2021

Resolution No. 57/21
PM 551-21 - Erica Sheppard, United States

On July 29, 2021, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of Erica Sheppard. According to the request, the beneficiary finds herself in a situation of risk given that she has been held in solitary confinement on death row in the state of Texas for 26 years, as well as that she has not had access to proper accommodations for her physical disabilities. The applicants also filed a petition in which they allege violations of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man with regards to Ms. Sheppard’s rights to life, liberty and personal security, equality before the law, special protection as a child, fair trial, humane treatment in custody, due process of law and not to receive cruel, infamous or unusual punishment. Having analyzed the submissions of fact and law presented by the parties, the Commission considers that the information submitted demonstrates prima facie that there is a serious and urgent risk of irreparable harm to Ms. Sheppard’s rights to life and personal integrity in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure. Moreover, in the event that Ms. Sheppard is executed before the Commission has the opportunity to examine the merits of her petition, any eventual decision would be rendered moot, leading to irreparable harm. Consequently, the Commission requests that the United States of America:

  1. adopt the necessary measures to protect the life and personal integrity of Erica Sheppard;
  2. refrain from carrying out the death penalty on Erica Sheppard until the IACHR has had the opportunity to reach a decision on her petition;
  3. ensure that Erica Sheppard’s detention conditions are consistent with international standards, giving special consideration to her personal conditions;
  4. provide appropriate accommodations and attention for Erica Sheppard’s physical disabilities, in accordance with the applicable international human rights standards; and,
  5. agree on the measures to be adopted with the beneficiary and her representatives.

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2020

Resolution No. 79/20
PM 349-20 - Jorge Ernesto Zea López, Colombia

On October 28, 2020, the Commission granted precautionary measures to Jorge Ernesto Zea López, a person deprived of liberty in Colombia. According to the request, the proposed beneficiary, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and is currently deprived of his liberty, does not receive adequate medical treatment for his disease, a situation that may be aggravated in the framework of a COVID-19 infection. The Commission requested that Colombia: a) adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to life, personal integrity, and health of Mr. Jorge Ernesto López Zea; in particular, by providing him with the medical treatment that he requires in a timely manner and without undue delay, as well as guaranteeing that his conditions of detention are in accordance with the applicable international standards. In this regard, the competent authorities must, in accordance with their internal regulations, and while the situation of Mr. Jorge Ernesto López Zea is again submitted to the corresponding technical evaluations, with a view to obtaining an alternative measure to prison, guarantee that the proposed beneficiary is located in an area, space or structure suitable to meet his needs for treatment and prevention against COVID-19, in accordance with the recommendations issued by the respective experts and as indicated by this Commission.

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Resolution No. 6/20
PM 888-19 - Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Jorge Santana Prison, Brazil


On February 5, 2020, the IACHR decided to grant precautionary measures to persons deprived of their liberty in the Jorge Santana Public Penitentiary in Brazil. According to the request, the proposed beneficiaries are at risk because of the conditions of imprisonment and lack of medical care. In this matter, the Commission indeed notes that the persons proposed as beneficiaries face a multiplicity of risk factors, the conditions of detention continue to be of concern, inasmuch as the problem of overcrowding has not yet been solved, as well as the lack of hygiene and other structural deficiencies that jeopardize the rights to life and personal integrity of prisoners, particularly those with a disability or mobility restriction. Upon analyzing the arguments of fact and law provided by the parties, the Commission considers that the information presented shows prima facie that the persons deprived of their liberty in the Jorge Santana Public Penitentiary are in a serious and urgent situation, given that their rights to health, life and personal integrity are at serious risk. Consequently, the IACHR requests that Brazil:

