Press Release

IACHR Grants Precautionary Measure for Human Rights Ombudsman of Guatemala

November 3, 2017

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Washington, D.C.—On October 27, 2017, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted a precautionary measure for Augusto Jordán Rodas Andrade, the Human Rights Ombudsman of Guatemala, and his immediate family.

Having analyzed the allegations of fact and law made by the applicants for precautionary measures and by the Guatemalan State, the Commission concluded that Augusto Jordán Rodas Andrade and his immediate family are, prima facie, in a serious and urgent situation, as their rights to life and personal integrity are at risk.

In making this determination, the Commission took into account that, according to the applicants: (i) Augusto Jordán Rodas Andrade, as Human Rights Ombudsman of Guatemala, has supported and taken legal action on matters of high impact, both on anti-corruption matters and recently, in particular, in support of the continued work of the head of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), in the context of the decision to declare the CICIG Commissioner persona non grata; (ii) Augusto Jordán Rodas Andrade has been receiving threats via social media and other means of communication, which are allegedly creating a climate of hostility against him; (iii) he has learned that different people are planning actions against him and members of his family; and (iv) he is being subjected to additional harassment intended to restrict his work, such as potential budget cuts to his agency or else removal from his position.

Having analyzed the parties’ allegations of fact and law in light of the specific context in which these events are said to be occurring, the Commission requested, in accordance with Article 25 of the IACHR Rules of Procedures, that the State of Guatemala: (a) adopt the necessary measures to protect the life and personal integrity of Augusto Jordán Rodas Andrade and his immediate family; (b) adopt the necessary measures so that Augusto Jordán Rodas Andrade can carry out his work as Human Rights Ombudsman of Guatemala without being subjected to acts of intimidation, threats, and harassment; (c) reach agreement with the beneficiaries and their representatives on the actions to be taken; and (d) inform the Commission on the steps taken to investigate the allegations that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure, so as to avoid a recurrence.

The Commission indicated that the granting of the precautionary measure and its adoption by the State do not constitute a prejudging of any eventual petition that may come before the inter-American system alleging violations of 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 the respect for and defense of 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. 174/17