IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures to Rolando José Álvarez Lagos, Bishop of Matagalpa, in Nicaragua

April 14, 2023

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Resolution 19/2023,

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Washington, D.C.—On April 13, 2023, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 19/2023, through which it granted precautionary protection measures in favor of Rolando José Álvarez Lagos, bishop of Matagalpa, and his immediate family in Nicaragua, whom it deems to be at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their human rights.

According to the petitioning party, Bishop Rolando Álvarez is reportedly being deprived of his freedom at the Jorge Navarro National Penitentiary System, known as "La Modelo," where he is being held incommunicado. No official information has been released on his health and welfare, the conditions in which he is being held, and whether he has received medical attention and medication, given that he suffers from a series of health problems.

The information provided by the State makes it impossible to determine whether the alleged risk factors have been duly mitigated.

On March 25, 2023, according to public information, the beneficiary was visited by his relatives. However, no further information was obtained on Rolando José Álvarez Lagos's circumstances following this visit.

After analyzing the the factual and legal allegations in this case, the IACHR deemed Rolando José Álvarez Lagos to be at risk due to his being held in incommunicado detention after being arrested and because of the lack of information from State authorities on his current circumstances, conditions of detention, and state of health. As a consequence, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR requested that the State of Nicaragua take the necessary measures to:

  1. guarantee the rights to life, health, and personal integrity of Rolando José Álvarez Lagos;
  2. ensure that the conditions in which the beneficiary is being detained are compatible with the applicable international standards on the matter, including guaranteeing access to the following: i. adequate, specialized medical care and an immediate expert assessment of his health conditions; ii. the treatment and medications that his health problems require; iii. access to and regular contact with his relatives, representatives, and defense attorneys;
  3. agree on any measures to be taken with the beneficiary and his representatives; and
  4. report on the actions it implements to investigate the alleged events that led to the adoption of this resolution so as to prevent them from being repeated.

The fact that this precautionary measure has been granted and its adoption by the State does not entail a prejudgment on any petition that may eventually be filed before the inter-American system to allege that the rights protected by the American Convention and other applicable instruments have been violated.

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. 064/23

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