Press Release

IACHR Takes Case involving Bolivia to the Inter-American Court

February 24, 2015

   Related links
   Contact info

IACHR Press and Communication Director
Tel: +1 (202) 370-9001
[email protected]

   More on the IACHR
A+ A-

Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Case 12.693, María Nina Lupe del Rosario Andrade Salmón (Lupe Andrade) with regard to Bolivia.

The case concerns the State’s international responsibility for violating the American Convention on Human Rights in the context of three of six criminal cases brought against Lupe Andrade. These occurred due to alleged mishandling of public funds during the time she held the posts of Councilwoman, President of the Municipal Council, and Mayor of La Paz. Specifically because of her illegal and arbitrary detention in the context of two of these proceedings, the Commission considered that there had been a violation of Lupe Andrade’s right to have access to a simple and effective remedy to challenge one of the pretrial detention measures against her. The IACHR came to this conclusion based on the fact that the habeas corpus petition she had filed was executed five months after it had been resolved, following an extremely complex proceeding. The IACHR also analyzed the decisions over the precautionary measures used to set bail, and deemed that the judicial authorities did not determine the amounts on an individual basis and did not take into account Lupe Andrade’s financial means. In this regard, the Commission concluded that the State violated the right to personal liberty and the right to private property.

In addition, the Commission considered that the measure ordering Lupe Andrade not to leave the jurisdiction, which has kept her from leaving the country for more than 10 years, did not meet inter-American standards on restrictions on the exercise of rights. Therefore, the IACHR concluded that the State violated her right to free movement. Finally, the Commission considered that the duration of three criminal cases was not reasonable due the fact that the judicial authorities acted deficiently and did not take significant procedural steps to determine the legal situation of Lupe Andrade.

The Inter-American Commission decided to submit Case 12.693 to the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court on January 8, 2015, because at that time—despite the extensions that had been granted and the efforts undertaken to reach an agreement on compliance with the Commission’s recommendations—the recommendations had not been carried out. The State did not present the last report called for by the Commission, nor did it ask for additional time extensions in order to do so. The IACHR had recommended that the State lift the precautionary measures imposed on Lupe Andrade and adopt all necessary measures to resolve the case against her expeditiously and impartially, safeguarding the rights established in the American Convention. The Commission also asked the State to adopt the necessary measures to prevent a repetition of similar situations involving disproportionately long criminal cases and precautionary measures in such circumstances, and to provide adequate reparation for the human rights violations stated in the report, both in the material and moral sense, taking into account the amounts Lupe Andrade has already received by way of reparation.

This case will enable the Inter-American Court to delve deeper into the application of specific criteria related to the right to be prosecuted within a reasonable period, particularly in cases with multiple defendants. This case also offers the Court an opportunity to analyze the limitations stemming from the adoption of precautionary measures in the context of a criminal case, as well as the circumstances under which such limitations are compatible with the American Convention.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 016/15