ORDER OF THE
INTER-AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
OF FEBRUARY 20, 2003
LUISIANA RÍOS ET AL. V. VENEZUELA
1. The Order of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American Court” or “the Court”) of November 27, 2002, regarding the provisional measures requested by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American Commission” or “the Commission”) in favor of Luisiana Ríos, Armando Amaya, Antonio José Monroy, Laura Castellanos and Argenis Uribe, by which it decided:
1. To call on the State to adopt forthwith all necessary measures to protect the life and safety of Luisiana Ríos, Armando Amaya, Antonio José Monroy, Laura Castellanos and Argenis Uribe, employees of Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV).
2. To call on the State to allow the petitioners to participate in the planning and implementation of the protection measures and, in general, to inform them of progress regarding the measures ordered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
3. To call on the State to investigate the facts stated in the complaint that gave rise to these measures in order to discover and punish those responsible.
2. The communication of the State of Venezuela (hereinafter “the State” or “Venezuela”) of December 12, 2002, in which it presented its first report on “compliance with the Order of November 27 , delivered by [the] Court” in favor of Luisiana Ríos et al. and advised that it had sent communications to the Ministry of the Interior and Justice, and to the Offices of the Public Prosecutor and the Ombudsman, requesting them to “order all necessary measures to comply with the provisional measures” and that the “Prosecutor General […] had advise[d] that the Second and Seventy-fourth Prosecutors of the Office of the Public Prosecutor, both from the Judicial District of the Metropolitan area of Caracas, had been empowered” to carry out the measure contained in the third operative paragraph of the Order delivered by the Court in the instant case (supra first having seen paragraph).
3. The comments of the Inter-American Commission of December 20, 2002, on the State’s first report on the provisional measures, in which the Commission indicated that “it considered it essential to expedite all necessary measures for the full protection of the persons specified by the Inter-American Court in the Order of November 27, 2002”, because the State had not taken any official measure to comply fully with the provisional measures.
4. The note of the Secretariat of the Court (hereinafter “the Secretariat”) of December 20, 2002, in which, on the instructions of the President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (hereinafter “the President”), it requested the State of Venezuela to submit a report on the implementation of the provisional measures by January 10, 2003, at the latest.
5. The report of Venezuela of January 10, 2003, in which it referred to the implementation of the provisional measures in favor of Luisiana Ríos et al. and stated that on December 11, 2002, “the Prosecutor General […] had advised that the Second and Seventy-fourth Prosecutors of the Office of the Public Prosecutor, both from the Judicial District of the Metropolitan area of Caracas, had been empowered” to carry out the measure contained in the third operative paragraph of the Order delivered by [the] Court.”
6. The communication of the Inter-American Commission of January 21, 2003, in which it expressed “its profound concern, because the second report of the State of Venezuela of January 10, 2003, merely reiterated the contents of its first report and provided no information to prove that the State was complying effectively with the provisional measures ordered by the Court.”
7. The Commission’s request, in its communication of January 21, 2003 (supra sixth having seen paragraph), that “it should urgently summon the parties to a public hearing at its seat during the next session in order to evaluate the State’s compliance with the provisional measures.”
8. The Order of the President of January 24, 2003, in which, in consultation with all the judges of the Court, he decided:
1. To summon the State and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to a public hearing to be held at the seat of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on February, 25, 2003, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., so that the Court may hear their viewpoints on the facts and circumstances relating to the provisional measures in the Liliana Ortega et al., Luis Uzcátegui, and Luisiana Ríos et al. cases.
9. The communication of the Inter-American Commission of January 23, 2003, received by the Secretariat on January 27, 2003, requesting the Court, inter alia, to hear the testimony of Luisiana Ríos and Armando Amaya “should [the] Court decide to convene a public hearing during its next session.”
10. The Secretariat’s note of January 27, 2003, in which, inter alia, it requested the Commission to inform it of the purpose of the proposed testimonies, in order to submit this information to the President of the Court; and the Commission’s communication of January 30, 2003, in which it set out the purposes of the proposed testimonies.
11. The communication of the Secretariat of the Court of January 31, 2003, in which, on the instructions of its President, it transmitted to the State the Commission’s offer of witnesses (supra ninth having seen paragraph), so that the State could present its respective comments, and the communication of the State of Venezuela of February 5, 2003, indicating that “the State of Venezuela has no objection to [the witnesses proposed by the Commission] being heard when the public hearing takes place.”
