Press Release

IACHR Announces Creation of Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts for Bolivia on November 23

November 20, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced that it would be establishing the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts for Bolivia (GIEI-Bolivia) on Monday, November 23, in the city of La Paz.

This mechanism was created through the Agreement signed by the IACHR and the Plurinational State of Bolivia on December 12, 2019, to assist in the investigations into acts of violence and human rights violations that occurred in the country between September 1 and December 31, 2019.

Once it is established, the GIEI-Bolivia will go about its work independently and impartially. It will arrange meetings with victims, witnesses, authorities, and civil society organizations, respecting the healthcare protocols required by the pandemic. It will also draw on any sources of research it considers relevant, in addition to the sources provided by its counterparts in the Bolivian State and civil society organizations.

To fulfill its objectives, the GIEI-Bolivia has been tasked with the following: establish plans to investigate into the acts of violence committed against people, organizations, and authorities in the country during the sociopolitical tensions, protests, and demonstrations that took place between September 1 and December 31, 2019; perform a technical analysis of the lines of investigation it develops; make relevant recommendations, helping ensure these are appropriate, exhaustive, and coherent with the applicable international human rights standards; propose the adoption of measures to guarantee the safety of those involved in these investigations; and carry out a technical analysis, making recommendations for a plan to assist and provide comprehensive reparation for the victims of the events in question.

The GIEI is made up of the experts Julián Burger, Magdalena Correa, Juan Méndez, Patricia Tappatá Valdez, and Marlon Weichert. Likewise, in a note date November 12, Likewise, Jaime Vidal Melero will serve as its Executive Secretary.

The GIEI-Bolivia has been given guarantees of autonomy and independence to ensure people’s rights to truth and duly identify those responsible for the human rights violations in question. Its work is not limited to specific events and may address the different acts of violence and human rights violation that took place in the period in question. It has a six-month mandate from the date it sets up operations in the field, and this may be extended for as long as is necessary for it to fulfill its objective, if the parties agree. The GIEI will inform the Plurinational State of Bolivia of the partial and final results of its work, making any recommendations it deems appropriate, and will prepare a final public report on its findings.

The IACHR once more wishes to express its belief and confidence in the technical expertise, integrity, and impartiality of the experts who make up the GIEI, which will also have its own technical team on the ground to help it go about its work. The IACHR will follow up on the work and recommendations that the GIEI provides.

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. 278/20