Press Release

IACHR Grants Protection Measure in favor of the Attorney General of the Republic of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz

August 4, 2017

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Guatemala City - On August 3, 2017, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted a precautionary measure for the protection of the rights of the Attorney General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz.

After analyzing the allegations of fact and law by the applicants and the Venezuelan State, and considering the institutional and social tension generated by the alteration of the constitutional and democratic order in Venezuela, the Commission concluded that Ms. Luisa Ortega Díaz and her family are in a serious and urgent situation as their rights to life and integrity face an imminent risk of irreparable harm.

In making this decision, the Commission identified the role and visibility of Attorney General Ortega as the operator of justice in denouncing violations of human rights and of alleged violations of the legal and constitutional framework, that are allegedly a consequence of the processes related to the Constituent Assembly. Among the risk factors taken into account by the Commission are various statements and stigmatizing pronouncements, some from high ranking officials, which had linked the Attorney General with “terrorist” acts, qualifying her as a traitor to the government; the alleged persecution aimed at removing her from office and reducing her powers; as well as the threats that had been made against her outside the Office of the Public Prosecutor, with the presence of an armed person on one occasion. The Commission noted that the reported sources of risk had been generated in retaliation for the work of the Attorney General Ortega and had contributed to creating an atmosphere of hostility and animosity against her.

Accordingly, pursuant to article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission requested the State of Venezuela: a) to take the necessary measures to guarantee the life and personal integrity of Mrs. Luisa Ortega Díaz and her family; in particular, to enable her to carry out her functions as Attorney General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela without being subjected to threats, stigmatization, harassment or acts of violence; b) to agree on the measures to be implemented with the beneficiary and her representatives; and c) to report on the actions taken to advance with the investigation of the alleged facts that gave rise to the adoption of this resolution and thus avoid its repetition.

The Commission indicated that the granting of the precautionary measure and its adoption by the State do not prejudge a possible petition before the inter-American system alleging violations of the rights protected in the American Declaration and other applicable instruments.

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 and to defend 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. 115/17