competition has had a ripple effect for knowledge of Inter-American law and human rights law generally in the Caribbean. Past participants have been so excited by the Inter-American jurisprudence that they have gone on to dedicate a substantial portion of their legal practice to human rights law. This is tremendously important for the CaribbeanCommonwealth, where even though there is a strong jurisprudence of constitutional rights, there is not as great an awareness of international human rights or of the Inter-American system of human rights. Dr. Berry has himself been profoundly influenced by his experience in the competition. Many years of coaching has increased his awareness of the complexities of Inter-American human rights law, and he has had the privilege of putting some of this knowledge to use in litigation before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

“Rookie of the Year” Award 2011: Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina

Previous “Rookie of the Year” Awards:

"Rookie of the Year" Award 2010: Universidad Icesi de Cali (Valle) Colombia
"Rookie of the Year" Award 2009:
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
“Rookie of the Year” Award 2008: Universidad Católica de Colombia
“Rookie of the Year” Award 2007: Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico
“Rookie of the Year” Award 2006: Universidad de La Sabana (Colombia)