IACHR Expands Precautionary Measures in Favor of the Driver of Cristiana María Chamorro Barrios, Pedro Salvador Vásquez, in Nicaragua

August 5, 2021

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Washington, D.C. — On August 3, 2021, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 58/2021, through which it granted precautionary measures in favor of the driver of Cristiana María Chamorro Barrios, Pedro Salvador Vásquez, in Nicaragua, whom it deems to be at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to his human rights.

Before this, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of Cristiana María Chamorro Barrios, Walter Antonio Gómez Silva, Marcos Antonio Fletes Casco, and Lourdes Arróliga through Resolution 49/2021. According to the information it has received, Ms. Chamorro Barrios and the three other beneficiaries are allegedly being persecuted and harassed due to the possibility of her participating as a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections. This persecution has included the beneficiaries being deprived of their freedom without information on their location and conditions of detention being provided.

The information received by the IACHR indicates that Pedro Salvador Vásquez was employed as Ms. Chamorro Barrios's driver and was being investigated as part of proceedings concerning individuals with close ties to the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation. In this regard, the IACHR observed that the beneficiary received a summons to appear at the Public Prosecutor's Office on June 14, 2021. He then continued with his work for the day, since when his family has received no official information on his whereabouts. Although they allegedly received unofficial information on his whereabouts, the petition noted that he has been held incommunicado to date, without access to his lawyers or relatives.

The State responded to the IACHR's request for information, reporting that it guarantees the human rights of all people without distinction and that Mr. Vásquez is being investigated in accordance with the provisions of domestic law. However, the information provided on the beneficiary was not specific, detailed, or up-to-date and thus could not be used to refute the allegations that have been made.

After analyzing the available information in the light of the specific context and the findings it has reached, the IACHR requested that the State of Nicaragua: a) adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Pedro Salvador Vásquez. In particular, the State must guarantee that its agents respect the beneficiary's rights in accordance with the standards set out in international human rights law and third-party risks; b) provide official information on the beneficiary's place of detention and adopt the necessary measures to ensure that the conditions in which the beneficiary is being detained conform to the relevant international standards; c) agree on any measures to be adopted in consultation with the beneficiary and his representatives; and d) report on the actions it implements to investigate the events that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure so as to prevent them from being repeated.

The IACHR's granting of this precautionary measure 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 any applicable instruments have been violated.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate derives from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The IACHR is composed of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity, and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 202/21

11:25 AM