12. The Order of the President of the Court of February 6, 2003, in which he decided:
1. To summon the representatives of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the State of Venezuela to a public hearing to he held at the seat of the Inter-American Court, at 10.30 a.m. on February 17, 2003, to receive the statements of the said witnesses and for the Court to hear their viewpoints on the facts and circumstances relating to the implementation of the provisional measures in the Liliana Ortega et al., Luis Uzcátegui, and Luisiana Ríos et al. cases.
4. To summon Luisiana Ríos to appear before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights at 10.30 a.m. on February 17, 2003, to give testimony on “[t]he threats, and physical and verbal attacks that [she has] received from Government supporters in Venezuela, during the exercise of her work as a journalist during the last year (as of January 2002).”
5. To summon Armando Amaya to appear before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights at 10.30 a.m. on February 17, 2003, to give testimony on “[t]he threats, physical and verbal attacks that [he has] received from Government supporters in Venezuela, during the exercise of his work as a journalist during the last year (as of January 2002).”
13. The public hearing on these provisional measures held at the seat of the Inter-American Court on February 17, 2003. There appeared before the Court:
For the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights:
Eduardo Bertoni, delegate;
Carlos Ayala, assistant, and
Pedro Nikken (assistant)
For the State of Venezuela:
Jorge Dugarte Contreras, agent, and
Gisela Aranda, assistant.
14. The testimony of Armando Amaya, given during the public hearing, which
is summarized as follows:
a) He is a Venezuelan national, resident in Caracas, a camera assistant - photographic reporter - for the company Radio Caracas Televisión. Owing to his work, one day while covering a news item in the Cajigal Observatory, he and his team were attacked by some Government supporters, who shouted verbal abuse at them, insulted them, threw stones and, despite this, they were unable to obtain help from any official. They were able to exit into the avenue, where they were attacked by “motorcyclists, by people [who threw] stones [at them], shouted slogans that [they] were charlatans, who should not be there.”
b) On another occasion, while he and his team were covering a news item, a soldier approached to warn them that they should not be in that area and, since they remained there, “carrying out [their] work, the man [returned] and [told them] ‘well, I can no longer be responsible for you, I have already told you, I don’t know what may happen to you.’ [The man] departed [and when they turned round] approximately 30 people, who were Chavez supporters, were approaching [them]” so that they were closed in “with no security, and they came […] towards [them] with metal tubes, with sticks, and they shouted [at them…] one [of them even] shouted […] “you’re lucky I haven’t got a gun in my hand, because, if I did, I would kill you.” They fled and found a place to hide. Subsequently, “arriving back at the [television] channel, Chavez supporters arrived and attacked […] a colleague […], they tore off his glasses, they beat the journalist with a metal tube, which the latter managed to avoid, as did [he himself].”
c) On April 11, 2002, he and his team went to Avenida Urdaneta, where they were attacked. One of his colleagues “was struck by stone […], the cameraman […] was beaten […], the journalist was also punched, spat upon, and the car was hit, scratched, damaged […] because [they were] from the press” and they did not want them to be there because they alleged that journalists did not tell the truth. He was very afraid.
d) On November 12, 2002, when covering a news item in the El Conde Sector, “there were some demonstrators from the Government party […] trying to enter the Mayor’s Office […] the problems started, the stones, the tear gas […]” and then they heard “a loud shouting […] and saw […] Molotov cocktails, stones and […] suddenly [they felt] a thud, an exchange of shots […], suddenly, when he turned to the right he saw two people [fall down] with bullet wounds and […] [he felt] a burning sensation in his leg”, and he began to despair. When he rose, he realized that he had a bullet wound in his leg and, after this incident, “he began to receive many telephone calls on [his] cellular phone, […] insulting [him],” during which the caller said: “How do you like what we did to you? From now on, many things will happen to you and your family.”
e) He could identify the attackers as belonging to the “Government party or Chavism,” because there was a woman coordinator with a T-shirt marked “Coordinadora Simón Bolívar, Bolivariana de Venezuela” and also “because, apart from this, they used an identity card that said ‘MVR’ [and] more than twenty people […] used that identity card [with that] MVR logo [and] bearing the slogans ‘Viva Chávez’ (Long live Chavez), ‘Fuera los Medios’ (Away with the Press) and ‘Go, because we will beat you up.’”
f) The journalists “[are] going out into the street with a great deal of fear [and] insecurity, because they [do not have] anyone to protect [them] […] and, nonetheless, they [have] to go out into the street to do [their] work […] and the only safety measure that […] they [have] is a bullet-proof vest […] a gas mask and […] a hard hat […] to protect [their] head, […], because [they have] no other [protection] for the rest [of their body]”, and the vest, gas mask and hard had are provided by the company they work for.