  1. adopt the necessary measures to preserve the life, personal integrity and health of the persons deprived of their liberty in the Jorge Santana Public Penitentiary; particularly, by guaranteeing adequate and timely medical care, in accordance with the recommendations of the corresponding experts;
  2. take the necessary measures to ensure that the conditions of detention of the beneficiaries meet the applicable international standards; in particular, by ensuring that the structure of the Jorge Santana Public Penitentiary meets the necessary safety conditions, taking into account the situation of the beneficiaries who are disabled, injured, mutilated, fractured or injured in other way, and in order to prevent further impacts on the entire prison population; by taking immediate actions to substantially reduce overcrowding; and by providing adequate sanitation and hygiene;
  3. consult and agree upon the measures to be taken with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and
  4. inform on the actions taken to investigate the alleged events that caused the adoption of this precautionary measure, so as to prevent such incidents from reoccurring.

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2018

Resolution No. 86/18
PM 1357-18 - Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, United States

On December 3, 2018, the IACHR moved to request the adoption of precautionary measures in favor of all persons with disabilities at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in the United States of America. The request alleged that the proposed beneficiaries were at risk due to the use of the treatments they are allegedly being subjected to at the institution, which include the use of electric shocks and restraint techniques, despite the beneficiaries’ medical conditions. After analyzing the allegations of fact and law, the IACHR believes that the information that has been put forward proves, in principle, that the beneficiaries are at grave risk. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of the IACHR’s Rules of Procedure, the Commission requested that the United States of America take the necessary steps toward protecting the rights to life and personal integrity of the beneficiaries, particularly by guaranteeing the immediate termination of the use of any harmful measures, including that of electroconvulsive therapies in the circumstances described in this resolution; that it determine the measures to be adopted in consultation with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and that it take the necessary steps to investigate the events that gave rise to the adoption of this resolution and thus prevent them from being repeated.

Resolution No. 63/18
PM 505-18 - Vilma Aracely López Juc de Coc and others, United States

On August 16, 2018, the IACHR decided to request the adoption of precautionary measures in favor of Vilma Aracely López Juc de Coc and her son S.V.C.L.; Antonio Bol Pauu and his son R.B.S.; María Andrés de la Cruz and her three children D.P.A., G.A.P.P. and D.M.P.A.; and Dagoberto A. Melchor Santacruz and his son K.A.M.A., in the United States of America. The request for precautionary measures alleges that the proposed beneficiaries were separated by the authorities once they were detained upon their irregular entry into U.S. territory at the border with Mexico, in Texas. The children were reportedly held under custody of the Department of Health and Human Service Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), while their parents were being detained at different facilities, facing administrative and judicial proceedings. After analyzing the allegations of fact and law, the IACHR considers that the information presented shows, in principle, that the beneficiaries are in a serious and urgent situation. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of the IACHR's Rules of Procedure, the Commission requested the United States of America to adopt the necessary measures to safeguard the rights to family life, personal integrity and identity of the beneficiaries. Particularly, guaranteeing that such rights are safeguarded by means of the reunification of the abovementioned families and the best in accordance with the best interest of the children. The IACHR also requested to adopt the necessary measures, while the reunification is carried out, to immediately guarantee an appropriate, free, and regular communication between the beneficiaries and their families, in accordance with their best interests. Moreover, with the aim of protecting their rights, provide medical and psychological assistance, among others that might be necessary such as consular assistance. Also, provide interpreting services when necessary so that the proposed beneficiaries know their rights and have a good understanding of their situation and destination. In case any of the proposed beneficiaries was deported separately from their children, adopt immediately the necessary measures in the framework of international cooperation to guarantee their reunification, taking into account the child’s best interest and the necessary support and care. Suspend any migration procedure that may result in the separation of the children from their parents; and agree upon the measures to be adopted with the beneficiaries and their representatives.

