Press Release

IACHR Adopts Precautionary Measures to Protect Julio Lancellotti and Daniel Guerra Feitosa in Brazil

March 21, 2019

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) adopted Resolution 11/2019 on March 8, 2019, to grant precautionary measures in favor of Julio Lancellotti—a defender of the rights of homeless persons who leads the organization Pastoral do Povo da Rua in São Paulo—and of Daniel Guerra Feitosa—a homeless man.

In making this decision, the Commission took into consideration the requesting party’s allegations that the proposed beneficiaries had been subjected to several threats and other acts of violence, some of them allegedly issued by authorities of the security forces. Those risk events were allegedly linked to Julio Lancellotti’s activities for the defense of the human rights of homeless persons. In that context, when assessing the risks, the Commission took into consideration the information it received in its recent visit to Brazil, in November 2018, about alleged abuse and ill-treatment by the police concerning homeless persons, and about homeless persons’ lack of access to various services, which make them extremely vulnerable.

The Commission noted measures taken by the State to protect Julio Lancellotti’s rights, among them his inclusion in the Program to Protect Human Rights Defenders. However, the Commission observed that the alleged risk events have become rather frequent over the period when the IACHR has been monitoring this matter, and that no detailed information has been provided to prove that the protection measures in place are suitable and effective for now. Concerning Daniel Guerra Feitosa, the Commission noted that no protection measures have been adopted to safeguard his rights.

Consequently, in keeping with Article 25 of the IACHR’s Rules of Procedure, the Commission asked the State of Brazil to take any measures necessary to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Julio Renato Lancellotti and Daniel Guerra Feitosa and to enable Julio Lancellotti to keep doing his work as a human rights defender without being subjected to threats, harassment or any other acts of violence for doing such work. The IACHR further asked the Brazilian State to report on any actions adopted to investigate the events that gave rise to the adoption of these precautionary measures, in order 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 Convention on Human Rights 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. 075/19