IACHR

Press Release

IACHR Condemns the Murder of Opposition Leader Luis Manuel Diaz in Venezuela

December 1, 2015

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María Isabel Rivero
IACHR Press and Communication Director
Tel: +1 (202) 370-9001
mrivero@oas.org

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The IACHR condemns the murder of Luis Manuel Diaz, secretary general of the opposition Democratic Action Party in the state of Guarico, Venezuela.

According to publicly available information the opposition leader was shot dead on the night of November 25 in Altagracia de Orituco during an act of electoral campaign for the parliamentary elections which will take place on December 6 in Venezuela.

The Commission expresses its deep condemnation and concern at the escalation of political violence in Venezuela and called the government to take decisive action to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible for this assassination and to ensure that the right of association and freedom of expression of all political sectors in Venezuela can be exercised free of violence and harassment.

In 2015 the Commission has been an increase in detentions, assaults and threats, disqualifications and stigmatizing statements against opposition leaders, human rights defenders and journalists. The Commission reiterates what it already warned the State of Venezuela that expressions of political intolerance or otherwise, are not only contrary to the full enjoyment of human rights and the rule of law, but also can locate a sector of the population in a position of greater vulnerability and risk to attacks on life as it has happened last Wednesday with the assassination of opposition leader Diaz.

On the eve of the parliamentary elections, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights called upon the State of Venezuela to ensure a climate of freedom and security for those involved in political events as part of their right to live in a democracy respectful of the rule of law full respect for human rights.

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. 139/15