g) He has not received any protection from police officials of the State of Venezuelan in accordance with the provisional measures adopted by the Court on November 27, 2002.
h) No official of the police force of the Libertador Municipality of the Capital District, of the DISIP, of the Venezuela Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or other officials or agents of the State of Venezuelan has invited him to plan his personal protection in compliance with the provisional measures ordered by the Court.
i) He has not been called by the Office of the Public Prosecutor of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to any working meeting or to give testimony with regard to the investigations into the complaints of the threats and attacks he has suffered.
15. The testimony of Luisiana Ríos, given to the said public hearing, which is summarized as follows:
a) She has a degree in journalism, and is a reporter for Radio Caracas Televisión in Venezuela and she covered news relating to the President of the Republic, Hugo Chávez. “It was at the beginning of 2002, on January 20, that [she] receive[d] the first violent attack, this was in the Cajigal Observatory, a military installation where the President of the Republic was going to broadcast a radio program as he does every Sunday and it was [her] job to cover that news item.” She stated that, when she arrived “they recognized [her] and began to shout [at them], to hit the car window, to call [them] ‘palangristas’, [which] is the worst insult that a journalist can receive, because [palangristas] are journalists [who] are paid to provide false information; they said [they were] anti-patriotic, that [they should tell] the truth […]”.
b) In view of the situation, she tried “to ask the guards for help but they did not let [her] enter; meanwhile the people shouted [at her], hit [her], struck [her], there were about fifty people, […] and they began to shout ‘you won’t get in’ (‘no pasarás’) and they all shouted in unison ‘you won’t get in, you won’t get in, because you must tell the truth.’” She added that she “begged […] the Honor Guard officer to let [her] in, because, otherwise, they were going to kill [her] there. In view of [her] desperation […] they allowed [her] to go in, […] she spoke to the person responsible for security and he told [her] that […] the President was going to walk by that area [and] he recommended that [she] leave, because they could not provide [her] with security. [From where she was, she] saw the press car that […] they were hitting, they were throwing stones at it, they were kicking the tires and […] [she] was able to leave the area, and it was after that when the Commission granted [her] the precautionary measures and, despite this, the attacks continued.”
c) On April 13, on the occasion of “the return of the Government of President Chávez […] [they] were very frightened because […] there were shots, […they] were asked to vacate the place immediately because they were going to take back the Palace and they said that they were going to shell it […]. [The Palace] had been taken by soldiers who were shooting and there was an exchange of shots between the Government supporters and the soldiers who were inside the President’s Palace, […] [when she could finally] flee[, the] groups recognized [her] and began [to shout] ‘there goes Luisiana Ríos kill her, grab her, you won’t escape, traitor, coupist, anti-patriotic’ […].”
d) Subsequently, while she “[…] was interviewing the then Minister of Defense, […] Captain José Rodrigo García Contreras [who] worked in the Intelligence Department of the Miraflores Palace was only about two meters away and [he called her] and […] aggressively [said to her:] ‘Luisiana go away. You don’t deserve to be here in the Miraflores Palace after what happened’ […] ‘if you don’t leave, I’ll remove you myself […].’”
e) “On September 4 [2002, she] was […] reporting a protest march of the so-called opposition in Fuerte Tiuna and […] the Government supporters also arrived and [...] there they threatened to kill [her], […] they had broken bottles that they threw at the people and […] they [began] to hit [her], […] while [she] tried to protest to […] the military police that they should please let [her] pass behind the line of soldiers [and] they […] didn’t say anything, they didn’t protect [them] or anything, [she felt] that they jerked [her] from behind and they were strangling [her], […] in view of the hopelessness of the situation, a soldier from another unit, from the National Guard, rescued [her…].”
f) On October 15, “[…] the President was visiting schools [and] in one of them [they] found groups of Government supporters and the military unit ordered [them] to leave the school [and] when […] they departed, they were hit, [they] had to flee in the vehicle […] and since then [she] no longer goes out into the street to work.”
g) Groups of Government supporters installed themselves at the doors of the
television company where she works and they stayed there for about four days
during the first week of December. “They set up camp […] which made it impossible
for her […] to get to [her] office, at the offices of the Channel, [she] could
not enter and if [she] was able to enter [… she] could not leave, because they
threw stones, […] they even […] had a sign, […] which said that [she] should
take care because they would burn a family business,” and then, because her
“life was no longer safe […the Channel decided] to leave [her] inside the channel’s
offices and now [she] no longer goes out […] to report on events.”
