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Precautionary Measures

Resolution No. 1/21
PM 754-20 - Members of the Guajajara and Awá Indigenous Peoples of the Araribóia Indigenous Land, Brazil

On January 4, 2021, the IACHR decided to grant precautionary measures in favor of the members of the Guajajara and Awá Indigenous Peoples in voluntary isolation, located in the Araribóia Indigenous Land. According to the request, the persons proposed as beneficiaries are at risk in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly considering their particular situation of vulnerability, lack of health care, and the presence of unauthorized third parties in their territory. Therefore, in accordance with Article 25 of the Rules of Procedure, the IACHR requested that Brazil: a) adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to health, life, and personal integrity of the members of the Guajajara and Awá Indigenous Peoples of the Araribóia Indigenous Land, while implementing, from a culturally appropriate perspective, preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19, and providing them with adequate medical care in conditions of availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality, in accordance with applicable international standards; b) agree on the measures to be adopted with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and c) report on the actions implemented to investigate the incidents that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure so as to prevent such incidents from reoccurring.

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Resolution No. 94/20
PM 679-20 - Munduruku Indigenous People, Brazil

On December 11, 2020, the IACHR decided to grant precautionary measures to members of the Muduruku Indigenous People. The applicants alleged that the beneficiaries are at risk in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially given their particular vulnerability, health care failures and the presence of unauthorized third parties in their territory. Upon analyzing the allegations of fact and law provided by the applicants, the IACHR considered, based on the applicable prima facie standard, that the members of the Munduruku Indigenous People are in a serious and urgent situation, given that their rights face a risk of irreparable harm. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR requested that Brazil adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to health, life and personal integrity of the members of the Munduruku Indigenous People, implementing, from a culturally appropriate perspective, measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as providing them with adequate medical care in terms of availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality, in accordance with applicable international standards; agree on the measures to be adopted with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and report on the actions implemented to investigate the facts that gave rise to the adoption of this precautionary measure and thus avoid its repetition.

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Resolution No. 82/20
PM 489-20 - Maycol Antonio Arce and 40 other persons deprived of their liberty, Nicaragua

On November 2, 2020, the IACHR granted precautionary measures of protection to 41 persons deprived of their liberty in Nicaragua. According to the request, persons deprived of their liberty in Nicaragua, whom they identified as “political prisoners” located in 7 different penitentiary centers in the country, are at risk given the conditions of detention and the alleged lack of medical care in the current framework of COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission requested that the State of Nicaragua: a) adopt the measures necessary to guarantee the rights to life, personal integrity, and health of the beneficiaries identified therein; b) adopt the measures necessary so that the beneficiaries can immediately have access to specialized medical assessments that are necessary to determine the health status in which they find themselves, and the medical care that may be necessary, as well as to ensure that this care is accordingly received; and c) taking into consideration the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk to life and personal integrity as a result of the circumstances surrounding their deprivation of liberty, evaluate, immediately, the possibility of granting alternative measures to deprivation of liberty, in accordance with its internal regulations and in light of the applicable inter-American standards.

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Resolution No. 79/20
PM 349-20 - Jorge Ernesto Zea López, Colombia

On October 28, 2020, the Commission granted precautionary measures to Jorge Ernesto Zea López, a person deprived of liberty in Colombia. According to the request, the proposed beneficiary, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and is currently deprived of his liberty, does not receive adequate medical treatment for his disease, a situation that may be aggravated in the framework of a COVID-19 infection. The Commission requested that Colombia: a) adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to life, personal integrity, and health of Mr. Jorge Ernesto López Zea; in particular, by providing him with the medical treatment that he requires in a timely manner and without undue delay, as well as guaranteeing that his conditions of detention are in accordance with the applicable international standards. In this regard, the competent authorities must, in accordance with their internal regulations, and while the situation of Mr. Jorge Ernesto López Zea is again submitted to the corresponding technical evaluations, with a view to obtaining an alternative measure to prison, guarantee that the proposed beneficiary is located in an area, space or structure suitable to meet his needs for treatment and prevention against COVID-19, in accordance with the recommendations issued by the respective experts and as indicated by this Commission.