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Resolution No. 23/18
PM 48-18 - adolescent M, Mexico

On April 2, 2018, the IACHR moved to request the adoption of precautionary measures in favor of the adolescent known as M in Mexico. His identity is being withheld in compliance with the IACHR practice of not disclosing the identity of children and adolescents. The request for precautionary measures alleges that the beneficiary was arrested by officers of the State, that his whereabouts were unknown for six days and that, after being located, he is at risk given the state of his mental health and his broader condition. After assessing the legal and factual allegations, the IACHR considers that the information that has been submitted shows, in principle, that the beneficiary faces a situation of grave and urgent risk. Consequently, in keeping with Article 25 of the IACHR’s Rules of Procedure, the Commission asked Mexico to take any measures necessary to preserve M’s life, personal integrity and health, taking into account his status as an adolescent and the need to protect his best interests; and to come to an agreement with the beneficiary and his representatives regarding any measures that need to be taken—particularly those concerning medical and psychological care—protecting his autonomy and the need to obtain informed consent from the beneficiary and his parents in order to implement any medical and psychological examinations and treatment that specialists deem necessary.

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2017

Resolution No. 28/17
PM 440-16 - Zaheer Seepersad, Trinidad and Tobago

On August 4, 2017, the IACHR decided to request that precautionary measures be adopted for Zaheer Seepersad, in Trinidad and Tobago. The application for precautionary measures alleges that the beneficiary suffers from "dystonia" and is at risk due to his medical condition and the threat of being hospitalized in a psychiatric institution, which could aggravate his condition. Having analyzed the allegations of fact and law, the IACHR considers that the information submitted shows, prima facie, that the beneficiary's situation is serious and urgent because of his state of health and the alleged lack of adequate medical care. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure, the Commission requested that Trinidad and Tobago adopt the necessary measures to protect the life and personal integrity of the proposed beneficiary, taking into consideration his medical condition and his condition as a person with disability, and in particular ensuring him access to adequate medical treatment and therapies. The Commission also requested that the State consult the measures to be implemented with the proposed beneficiary and his representatives to ensure their agreement and that it report on the actions taken to investigate the allegations that gave rise to the adoption of this precautionary measure, so as to avoid a recurrence.

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Resolution No. 8/17
PM 958-16 - "Virgen de la Asunción" Residential Institution, Guatemala

On March 12, 2017, the IACHR decided to request that precautionary measures be adopted for the children and adolescents at the "Virgen de la Asunción" Residential Institution, in Guatemala. The request for precautionary measures alleges that the children and adolescents at the facility are exposed to multiple risk factors, including overcrowding, acts of violence, and poor living conditions due to the lack of adequate supervision by the State. The petitioning party provided additional information indicating that a fire at the facility on March 8, 2017, led to the deaths of children and adolescents, and many others were injured. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure, the Commission requested that Guatemala adopt the necessary measures to protect the life and personal integrity of the children and adolescents at the "Virgen de la Asunción" Residential Institution, including those who suffered burns or other physical or psychological injuries because of the fire of March 8, 2017. These measures should be adopted by the State taking into account the conditions of the beneficiaries’ children and adolescents, and should be guided by the principles of the best interests of children and adolescents. In addition, the Commission requested that the State adopt the necessary measures to ensure that the conditions provided for the children and adolescents at the "Virgen de la Asunción" Residential Institution are brought into line with applicable international standards and, at the same time, that the State take effective steps to encourage the minors’ reintegration into their families, whenever possible and with any necessary support, or identify care alternatives that provide greater protection. Consistent with that, the Commission asked the State to apply the appropriate measures to support and assist the families of the children and adolescents so as to facilitate reintegration, and to prohibit the institutionalization of more children and adolescents at the "Virgen de la Asunción" facility. The IACHR requested that Guatemala reach agreement with the beneficiaries and the petitioning party on the measures to be adopted, and that it report on the steps taken to investigate the allegations that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure, so as to prevent a recurrence.