h) She can describe her aggressors as “Government supporters” because “these people are always identified by shirts that say ‘Círculo Bolivariano’ (Bolivarian Circle), ‘Coordinadora Simón Bolívar’ (Simón Bolívar Coordinator), ‘Guerreros de La Vega’ (La Vega Warriors), and they always wear the red berets that identify these groups and they identify themselves as supporters of the President and defenders of the revolution […]”.
i) On one occasion, she was contacted by a corporal in the Metropolitan Police, Corporal Antonio Sánchez, “who could not protect her because he was not [given] access to events inside the Miraflores Palace [and] because the police unit to which he belonged was intervened and its arms were confiscated by the Armaments Department of the Venezuelan Armed Forces.”
j) She finds herself in a situation of defenselessness and lack of security, owing to which she is unable to carry out the work for which her five years of university training prepared her. Furthermore, she has had to move approximately three times and now, for reasons of security, not even her parents know where she is living.
k) Following the Court’s adoption of provisional measures, no official of the State of Venezuela’s police force has granted her protection. No official of the DISIP, of the Municipal Police of the Libertador Capital District, or of any other police unit, has invited her to any meeting to plan her personal protection in accordance with the provisional measures.
l) She received a telephone call from the Assistant of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who told her that the Minister wished to speak to her, but they did not agree on anything and, following this, she has not received any more telephone calls.
m) She has never been called by the Office of the Public Prosecutor or the Prosecutor to any working meeting to make a statement or to receive information about progress in the investigations into the complaints she had filed, and for which there is documentary evidence of the attacks and the attackers.
16. The Commission’s oral arguments, presented during the above mentioned public hearing, which are summarized below:
a) “In Venezuela, the Commission has verified with profound concern that during 2002, there has been a progressive and significant increase in threats and attacks against journalists and, in particular against those who cover political rallies. Investigations into such acts by the public authorities have not produced positive results as to the identification of the perpetrators of the acts.”
b) The “harassment, physical attacks and threats have a serious multiplier effect on the violations of the human rights of journalists, converting them into a particularly vulnerable group in the context of the permanent campaigning and massive demonstrations that Venezuela is experiencing currently.” “The five media employees for whom the provisional measures [were] requested provide an example of the violence against journalists, carried out, initiated or tolerated by the public authorities.”
c) On the occasion of the Commission’s visit to Venezuela in May 2002, the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression expressed its concern about the situation of journalists. “The Secretary General of the OAS […] on his arrival [in Venezuela] emphasized publicly his concern […] about the threats, intimidation and attacks on Venezuelan journalists.” Moreover, the OAS Permanent Council adopted Resolution 833 of December 16, 2002, in which, among other matters, it urged the Government of Venezuela to safeguard the full enjoyment of freedom of expression and of the press.
d) The State of Venezuela has not adopted any measure to protect the lives and safety of the journalists protected by the provisional measures. In the reports it has presented to the Court, it “has restricted itself to explaining that it has issued instructions to one prosecutor or another, but without even verifying whether those investigations were bearing fruit or making progress.”
e) The State of Venezuela has continued to tolerate, stimulate, encourage and organize, directly or indirectly, threats and attacks against the RCTV journalists, in flagrant violation of the provisional measures and the obligation to protect and guarantee the human rights to life, safety and freedom of expression enshrined in Articles 4, 5 and 13 of the American Convention.
f) The failure to observe the measures of protection ordered by the Court reveals the impunity and complicity of the State apparatus in the face of these attacks on journalists. It is a serious setback for the inter-American system that the impunity of domestic law is transferred to the international system for the protection of human rights.
g) In its arguments, the State admits that there is a situation of lack of security in the center of Caracas and a reaction of the people against the media. “The acceptance by the agent of the State of Venezuela of what is called the justification for the attacks on the grounds of the political theory about what the role of the media in Venezuelan society should or should not be, and when he expressly said that the Government has had no alternative but to defend itself” (infra seventeenth having seen paragraph) should be noted. This represents an acknowledgement of a theory, and an acknowledgement of the acceptance of the theory of aggression against freedom of expression and Venezuelan journalists.
h) “No social upheaval, no act of political agitation, no situation of generalized violence in society, not even war itself can justify the State lowering the standards of protection that human dignity requires. If this were not so, there would be no justification for the international law of human rights or international humanitarian law. The argument that there is social upheaval and that the attitude of one or other sector of society is rejected is not admissible to justify using the violence of angry mobs […] to attack defenseless journalists.”
i) “It has not been possible to hold even one working meeting with either the State’s agent or officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or any official of the State of Venezuela […].” The Court must conclude that the State of Venezuela has not complied with the provisional measures that it ordered, which is a very serious and unprecedented matter for the inter-American system for the protection of human rights that endangers the lives and safety of the journalists who are the beneficiaries of these protection measures.
