Press Release

IACHR Extends Precautionary Measures in Favor of Two Mothers and One Sister from Nicaragua’s Asociación Madres de Abril

September 9, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 51/2020 on September 2, 2020, to extend precautionary measures in favor of Josefa Esterlina Meza, Tamara Patricia Morazán Martínez, and Lizeth de los Ángeles Dávila Orozco—members of the Asociación Madres de Abril (AMA) in Nicaragua—in the belief that they face a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable damage to their rights.

The IACHR had previously granted precautionary measures in favor of Elizabeth Velásquez, another member of the AMA, through Resolution 4/2020 of January 15, 2020. These protection measures also apply to the families of the three women.

To make this decision, the IACHR noted the fact that the situation of the three beneficiaries is closely linked to their involvement with the AMA, since they stand out among members of this organization. The IACHR said that these beneficiaries are being followed and subjected to intimidation and surveillance by unidentified individuals, armed civilians, officers of the State, and individuals that beneficiaries’ representatives describe as “para-State agents.” The Commission was informed by beneficiaries’ representatives that these actions are linked to the complaints these women formally filed in May and June 2018 concerning the deaths of their sons and brother. In keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission asked the State of Nicaragua for information but has so far not received an answer.

Consequently, in keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission has asked the State of Nicaragua to: a) take any measures necessary to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Josefa Esterlina Meza, Tamara Patricia Morazán Martínez, and Lizeth de los Ángeles Dávila Orozco, as well as their families (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. 214/20