IACHR Grants Precautionary Protection Measures in Favor of Nelson Gabriel Lorío Sandoval and His Immediate Family in Nicaragua

March 22, 2021

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Washington, D.C.- On March 19, 2021, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 28/21, through which it granted precautionary protection measures in favor of Nelson Gabriel Lorío Sandoval, Karina Alejandra Navarrete Sánchez, their daughter J.M.L.N., and their nephew Ángel Gabriel Umaña Navarrete. According to the request, the beneficiaries are at risk as a result of their quest for justice over the alleged murder of their 14-month-old son T.L.L.N. by the police and “paramilitary” forces.

The IACHR took into account the current state of affairs in Nicaragua is experiencing, which have been verified by the IACHR and are being monitored by the IACHR Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI), and the fact that people who have spoken out against the repressive actions of the current government are in a particularly vulnerable situation. In this context, it was observed that the beneficiaries have become extremely visible as a result of their quest for justice over the death of their child T.L.L.N., which they have publicly accused state agents of being responsible for.

The petitioner claimed that the beneficiaries have been the targets of surveillance and harassment since 2018, and noted indicating that state agents allegedly “monitored and harassed” Nelson Lorío and his family “on a daily basis” at their home. This allegedly included taking photographs outside their residence and others of “each and every one of the activities they went about each day.” The IACHR responded by noting how serious these allegations are, as they involve state agents directly. Furthermore, it noted that according to the petition, Nelson Lorío and Karina Navarrete’s nuclear family are also at risk. Their nephew, the beneficiary Ángel Gabriel Umaña Navarrete, has allegedly received threats to the effect that he would be “sent to prison” and “drugs would be planted on him.”

The IACHR took into consideration the fact that the beneficiaries will be continuing their quest for justice regarding the child T.L.L.N., which, due to the context of lack of information on the protection measures implemented in their favor and investigation of the alleged events, suggests that they could be at risk of experiencing further possible aggressions against them at any time, a situation which is compounded by the alleged involvement of state agents in the events in question. The information available indicates that protection measures in their favor need to be adopted immediately.

After analyzing the available information in the light of the context in question and the findings it has reached, the IACHR deemed that the information submitted demonstrates prima facie that the rights to life and personal integrity of Nelson Gabriel Lorío Sandoval and his immediate family are at grave, urgent risk. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR requested that the state of Nicaragua: a) take the necessary measures to guarantee the rights to life and personal integrity of Nelson Gabriel Lorío Sandoval and his immediate family. In particular, the State must guarantee that its agents respect the beneficiaries’ rights in accordance with the standards set out in international human rights law and third-party risks; b) agree on any measures to be adopted in consultation with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and c) report on the actions it implements to investigate the alleged events that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure so as to prevent them from being repeated.

The fact that this precautionary measure has been granted and its adoption by the State does not entail a prejudgment on any petition that may eventually be filed before the inter-American system to allege that the rights protected by the American Convention and other applicable instruments have been violated.

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. 067/21