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Biography

A native of Argentina, Juan Méndez came of age during a time of great upheaval in Latin America. As a result of his legal and advocacy work, he was arrested, tortured and exiled. He refused to be broken and dedicated his life to pioneering ways to protect human rights. Juan joined ICTJ as president in 2004. Paul van Zyl, a native of apartheid-era South Africa, committed to working against intolerance at a young age. He helped draft legislation to establish the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and was hired by Archbishop Tutu as its Executive Secretary. Paul co-founded ICTJ in 2001.