Akerman collaborated with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic and co-counsel Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld to secure a landmark jury verdict against Bolivia’s former president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and his then defense minister Jose Carlos Sanchez Berzain for extrajudicial killings of indigenous people. The first case of its kind under the Torture Victim Protection Act, it marks the first time in U.S. history a former head of state sat before his accusers in a U.S. human rights trial.
In Mamani v. Sánchez de Lozada and Sánchez Berzaín, Ilana Tabacinic served as pro bono co-counsel representing the Bolivian plaintiffs against the defendants, both of whom have lived in the United States for more than a decade. Coverage of the case appeared in several national and international media, including Law.com, Law360 and NPR, among others.
Law.com: Ex-Bolivian President Loses Civil Suit Involving 2003 Unrest
Law360: Fla. Jury Blames Ex-Bolivian Prez for Civilian Deaths
NPR: In Fort Lauderdale, Ex-Bolivian President Loses Landmark Human Rights Trial
Law360: Witness Testimony Powered Win Against Ex-Bolivian Prez