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Resolution No. 43/20
PM 691-20 - Facundo José Astudillo Castro, Argentina

On August 1, 2020, the IACHR decided to grant precautionary measures in favor of Facundo José Astudillo Castro in Argentina. The request for precautionary measures indicates that the beneficiary has been missing since April 30, 2020, when he was traveling to another city and was detained by police officers for violating the quarantine imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that day, his whereabouts or location is unknown. Having analyzed the arguments of fact and law provided by the parties, the Commission considered that, from the applicable prima facie standard, Facundo José Astudillo Castro is in a serious and urgent situation, given that his rights face a risk of irreparable harm. Consequently, pursuant to Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission requested that Argentina adopt the necessary measures to determine the situation and whereabouts of Facundo José Astudillo Castro, in order to protect his rights to life and personal integrity. In this sense, the Commission urges the State to guarantee effective search actions through its specialized mechanisms created for such purposes; b) consult and agree upon the measures to be adopted with the relatives and representatives of the beneficiary; and c) implement actions aimed at investigating the facts that motivated the granting of this precautionary measure, so as to prevent such incidents from reoccurring.

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Resolution No. 41/20
PM 265-20 - Northwest Detention Center (NWDC), United States

On July 27, 2020, the IACHR granted precautionary measures to the migrants detained at the Northwest Detention Center (“NWDC”), located in Tacoma, Washington. The IACHR noted that the beneficiaries were at risk given the alleged lack of sufficient and proper measures to effectively prevent the spread of the COVID-19 within the facility, as well as proper access to available remedies to assess the continuity of their deprivation of liberty in this context, particularly those who might be in a high-risk category. In addition, applicants reported a series of detention conditions, including the need of adequate medical treatment, which accrued the seriousness of the situation faced by the beneficiaries. Upon analyzing the available information, the IACHR deemed that the requirements set out in Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure were sufficiently met. It therefore requested that the United States: a) adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to life, personal integrity and health of the migrants who are detained at the NWDC. In particular, by ensuring that they have a proper, speedy and accessible access to the appropriate remedies without unnecessary burdens, to assess the continuity of their detention in light of the threat caused by the COVID-19, especially those who are in a high-risk category, as described in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) guidelines. In addition, the State is called upon doubling its efforts in identifying ex officio all those who might fall under discretionary release based on medical circumstances while preventing from placing any new such persons at the NWDC; b) adopt the necessary measures to ensure that the potential beneficiaries’ detention conditions comply with the applicable international standards, particularly with regard to the threat posed by the COVID-19. In this sense, the State must improve its capacity in effectively preventing the spread of the virus within the NWDC, such as by properly cleaning and disinfecting the facility, as well as providing sufficient sanitary material and guarantee that safety protocols are followed by every person at the facility, among other measures that might be necessary in the present circumstances. Following the above, and in order to ensure social distancing, the State is called upon adopting any measure deemed adequate, such as by sufficiently reducing the number of people being held at the NWDC, prioritizing those who face a greater risk given their personal conditions as indicated above, and allocating available space to adequately enforce social distancing, in light of the recommendations issued by the relevant authorities; and c) adopt the necessary measures to ensure that the detention conditions are generally compatible with the applicable international standards, particularly concerning sanitation, and that access to medical treatment is guaranteed to the extent prescribed by the respective specialists or physicians.

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Resolution No. 35/20
PM 563-20 - Members of the Yanomami and Ye'kwana Indigenous Peoples, Brazil

On July 17, 2020, the IACHR decided to grant precautionary measures to members of the Yanomami and Ye'kwana Indigenous Peoples in Brazil. The request for precautionary measures sustains that the population of the Yanomami Indigenous Land is at particular risk in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, considering their immune vulnerability, faults in the health system for this population, illegal presence of third parties in their territory, mercury contamination, and acts of violence against indigenous leaders. Upon analyzing the arguments of fact and law submitted, the IACHR considered that, from the applicable prima facie standard, the members of the Yanomami and Ye'kwana Indigenous Peoples are in a serious and urgent situation, given that their rights are at risk of irreparable harm. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of the Rules of Procedure, the Commission requested that Brazil: a) adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to health, life and personal integrity of the members of the Yanomami and Ye'kwana Indigenous Peoples, implementing, from an adequate intercultural approach, prevention measures against the spread of COVID-19, as well as providing adequate medical care in terms of availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality, in accordance with the applicable international standards; b) consult and agree upon the measures to be adopted with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and (c) report on the actions taken in order to investigate the alleged facts that gave rise to the adoption of this resolution, so as to prevent such incidents from reoccurring.

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