IACHR

Press Release

IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures to Protect Juan Guaidó in Venezuela

January 25, 2019

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María Isabel Rivero
IACHR Press and Communication Office
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mrivero@oas.org

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 1/2019 on January 25, 2019, to grant precautionary measures in favor of Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez and his family in Venezuela, in the belief that they face a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable damage to their rights.

The Commission noted that Mr. Guaidó is currently the most visible opposition figure in a context of major political pressure and social upheaval, which has led thousands of people to mobilize on the streets of Venezuela in events that have included acts of violence. In that context, the Commission believed that the evidence submitted by the people who requested these precautionary measures in the current political scenario show an exceptional, highly tense context with political divisions that focus precisely on Mr. Guaidó’s situation.

In such a context, the Commission took note—among other elements of risk—of the fact that the beneficiary was temporarily detained by SEBIN officials on January 13, 2019. The Commission acknowledged that immediate measures had allegedly been taken to investigate and punish the people responsible for that arrest. However, it happened on the street, in broad daylight, and the beneficiary enjoyed no protection scheme to prevent him from being forced out of his car or to make sure his whereabouts were known while he was being detained.

The Commission considered that such elements reflect Guaidó’s past vulnerability and his current potential exposure to events similar to those of January 13, when his rights were at risk while he was in the custody of officers of the State in conditions that various authorities have described as “irregular.” Without assessing the motives behind that detention, the Commission expressed special concern about the mere fact that a group of SEBIN officers might have planned and managed to arrest the beneficiary in such circumstances. Given Mr. Guaidó’s current profile, the Commission considered that he would be more vulnerable or at risk of suffering attacks, in light of the precedent that was examined in the Resolution.

Consequently, based on Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission asked Venezuela’s national institutions to: a) take any measures necessary to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Juan Gerardo Guaidó and his family and to protect their safety, in compliance with the standards of international human rights law (including protecting those persons’ rights with relation to dangerous acts that might be perpetrated by third parties); b) come to an agreement with the beneficiary and his representatives regarding the measures that need to be taken; and c) report on any actions adopted to investigate the alleged events that gave rise to the adoption of this precautionary measure, to prevent such events from happening again in the future.

The Commission noted that the precautionary measure mechanism requires only that it establish whether there is a serious, urgent risk of irreparable damage to human rights.

The fact that this precautionary measure has been granted and its adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the Inter-American system to allege violations of rights protected by the American Convention on Human Rights 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. 017/19