Press Release

IACHR Issues Protection Measure in Favor of Bolivarian National Guard Sergeant in Venezuela

March 1, 2019

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 8/2019 on February 28, 2019, to grant precautionary protection measures in favor of Luis Alexander Bandres Figueroa in Venezuela, in the belief that he faces a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable damage to his rights.

According to the request for precautionary measures, the beneficiary is a sergeant of the Bolivarian National Guard and is currently incarcerated in General Department of Military Counterintelligence facilities.

The Commission took into consideration that, according to the allegations, the beneficiary is in isolation and has been subjected to severe beating, which the requesting party described as “torture.” The beneficiary allegedly sleeps on the “icy floor,” and has insufficient food and fluids and no ventilation or natural light. Given the allegations, the Commission thought it relevant to gather the observations of the State of Venezuela, in keeping with Article 25.5 of the IACHR’s Rules of Procedure. An extension was granted for the State to respond, but no observations were received.

The IACHR concluded—particularly based on the State’s obligation to protect the rights of all persons deprived of their liberty—that the requesting party’s allegations had not been refuted and that they were especially serious in the current context. The IACHR also took into consideration the fact that the requesting party blamed the alleged violence on officers of the State in charge of the beneficiary who had him in their custody.

Consequently, in keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission asked the State of Venezuela to take the following measures: a) adopt any measures necessary to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Luis Alexander Bandres Figueroa; b) take any measures necessary to ensure that the beneficiary’s conditions of detention comply with the applicable international standards; c) report on any actions taken to investigate the alleged events that gave rise to the adoption of this precautionary measure, to prevent such events from happening again in the future.

The fact that this precautionary measure has been granted and its adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the Inter-American system to allege violations of rights protected by 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. 055/19