Press Release

IACHR Issues Protection Measures in Favor of “Ángel,” a Victim of Police Violence in Mexico

July 21, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 38/2020 on July 18, 2020, to grant precautionary protection measures in favor of a man identified simply as “Ángel” and his family in Mexico, in the belief that they face a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable damage to their rights.

According to this request for precautionary measures, the beneficiary was shot and was subjected to strong violence and threats by municipal police officers in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, which caused him serious health problems. After filing a complaint over these events, he and his family have allegedly suffered constant threats and harassment from municipal police officers. Although the town’s Ombudsperson requested a risk assessment, no protection measures have so far been adopted in favor of the beneficiary and his family.

In accordance with Article 25.5 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR asked the State for information and received a request for an extension after the deadline passed. However, taking into consideration the alleged involvement of officers of the State, the lack of protection measures although State institutions are aware of the allegations, and the persistent violence, the IACHR decided that potentially immediate harm made an extension ill-advised.

Consequently, in keeping with Article 25 of the IACHR’s Rules of Procedure, the Commission asked Mexico to take the following action: (a) adopt any measures necessary to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Ángel and his family (in particular, the State must both ensure that its own officers respect the beneficiaries’ rights to life and personal integrity—in compliance with the standards of international human rights law—and protect them from dangerous acts that might be perpetrated by third parties); (b) come to an agreement with the beneficiaries and their representative 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 resolution, 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. 171/20