- Lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights
- Has sought to represent individuals with suspected ties to terrorism
Born in Panama, Gilma Camargo earned a BA degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Friends World College in New York, and a JD from the City University of New York School of Law.
In 1990, as a member of a National Lawyers Guild delegation to Panama, Camargo co-authored a report titled “Guild Delegation Finds No 'Just Cause' for U.S. Invasion.” At issue was the December 1989 American invasion of Panama, code-named Operation Just Cause, which had resulted in the ousting of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega and the dissolution of the Panamanian Defense Force. In a case before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission of the Organization of American States, Camargo provided legal representation to victims of that invasion.
Also in the 1990s, Camargo worked as a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights.
In 1997 Camargo attended the 21st Congress of the Japanese Communist Party, held in Tokyo. That same year, she wrote an article for Revolutionary Worker, the official newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA, wherein she criticized the United States for aiding Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori's “efforts to crush the 17-year-long People's War led by the Communist Party of Peru.” According to Camargo, “torture, death squads, massacres, mass arrest[s], hooded judges, and life sentences [had] sharply escalated under Fujimori in the early 1990s—when the U.S.-led counterinsurgency against the People's War intensified.” Denouncing America's “cold-blooded and totally unjust policy” of “spew[ing] out all sorts of vicious lies and slanders about the People's War,” Camargo claimed that “the U.S. considers torture to be perfectly fine if the Peruvian secret police is 'investigating' an individual's involvement in revolutionary activities.”
Also in 1997, Camargo, speaking on behalf of the American Association of Jurists (of which she was president), and the Center for Constitutional Rights, expressed her support for the Puerto Rican independence movement, which sought to transform Puerto Rico into a communist state and dissolve its political ties to the U.S.
In early 2002, Camargo provided legal representation for the Palestinian activist Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a Marxist-Leninist supporter of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine; a backer of what he called “the Glorious [Palestinian] Intifada” against alleged Israeli terrorism; and an inveterate critic of what he viewed as America's imperialism abroad and its attacks against the democratic and economic rights of working people on the home front. When Abdel-Muhti was arrested on illegal-immigration charges at his home in Queens, New York, Camargo asserted: “His only crime was the crime of speaking out for the right of self-determination for Palestinians. They [U.S. government and law-enforcement officials] think they can just deport people they don't like. They think he could just be disappeared like so many others, but we won't allow it.”
Today Camargo serves as legal director of the Brooklyn, New York-based Law & Solidarity Project.