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2016

Resolution No. 38/16
PM 376-15 - Irene, Argentina

On July 7, 2016, the IACHR decided to request that precautionary measures be adopted for "Irene," in Argentina. The request for precautionary measures alleges that a 12-year-old girl, whom the IACHR has identified as "Irene" to protect her identity, has a severe neurological condition, mainly as a result of being born extremely prematurely, and needs various types of medical treatment and therapy to alleviate her condition and allow her to go to school. After analyzing the allegations of fact and law, the Commission believes that the information presented shows that "Irene" is facing a serious and urgent situation, as her life and personal integrity are at risk. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission asked Argentina to adopt the necessary measures to protect Irene’s life and personal integrity, taking into consideration her disability and health condition, so that she can have access to the special support services recommended by specialists, in keeping with applicable international standards. It also asked that the State reach agreement with the beneficiary and her representatives on the measures to be adopted.

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2014

Resolution No. 27/14
PM 442-12 - William Alberto Pérez Jerez, El Salvador

October 1, 2014, the IACHR requested the adoption of precautionary measures for William Alberto Pérez Jerez, in El Salvador. The request for precautionary measures alleges that Mr. Pérez Jerez, who has been held since 2001 in the La Esperanza prison in the city of Ayutuxtepeque, has a physical and sensory disability (he is allegedly losing his sight) and has been diagnosed with an illness called Devic's Syndrome or Neuromyelitis Optica." This disease is chronic, incurable, and degenerative and is causing severe organic damage to Mr. Pérez Jerez. The petitioner alleges that Mr. Pérez Jerez is receiving ongoing treatment "with steroids, chemotherapy, and physical therapy" in an effort to prolong his life and that the treatment has adverse effects. The petitioner also alleges that the current conditions of detention put the health and life of Mr. Pérez Jerez at serious risk. After analyzing the factual and legal allegations, the Commission believes that the information shows, in principle, that William Alberto Pérez Jerez is in a grave and urgent situation, given that his rights to life, humane treatment, and health are threatened and at serious risk. Consequently, under Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission asks the State of El Salvador to: adopt the necessary measures to preserve the life and personal integrity of Mr. Pérez Jerez and, in particular, to provide the specialized medical care he needs, taking into consideration the deterioration being produced by his illnesses and the special supports he currently needs; to ensure that the conditions of detention of Mr. William Alberto Pérez Jerez are consistent with applicable international standards, taking into account his current health status, his disability, and terminal illness; and to reach agreement with the beneficiary and his representative on the measures to be adopted.

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Resolution No. 24/14
PM 307-14 - Matter of Julio César Cano Molina, Cuba

On September 10, 2014, the IACHR requested the adoption of precautionary measures for Julio César Cano Molina, in Cuba. The request for precautionary measures alleges that the beneficiary, who has a mental and intellectual disability, is deprived of liberty, and would be in a serious health situation and lacking access to medical treatment. Therefore, after analyzing the allegations of fact and law, the Commission believes that the information shows prima facie that Julio César Cano Molina is in a serious and urgent situation, since his life, personal integrity and health face an imminent risk. Consequently, pursuant to Article 25 of the IACHR's rules of procedure, the Commission requires the Government of Cuba to: adopt the necessary measures to ensure Julio César Cano Molina's right to life and personal integrity, in particular, provide specialized medical care, taking into account his particular circumstances and needs, according to his mental and intellectual disability; ensure that Julio César Cano Molina's detention conditions take into account his current health situation and mental and intellectual disability, according to international standards; and agree on the measures to be adopted with the beneficiary and his representatives. Read the resolution

