Press Release

IACHR Conducts Visit to Colombia-Venezuela Border

September 9, 2015

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will visit the border between the Republic of Colombia and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela between September 10 and 12, 2015 with the purpose of observing the situation of human rights in that region. Specifically, the IACHR is interested in verifying on-site the conditions of Colombian nationals who have been expelled from Venezuelan territory, or who have decided to return to their country in the context of the conditions and concerns expressed in Press Release No. 100/15 issued by the Commission on August 28.

The IACHR delegation will include Commissioner Felipe González, Rapporteur on the Rights of migrants and Rapporteur for Venezuela; Commissioner José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez, Rapporteur for Colombia; Executive Secretary Emilio Álvarez Icaza and professional staff of the Executive Secretariat. In accordance with the rules that govern its mandate, the IACHR has requested that each of the respective Governments accept the Commission’s request to conduct this visit, and has received an affirmative response from the Republic of Colombia; accordingly, the visit will be initiated in that country. To date there has been no response from the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The delegation shall begin its visit in the city of Bogotá, and then travel to Cucuta and Villa del Rosario, in the Department of North Santander. In these cities, it will meet with Colombian authorities, civil society organizations, representatives of international organizations, and persons affected by the situation ON the border between Colombia and Venezuela.

In due course, the IACHR will issue its observations and considerations that arise from the visit, in accordance with its mandate of protection and promotion of human rights in the region.

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 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. 101/15