This contribution reviews the connections between the human rights regime and the democratic (or authoritarian) framework in which they appear. Three elements of the inter-American system of human rights protection are analyzed: First, its ideological rooting in certain convictions about the position of the human being against the state; second, the normative element, which refers to the international (or supranational) legal order of human rights, which has achieved a remarkable development in the Americas as a whole; and, third, the political-operative, corresponding to the persons or agents in charge of the promotion and enforcement of rights. Furthermore, the historical development of the formation of the inter-American legal order in this field is outlined referring to the “bridges” of access of international law into national law: Constitutional, legal, political, judicial, and cultural. Finally, the contribution addresses the current mission of judges as “guarantors” of human rights.
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