Press Release

IACHR Grants Protection Measures in Favor of Elizabeth Velásquez, from Nicaragua’s Asociación Madres de Abril

January 27, 2020

   Related links

   Contact info

IACHR Press Office
[email protected]

   More on the IACHR
A+ A-

Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 4/20 on January 15, 2020, to grant precautionary protection measures in favor of Elizabeth Velásquez and her family in Nicaragua, in the belief that they face a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable damage to their rights.

To make this decision, the IACHR took into consideration the fact that the risks faced by Ms. Velásquez are directly related to her involvement in the group Asociación Madres de Abril (AMA). She is currently one of the mothers of victims of repression in April 2018 with the highest profiles within Nicaragua. The Commission said that Ms. Velásquez has been “constantly harassed” since her son died, and the available reports indicate that the risks she faces have increased over time. In particular, the IACHR noted that her son’s grave had been desecrated. Along with this intimidating act, the Commission observed that—since she attended an IACHR period of sessions and pursued her claims further—Ms. Velásquez has allegedly been subjected to heightened persecution, since surveillance of her activities has mainly taken place in recent months. In accordance with Article 25.5 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission requested information from the State, but the State failed to provide it.

Consequently, in keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission asked the Nicaraguan State to: a) adopt any measures necessary to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Elizabeth Velásquez and her family (in particular, the State must ensure that beneficiaries’ rights are respected—in compliance with the standards of international human rights law—both by officers of the State and with regard to dangerous acts that might be perpetrated by third parties); b) come to an agreement with beneficiaries and their representatives regarding any measures that need to be adopted; and 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 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. 015/20