CCHR Announces 2016-17 Rita Bahr Scholars

Author: Kevin Fye

The Center for Civil and Human Rights is proud to announce its Rita Bahr Cari Memorial Fund Scholars for 2016-17. The recipients are human rights lawyers enrolled in the Center’s LL.M. Program in International Human Rights.


Natalia Mora (Colombia) obtained her law degree at Universidad del Rosario in 2013, with a specialization in human rights and international law. During law school, she represented her university at the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court and was honored with the Academic Excellence Diploma on two occasions. From 2013 to 2015, Ms. Mora worked for the Colombian Ministry of Mining and Energy, focusing on environmental and social issues that arise from the mining sector. She also worked with vulnerable communities, collaborating in the design of public policies for the protections of human rights in the extractive industries. In 2013, she completed a Professional Visit at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in San José, Costa Rica. In 2016, Ms. Mora started working in the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace of the President of Colombia, where she developed policies related to the Colombian transition to peace.




Edgar Alfredo Ortega Franco (Guatemala) received his LL.B. from Universidad Rafael Landívar in his native Guatemala in 2012, and is pursuing a master’s degree at Universidad Francisco Marroquín on politics and international law. Throughout his academic career, he has worked on human rights-related issues with both national NGOs and the National Ombudsman Office. As a staff attorney at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), he litigated cases before the Inter-American Human Rights System mainly related to Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala, dealing with judicial independence, freedom of expression, economic, social and cultural rights, and gross human rights violations.


Mr. Joseph Cari endowed the Rita Bahr Cari Memorial Fund in 2001, with additional donations, to encourage advanced studies in international human rights law. The fund provides opportunities to students outside of the United States who wish to study at the Center by assisting with tuition and living expenses.

"We are immensely grateful to Joe for his foresight and generosity in establishing this scholarship fund," says Sean O'Brien, Director of the LL.M. Program in International Human Rights Law. "Thanks to Joe -- himself a "Double Domer" -- the careers of these impressive young human rights lawyers and the trajectory of human rights in the Americas will be marked by the distinctive Notre Dame education that he helped to make possible for them."