Press Release

IACHR Calls on Venezuelan Institutions to Protect Rights of National Assembly President Juan Guaidó

February 28, 2019

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) calls on national institutions in the State of Venezuela to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Juan Guaidó, in compliance with the precautionary measure granted by the IACHR on January 25, 2019.

The Commission has been informed that Guaidó—a beneficiary of precautionary measures granted by the IACHR—has recently received death threats. Those threats were allegedly issued in calls to Guaidó’s relatives, and they were allegedly preceded by other risky events that the Commission has been informed of. Such events include visits to Guaidó´s home by alleged officials of a special unit of the Bolivarian Police, as well as the temporary arrest he was subjected to on January 13, 2019, which the authorities described as “irregular.”

As the Commission noted in Resolution 1/2019, Guaidó is currently the most visible opposition figure in a context of major political pressure and profound social upheaval, which has led thousands of people to mobilize on the streets of Venezuela in events that have included acts of violence. The Commission believed that the evidence submitted by the people who requested those precautionary measures in the current political scenario shows an exceptional, highly tense context with political divisions that focus on Guaidó’s situation. Given Guaidó’s current profile and his recognition by several countries as Venezuela’s interim president, the Commission considers that he would be more vulnerable or at risk of suffering attacks.

Consequently, the Commission stresses Resolution 1/2019 and, in particular, urges the national institutions of the State of Venezuela to take any measures necessary to protect the rights to life and personal integrity and to preserve the safety of Juan Gerardo Guaidó and his family, in compliance with the standards of international human rights law (including protecting those persons’ rights from dangerous acts that might be perpetrated by third parties).

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. 050/19