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Central American judge visits Indianapolis to learn about Indiana judicial system

Marilyn Odendahl
March 10, 2014
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A member of Guatemala’s judiciary is making a two-day visit to Indianapolis to learn and exchange ideas with judges, attorneys and other dignitaries.

Judge Iris Yassmin Barrios, president of one of Guatemala’s High-Risk Court Tribunals, is in the Circle City today and tomorrow, March 10 and 11, to celebrate her recognition by the U.S. Department of State as a 2014 International Women of Courage award recipient. The International Center is hosting her visit to Indianapolis.

Monday, Barrios is scheduled to meet with the Indiana Commission of Women which includes Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Margret Robb. Barrios will also have brief meetings with Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush as well as Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Deputy Attorney General Abigail Kuzma.

Then Barrios will observe a proceeding in the courtroom of U.S. District Court for the Southern Indiana District Judge Sarah Evans Barker.

Tuesday, Barrios will be at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law to speak with professor George Edwards and Dean Andrew Klein, along with students, alumni and faculty.

At her request to learn more about pro bono activities, Barrios will be visiting the office of the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic to observe a volunteer attorney meeting with a client.   

Barrios has made a career of taking on the most difficult and politically sensitive cases. These cases have confronted high-profile corruption, organized crime and drug trafficking, and human rights abuses that occurred during Guatemala’s 36-year internal conflict.

In 2013, Barrios served as the presiding judge in the genocide trial of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt. This was the first time a former head of state was tried for genocide in his home country by the national judiciary.

The Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage award honors women from around the world who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment.  
 

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