Forewarned War: The Targeting of Civilian Aircrafts in South America and the Inter-American Human Rights System

28 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2017

Date Written: February 19, 2017

Abstract

Throughout the War on Drugs, South American governments have fought a difficult and many times losing battle against drug trafficking. Lack of resources and policing capabilities have lead a growing number of States to adopt so called “Shoot-Down Laws”, legislation designed to authorize use of lethal force against “hostile” aircraft suspected of being involved in narco-trafficking. This article examines said laws from the viewpoint of international law, humanitarian law and human rights law. The article makes the point that mere transportation of narcotics cannot be reason enough to authorize use of lethal force and that “Shoot-Down Laws” constitute both a violation of the right to life and a misuse of the law of armed conflict to justify military action against civilian aircraft. The article claims that other alternatives, such as closer bilateral cooperation and enforcement, must be explored if these governments want to avoid being sued for human rights violations at the Inter-American level.

Keywords: Targeting, civilian aircraft, shoot-down laws, human rights, international humanitarian law, inter-american human rights system, armed conflict, South America, Narco-Traffic

Suggested Citation

Gurmendi Dunkelberg, Alonso, Forewarned War: The Targeting of Civilian Aircrafts in South America and the Inter-American Human Rights System (February 19, 2017). University of Miami Inter-American Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 2, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2922024

Alonso Gurmendi Dunkelberg (Contact Author)

Universidad del Pacifico ( email )

Av. Salaverry 2020
Región Metropolitana
Lima 18, Santiago Lima 11
Peru

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