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2013


PM 424-12 - Josvany Melchor Rodríguez, Cuba

El 29 de abril de 2013, la CIDH otorgó medidas cautelares a favor de Josvany Melchor Rodríguez, en Cuba. La solicitud de medidas cautelares indica que Josvany Melchor Rodríguez tendría una discapacidad mental y estaría actualmente privado de libertad en la Cárcel 1580, en San Miguel de Padrón, La Habana. La solicitud alega que Josvany Melchor Rodríguez se encontraría en una situación de riesgo para su vida, integridad personal y salud. De acuerdo a la información presentada, Josvany Melchor Rodríguez padecería de problemas en los riñones, gastritis crónica, parásitos, y estaría vomitando sangre, entre otros problemas de salud, los cuales estarían exacerbados por supuestas condiciones deficientes de detención y por la falta de adopción de medidas especiales en vista de su discapacidad. Los solicitantes afirman que la madre del beneficiario habría acudido a las autoridades competentes, con el objetivo de que se le proporcione a su hijo la atención médica pertinente, sin que se hayan adoptado medidas al respecto. La CIDH solicitó al Estado de Cuba que adopte las medidas necesarias para que Josvany Melchor Rodríguez reciba atención médica especializada, tomando en consideración sus circunstancias particulares y sus necesidades, de acuerdo a las condiciones de sus patologías y su discapacidad mental; y que concierte las medidas a adoptarse con el beneficiario y sus representantes.



2012


PM 370-12 - Patients at the Federico Mora Hospital, Guatemala

On November 20, 2012, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for 334 patients at the Federico Mora Hospital in Guatemala. The request for precautionary measures alleges that everyone who is hospitalized at the Federico Mora Hospital is in a situation of risk. According to the petition, the 334 hospitalized patients, including children, share the same space with mentally disabled individuals who have been prosecuted and sentenced for various crimes. The petition adds that agents of the National Civilian Police and staff of the prison system are responsible for guarding the facility, and use threats, harassment, and acts of violence against the patients. The information presented to the IACHR indicates that there is physical and sexual abuse against women and children, and those patients have been denied proper medical care and given psychiatric treatment that does not suit their pathology. The Commission was also informed that some patients are being locked in isolation rooms, and that there is a practice of tying patients to chairs, among other allegations. The IACHR asked the government of Guatemala to adopt any necessary measures to guarantee the life and personal integrity of those hospitalized at the Federico Mora Hospital, and especially to provide proper medical care to patients, in accordance with each person's pathologies; to ensure the separation of the children from the adults and to seek special measures in light of the principle of the best interest of the child; to separate patients who have been prosecuted and sentenced, and who are being deprived of liberty under court order, from the other patients at the hospital, and to ensure that the protection of these patients is provided by unarmed hospital staff; to restrict the use of isolation rooms to the situations and conditions established in international standards regarding persons with mental disabilities; and to implement immediate prevention measures so that no patients, especially women and children, are subject to acts of physical, psychological, or sexual violence on the part of other patients, security agents, or hospital staff. The IACHR also asked the State of Guatemala to reach agreement with the beneficiaries and their representatives on the measures to be adopted. In this regard, the IACHR informed the government that it believes it is necessary for the parties, by common agreement, to present a timetable for implementing these precautionary measures, after having held the first meeting on coordination of the measures. Finally, the IACHR requested that the government inform the Commission about the steps taken to investigate the events that led to the adoption of these precautionary measures



2011


PM 465-11 - Virgilio Maldonado Rodríguez, United States

On December 21, 2011, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for Virgilio Maldonado Rodríguez, a Mexican national sentenced to death in the state of Texas. The request seeking precautionary measures was filed together with a petition alleging violation of rights protected under the American Declaration. Classified as P-1762/11, the petition specifically alleges that the United States did not take into account Mr. Maldonado's mental disability; it argued that under the American Declaration, the death penalty constituted cruel punishment. Mr. Maldonado was one of the Mexican citizens included in the judgment delivered by the International Court of Justice in 2004 in the Case concerning Avena and other Mexican nationals (Mexico v. United States), in which the ICJ ordered the United States to review and reconsider the guilty verdicts and sentences given to the Mexican citizens named in the judgment. The Commission asked the United States to refrain from executing the death sentence until the Commission has had an opportunity to reach a decision on the petitioner's claim of an alleged violation of the American Declaration, so as not to render moot the processing of that petition with the inter-American system.