Press Release

IACHR Wraps-Up Working Visit to Bolivia

August 28, 2018

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Washington D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) conducted a working visit to Bolivia from August 14 to 17, 2018, in order to hold meetings with authorities and representatives of civil society, in addition to some academic activities. The delegation was led by Commissioner Francisco Eguiguren, Rapporteur for Bolivia, and comprised technical staff from the Executive Secretariat.

The visit was organized in the context of an invitation from the Bolivian Private University (UPB) to Commissioner Eguiguren to give a series of lectures on the Inter-American Human Rights System in La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. The IACHR conducted a working visit to the country with the support of the Government of Bolivia, in order to hold monitoring activities, promote friendly settlements in the system of petitions and cases, and hold meetings with social actors.

The visit began with two days of activities in La Paz. Civil society organizations, such as the Permanent Human Rights Assembly of Bolivia (“Asamblea Permanente de Derechos Humanos de Bolivia”); Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF); Construir Foundation (“Fundación Construir”); Citizen’s Initiative for Justice Monitoring (“Iniciativa Ciudadana de Monitoreo a la Justicia”); UNITAS and Rights in Action (“Derechos en Acción”) had the opportunity to meet privately and independently with Rapporteur Eguiguren. A historic visit was also made to the Bolivian Workers' Confederation (COB). Private meetings were also organized with relevant Bolivian political and academic actors, including two former presidents of the country, Jorge "Tuto" Quiroga and Carlos Mesa, professors Waldo Albarracín Sánchez of the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, José Antonio Rivera Santibáñez of the Universidad Mayor de San Simón and the UPB Board of Directors. Commissioner Eguiguren also held meetings with Vice-President Álvaro García Lineras, Foreign Minister Fernando Huanacuni Mamani and Minister of Justice Héctor Arce. Finally, Commissioner Eguiguren gave a lecture in the auditorium of the Casa del Pueblo and a final speech in the UPB building.

In Cochabamba, Commissioner Eguiguren met with representatives of the Federation of Municipal Associations of Bolivia and visited the headquarters of the Federation of the Tropic of Cochabamba, where he held talks with the Unity Pact Organizations. Commissioner Eguiguren also met with the Governor of the Department, Iván Canelas, and the Bolivian Ombudsman, David Tezanos. He also gave a lecture at the branch of UPB in Cochabamba. During his stay in Santa Cruz, the Rapporteur participated in a plenary session at the headquarters of the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia - East, Chaco and Amazonia (CIDOB). In addition, the Rapporteur met with the Attorney General of the State, Pablo Menacho; held a private interview with representatives of Platforms 21F; and gave a closing lecture at the UPB.

With regard to the system of petitions and cases, Rapporteur Eguiguren chaired two working meetings to facilitate the exchange between the parties, with the aim of maintaining a space for dialogue with the Bolivian State, which would allow progress to be made in the search for consensus for the signing of friendly settlement agreements in Case 13,316, Malkia Tudela, Luis Fernando and José Antonio Cantoral Benavides; and in Petition 1186/09, Adela Villamil, in which new points of approach and proposals to be presented in the near future to advance in the negotiations could be defined. The IACHR values the efforts of the Bolivian State in the construction of a policy of seeking a friendly solution to the system of individual petitions and cases, which is reflected in the participation of the State in the working meetings, as well as in the respectful approach to the victims. The IACHR hopes that these efforts will be reflected in the progress of work routes that will make it possible to reach joint solutions in the search for comprehensive reparation. Likewise, the IACHR appreciates the willingness and openness expressed by the petitioners to consider reparation measures within the framework of the IACHR's friendly settlement agreements. The Commission will continue to accompany these friendly settlement processes.

The IACHR is grateful for the opportunity offered by the Bolivian Private University, the openness of the Government of Bolivia to the realization of a broad agenda and, in particular, to all those who attended the meetings and provided relevant information for the Commission. The inputs received will be important in strengthening future IACHR reports and decisions on Bolivia.

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. 192/18