Mexican President Awards Human Rights Prize to Notre Dame Graduate

| By: Sean O'Brien

georgina_vargas_vera Georgina Vargas Vera, a 2012 graduate of Notre Dame Law School’s LL.M. degree program in international human rights law, received the National Youth Award of 2013 for Human Rights. The highest public honor granted by the government of Mexico, the award recognizes Mexican youth “whose career trajectory, commitment, or study brings honor to their generation and inspires individual or community progress.” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto personally presented the award to Ms. Vargas yesterday in a formal ceremony in Mexico City.

Ms. Vargas is the second graduate of the LL.M. human rights program to receive this distinction; in 2009, Sofía Galván Puente was honored for her work with the physically and mentally disabled as Director for Mexico and Central America at Disability Rights International (DRI).

In an interview, Ms. Vargas called her scholarship to attend the human rights program at Notre Dame one of the most important moments of her career. The scholarship allowed her to study with human rights lawyers from around the world at The Center for Civil & Human Rights. Upon graduation, the Center funded her post-graduate professional internship at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, after which she worked as an attorney at the Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, a prestigious Mexican human rights organization. Currently, Ms. Vargas is a Visiting Professional at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Prior to earning her LL.M. cum laude in 2012, Ms. Vargas received her law degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana (León) in 2009. She interned with the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) in San Jose, Costa Rica where she focused on human rights litigation in the Inter-American Human Rights System and worked on gender issues as an attorney with the Victoria Diez Human Rights Center.

Coverage in the Mexican press is available here and here.

Photo: Compañía Periodística Meridiano S.A de C.V