The members of Be Just are a group of people committed to democratic values and the rule of law. We are willing to contribute our experience and knowledge to strengthen justice sector institutions and fight corruption.
To act and promote ethical behavior in public service.
Make decisions freely and objectively without influences of any kind.
Take advantage of available resources and time to achieve the proposed objectives.
Maintain information about the organization, its initiatives and projects.
Claudia Escobar Mejía (Guatemalan attorney) is a distinguished professor and researcher at George Mason University's Center on Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption at the Schar School of Policy and Government in Virginia, USA. She also directs the non-profit organization Be JUST, which is dedicated to promoting the rule of law by strengthening justice sector institutions and supporting anti-corruption initiatives. In addition, she is an active contributor to various civil society organizations and serves on the board of Integrity Initiatives International and Integrity Sanctuary.
In Guatemala, she served as a judge of instance and appeals judge in the areas of family, civil and economic coercion. She publicly denounced serious anomalies in the election process of high courts and interference of political actors, which led to the prosecution of the former president of Congress Godofredo Rivera for influence peddling and bribery, for which he was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Escobar was selected to be part of a select number of scholars in the Centennial Fellow program of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is the first Central American to have been admitted by Harvard University to the prestigious Fellows Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. In addition, she participated in the Reagan - Fascell Fellow program at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington. D.C.
Claudia Escobar holds a PhD in pluralist law from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain. She has a broad academic background. She is a lawyer and notary from the Universidad Francisco Marroquín de Guatemala and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Louisiana State University. She has been a university professor and lecturer in different academic activities at universities and international think tanks such as: Harvard University, Georgetown University, Boston College, TEC de Monterrey, Universidad de Salamanca, the Aspen Institute, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, the Wilson Center, the Inter-American Dialogue, the National Endowment for Democracy, the World Bank, the OAS, the International Conference on Transparency International, etc.
For her commitment to democracy and freedom, the pursuit of judicial independence and the fight against corruption she was recognized with the "Democracy Award" by the National Endowment for Democracy organization in a bipartisan ceremony, at the U.S. Congress in 2017. She was recognized by Harvard Law School - Women's Law Association on International Women's Day (2019), in the "Women Inspiring Change" showcase which highlights the amazing contributions of women around the world to the areas of law and politics.
Her legal opinions have been published in various international opinion media such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Harvard Review of Latin America -LaRevista-, American Quarterly. As well as in the blogs Justicia en las Américas, Integrity Initiatives International, The GAB - Global Anticorruption Blog and others.
Diana is an experienced Ecuadorian attorney based in Portugal with ample trajectory in the analysis of legal and regulatory regimes to promote consumer protection and enable fairness and transparency in the marketplace. Diana has advised governments in Latin America, Africa and South East Asia about the best practices of market conduct supervision and regulation, while in line with their specific country characteristics and unique contexts.
Her interests include women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment in the context of financial inclusion and education, as well as the use of technology to promote broader access to financial services and improve the role of supervisory authorities (fintech and regtech).
Before transitioning to independent consulting, Diana served for over four years as a market conduct regulator at the U.S Federal Reserve. She has also experience in retail and commercial banking. Diana is in the Board of Directors of different organizations, where she contributes with her legal background and expertise. She holds a master’s degree in Regulation from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelors in Law from the University of Cuenca, Ecuador. Diana is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and English.
Nerea Aparicio is an attorney and international development professional with over 20 years of professional experience in efforts to strengthen the rule of law and international human rights law (based in headquarters and the field, including multiple countries in Latin America). Ms. Aparicio currently serves as Director of Rights and Governance at All In for Development, a woman-owned small business that employs inclusive and collaborative approaches to advance positive change for better governed, more peaceful and just societies. Prior to assuming her current position, Nerea Aparicio served as the Director for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Division at a U.S. based international development organization, where she was responsible for designing and managing programs and initiatives focused on strengthening justice sector and legal education, citizen-centered governance and anticorruption efforts.
From 2006-2014, Ms. Aparicio served as Principal Specialist at the O.A.S.’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR), one of the main organs of the regional human rights protection system for the Americas. Prior to joining the OAS, Ms. Aparicio focused on international human rights law for the United Nations, including on peace building operations, such as the UN Mission for the Verification of the Peace Accords in Guatemala, as well as in the UN technical cooperation area (Geneva and Colombia).
Nerea Aparicio has participated in numerous assessment missions to analyze the status of the rule of law and human rights conditions, especially in countries within the LAC region. She has also served as consultant on rule of law efforts funded by various donors, including USAID, the U.S. Department of State, and the official donor agencies of Spain (AECID) and Sweden (SIDA).
Ms. Aparicio has authored numerous publications. She has also provided lectures on international human rights and rule of law, and has taught courses on conflict resolution at “San Martin de Porres University” in Perú and on “Indigenous Peoples Rights” at the “Pontificia Universidad Católica” in Lima (Perú). In addition to her native Spanish, Nerea is fluent in English and French. She holds a Masters’ Degree in International Legal Studies (LL.M.) from the American University, Washington College of Law, (Washington D.C., USA) and previously earned her law degree from the University of Deusto School of Law (Bilbao, Spain). She has been a member of the Madrid Bar since 1997.
Francisco Villagrán de León is a career diplomat from Guatemala. He joined the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University as a visiting scholar in 2016 and is currently an Adjunct Professor, teaching a course on international human rights systems. He has been Ambassador to the United States (2008–2013), the United Nations (in both New York and Geneva), the Organization of American States (where he served as President of the Juridical and Political Affairs Committee), Canada, Germany and Norway. In addition to his diplomatic posts, he has held fellowships at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the National Endowment for Democracy.
He holds a law degree from Universidad Rafael Landivar in Guatemala and an MA in International Relations from Georgetown University. Ambassador Villagrán de León is currently writing on the evolution of the principles of nonintervention and sovereignty over the past 50 years, particularly how human rights and democracy have become issues of legitimate international concern and involvement and are no longer considered to be within the exclusive domestic jurisdiction of States.
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