IACHR grants precautionary measures in favor of Yolanda del Carmen González Escobar and her family unit in Nicaragua

August 31, 2022

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Washington, D.C.- On August 29, 2022, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution N. 42/22, by which it granted precautionary measures in favor of Yolanda del Carmen González Escobar and her family unit, upon determining that they are in a serious and urgent situation of risk of irreparable harm to their rights in Nicaragua.

According to the applicant, Yolanda González is identified or perceived as an opponent of the current Nicaraguan government and has been facing a situation that places her at risk as a result of threats, harassment and surveillance by state and parastatal agents since 2018. She reportedly experienced two raids with the use of violence, and without any warrant having been presented, in addition to threats due to the alleged organization of a religious mass. For its part, information was requested from the State under the terms of Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, but no response was issued

Upon analyzing the allegations of fact and law provided by the parties, the IACHR observed that the situation that placed Mr. González at risk has intensified since 2021. In addition, it noted that Yolanda González had reportedly suffered violent raids, during which her family members were also besieged. This includes two female minors who were allegedly besieged by police officers during the raid on her residence and threatened for participating in religious activities. The Commission also observed that, due to the constant harassment, some of her relatives were forced to leave the country.

When assessing the situation that places them at risk, the Commission takes into account that the events of violence and insecurity that female defenders face are influenced by their gender. They are particularly exposed to various forms of violence, including sexual violence, as well as violence against their families in retaliation for their work. This is in addition to other obstacles that threaten the work of defenders in general.

Therefore, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission has decided to grant the precautionary measure and requested the State of Nicaragua to:

  1. adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Yolanda del Carmen González Escobar and her family unit. To this end, the State must ensure both that state actors respect the life and personal integrity of the beneficiaries, and protect their rights in relation to acts of risk that are attributable to third parties in accordance with the standards established by international human rights law;
  2. consult and agree upon the measures to be adopted with the beneficiaries and their representatives;
  3. report on the actions taken to investigate the alleged facts that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure, so as to prevent such events from reoccurring.

The granting of the precautionary measure and its adoption by the State does not constitute a prejudgment on a possible petition before the Inter-American system alleging violations of the rights safeguarded in the American Convention and other applicable instruments.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate arises from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission is mandated to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The IACHR is composed of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 194/22

6:21 PM