17. The oral arguments of the State presented in the same public hearing, which are summarized as follows:
a) “Generally there is a relationship of cause and effect. [One cannot] look at matters from the middle, in general [one must] look at them from their origin, etymologically speaking, and in the context or the circumstances in which they are taking place.” According to the principle that notorian non ellen probacione, well-known facts do not need to be proved. “Nationally and internationally, it is not necessary to prove that the State of Venezuela is experiencing a very exceptional situation […] that has had repercussions […] on economic, political and social life, on all the areas in which a country’s activities take place. No one is more interested in the protection of human rights that the State of Venezuela today; unquestionable and irrefutable proof of this is provided by the 1999 Constitution which incorporates and adopts in its text, […] the protection of the global human rights system, in accordance with the most modern legislations on the matter that exist in the world.”
b) “Among the phenomena and the curious events that have taken place in [Venezuela], something unusual occurred, […] once the traditional political parties that were logically called on to exercise the task of opposition to the new Government were weakened, […] the media occupied the place corresponding to the intermediaries between the State or the Government, to the parties, the opposition parties. They adopted an implacable position, well known inside and outside the country, against the State, against the Government and, of course, against the representatives […] who compose the organs of the State. Evidently, [...] the Government was forced to defend itself in the face of this situation.”
c) “[The] Government, with indisputable popular support, [...] was victimized by the media, as was evident to those who support the Government [...]. Consequently, […] those grass-roots sectors, who were not exactly educated and prepared, were prejudiced against the media and reacted faced with the systematic, coordinated and massive aggression of the media against the new Government, as, unfortunately, they have reacted on some occasions.”
d) “Everything [was done] to investigate the cases, such as sending letters to the competent organs of the State [...]. The Minister of Foreign Affairs telephoned Radio Caracas Televisión [...] and invited them to come to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to coordinate with those concerned how protection would be provided, as is the case with all measures to protect human rights. They replied that they did not think it was advisable, [...] to go to the […] Ministry, owing to the lack of security that sometimes reigned in the center of Caracas. They were offered all guarantees [...] to carry out this meeting, whose aim was to comply with the provisional measures and implement them fully and effectively [...].”
e) “In view of the silence, [it was] thought advisable, in order to have a written record of this situation, to send a letter to the people of [RCTV] in order to inform them that [the Ministry of Foreign Affairs] was always willing to duly process the precautionary or provisional measures granted to them by the inter-American human rights organs, […] and also to provide them with any information they might require in that respect […].”
f) “There is information that proves completely and irrefutably the State’s intention to comply with the measures […].” “There was insufficient communication and response from the State to implement these measures [sic].”
g) During the investigation “the complainants and the witnesses were interviewed and evidence related to the acts investigated was sought and collected.” “There were obstacles which arose and occurred to prevent […] implementation in the last link of the chain [through shortcomings] [... b]ut, it is not because of these shortcomings [that one can] say that there was no intention to truly comply with such measures […].”
h) “There has never been any negligence in compliance with the precautionary measures and the provisional measures, the responsibility for their obstruction or for the difficulties in their total execution is bipolar or bilateral, of those protected [...].”
i) “The State has been placed in the need to defend itself, [because] on many occasions false facts have been attributed to the President of the Republic, the Ministers or other representative of the State, facts that are not true, [and] the President himself or some Ministers have had to come out and say ‘that is not true’, and even demonstrate the falsity of what was attributed to them […]”.
j) “Dogmatically, [it is not possible] to accept […] that the State of Venezuela did not comply with the provisional measures requested by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights […]”. “Although it is true that, perhaps, the measures requested by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have not been complied with one hundred per cent, the average is not negative, the State of Venezuela has had adequate intention of complying with those measures.”
k) The State is “very willing to comply with the provisional measures […], as well as with any other measures in accordance with article 23 of [the] Constitution [of the Bolivarian Republic], […] and with article 31 that […] establishes the obligation, as members of the inter-American system for the protection of human rights to comply with those measures.”
