Press Release

IACHR Concerned about Political Crisis and Situation of Human Rights in Bolivia

11 de november, 2019

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Washington, D.C./Quito, Ecuador – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expresses its profound concern about the serious escalation of violence in Bolivia, in the context of a social and political crisis that has included the resignations of President Evo Morales—whose constitutional mandate was due to expire on January 22, 2020—and other high government officials.

According to reports issued by the Ombudsman’s Office, three people have died, 421 have been injured, and 222 have been arrest in the events that have followed recent elections. The situation was made worse by renewed political violence, including acts of harassment, plundering, and buses and public buildings that were set ablaze. Over the past few hours, the homes of private individuals and authorities—including President Morales—were attacked and plundered.

The Commission condemns all acts of violence, and it calls on the State to protect the human rights of all persons, with no exceptions based on ideology, political affiliation, or position. In particular, the IACHR demands respect for the rights to life, integrity, personal liberty, and freedom of expression. The IACHR also calls on political and social actors to end all violence by citizen organizations and movements. The Commission stresses that the State has an obligation to investigate these events and to punish anyone responsible for them.

Finally, the IACHR stresses that it is important for the ongoing social and political crisis to be solved in keeping with the Political Constitution of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, through democratic channels, to ensure full respect for the rule of law and the human rights of all people.

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. 290/19