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Statement from the OAS General Secretariat on the Exercise of Political Rights by Persons Elected by the People

  June 1, 2023

Within the framework of the Secretary General's visit to Colombia, the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) highlights that in line with current international regulations, embodied in international human rights treaties, and especially in the American Convention on Human Rights, as well as the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, it follows that the constitutional mandates of elected authorities can only be interrupted based on the sentences of criminal judges.

The jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CorteIDH) reflects what is established in Article 23 of the Convention, which establishes parameters for the exercise of political rights.

The jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court also affirms that the materialization of political rights strengthens the rule of law in the Hemisphere.

Accordingly, it is essential that all those State bodies that are not criminal judges, including administrative control bodies, refrain from carrying out acts that go against this principle, which constitutes the essence of the function of democracy and of the rule of law.

Reference: E-024/23