18. The documents presented by the State during the public hearing held on
February 17, 2003, which consist of “documents relating to the measures taken
by the prosecutors appointed to investigate the case and also measures taken
by the Venezuelan Ministry of the Interior and Justice, in relation to the Luisiana
Ríos et al. case.”
1. That the State ratified the American Convention on August 9, 1977, and, in accordance with its Article 62, accepted the contentious jurisdiction of the Court on June 24, 1981.
2. That Article 63(2) of the American Convention establishes that, in cases of “extreme gravity and urgency, and when necessary to avoid irreparable damage to persons,” the Court may, in matters it has under consideration, adopt such provisional measures as it deems pertinent, and in cases not yet submitted to its consideration, it may act at the request of the Commission.
3. That, in the terms of Article 25(1) and 25(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the Court:
At any stage of the proceeding involving cases of extreme gravity and urgency, and when necessary to avoid irreparable damage to persons, the Court may, at the request of a party or on its own motion, order such provisional measures as it deems pertinent, pursuant to Article 63(2) of the Convention.
With respect to matters not yet submitted to it, the Court may act at the request of the Commission.
4. That Article 1(1) of the Convention establishes the obligation of States Parties to respect the rights and freedoms recognized therein and to ensure their free and full exercise to all persons subject to their jurisdiction.
5. That, in general, the purpose of provisional measures in domestic legal systems (internal procedural law) is to protect the rights of the parties in dispute, ensuring that the judgment on merits is not prejudiced by their actions pendente lite.
6. That the purpose of urgent and provisional measures in international human rights law goes further because, in addition to their essentially preventive nature, they protect fundamental rights, inasmuch as they seek to avoid irreparable damage to persons.
7. That the Court has already established in its order of November 27, 2002, that the facts described by the Commission in its request demonstrated prima facie the existence of a situation of extreme gravity and urgency for the lives and safety of Luisiana Ríos, Armando Amaya, Antonio José Monroy, Laura Castellanos and Argenis Uribe .
8. That, in view of the facts described in the public hearing (supra sixteenth and seventeenth having seen paragraphs) and of the testimony presented (supra fourteenth and fifteenth having seen paragraphs), the Court considers it necessary to reiterate to Venezuela that it is the State’s responsibility to adopt security measures to protect all persons who are subject to its jurisdiction and this obligations is even more evident in relation to those who are involved in proceedings before the organs of protection of the American Convention.
9. That Venezuela has the obligation to investigate the facts that gave rise to the adoption of provisional measures in favor of Luisiana Ríos, Armando Amaya, Antonio José Monroy, Laura Castellanos and Argenis Uribe, because the State has the obligation to combat that situation by all available legal means, since impunity promotes the chronic repetition of human rights violations and the total defenselessness of the victims and their next of kin .
10. That States must comply with the obligations they assume when they accede to conventions in good faith (pacta sunt servanda) as stipulated in Article 27 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which codifies a basic principle of general international law when it states that:
[a] party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law to justify for its failure to perform a treaty.[...]
THE INTER-AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS,
in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Article 63(2) of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure,
1. To declare that the State has not implemented effectively the provisional measures ordered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in its Order of November 27, 2002.
2. To reiterate to the State the requirement that it adopt forthwith all necessary measures to protect the live and safety of Luisiana Ríos, Armando Amaya, Antonio José Monroy, Laura Castellanos and Argenis Uribe.
3. To reiterate to the State the requirement that it allow the petitioners to take part in the planning and implementation of the protection measures and, in general, keep them informed of progress in the measures ordered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
4. To reiterate to the State the requirement that it investigate the facts
denounced which gave rise to these measures in order to discover those responsible
and punish them.
5. To call upon the State and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to take the necessary steps to create an appropriate mechanism to coordinate and monitor the above mentioned measures by March 21, 2003, at the latest.
6. To call upon the State to report to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on the measures that it has adopted in compliance with this Order by February 28, 2003, at the latest.
7. To call on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to present to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights any comments that it deems appropriate within one week of notification of the State’s report.
8. To call upon the State, following its communication of February 28, 2003 (supra fifth operative paragraph), to continue informing the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, every two months, on the provisional measures adopted and to call on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to present its comments on these reports within six weeks of receiving them.
9. To notify this order to the State and to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Antônio A. Cançado Trindade
Sergio García-Ramírez Hernán Salgado-Pesantes
Oliver Jackman Alirio Abreu-Burelli
Manuel E. Ventura-Robles
Antônio A. Cançado Trindade
Manuel E. Ventura-Robles