Press Release

IACHR Grants Precautionary Measure for Three Deputies of Venezuela’s National Assembly

July 28, 2017

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Washington, D.C.—On July 28, 2017, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted a precautionary measure for Deputy Julio Borges, President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, and Deputies Tomás Guanipa and José Guerra, in Venezuela.

After analyzing the allegations of fact and law presented by the applicants and the Venezuelan State, and considering the institutional and social tensions created in the context of the alteration of the constitutional and democratic order in Venezuela, the Commission concluded that the legislators Borges, Guanipa, and Guerra are in a serious and urgent situation, as their rights to life and integrity are at risk of irreparable harm.

In making this determination, the Commission took into account the statements and acts of harassment that the applicants reported had been directed against them by high-level authorities of the State; the current situation the country is going through, including extreme polarization; and the serious attack the National Assembly suffered recently—on July 5, 2017—when a group of armed civilians violently stormed into the building and for hours prevented representatives from leaving. Mr. Borges is President of the National Assembly, and the other beneficiaries of this measure are legislators who belong to opposition parties.

Consequently, based on Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission requested that the State of Venezuela: (a) adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the lives and personal integrity of Julio Borges, Tomás Guanipa, and José Guerra, and ensure that they can exercise their political rights as members of the National Assembly without being subject to threats, harassment, or acts of violence; (b) reach agreement with the beneficiaries and their representatives on the measures to be adopted; and (c) inform the Commission about the actions taken to investigate the allegations that led to the adoption of this resolution, so as to prevent a recurrence.

The Commission indicated that the granting of the precautionary measure and its adoption by the State do not constitute a prejudging of any petition that may come before the inter-American system alleging violations of the rights protected in the American Declaration and other applicable instruments.

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. 108/17