Press Release

IACHR Calls for Serious, Broad, Inclusive Dialogue for the Urgent Reconstruction of Democratic Institutions in Venezuela

August 23, 2021

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Washington, D.C. — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) called on the various political actors in Venezuela to hold a serious, broad, inclusive dialogue for the urgent reconstruction of democratic institutions to guarantee human rights in the country.

Through the monitoring activities of its Special Follow-Up Mechanism for Venezuela (MESEVE), the IACHR learned that from August 13 to 15, 2021, talks were held between the government presided over by Nicolás Maduro and the Democratic Unity Platform in Mexico City, which were mediated by the Kingdom of Norway. The IACHR expressed its appreciation for the international community's efforts to support this fundamental initiative, which has the potential to chart a road map for moving beyond the unprecedented crisis in the country.

The IACHR noted once again that Venezuela's democratic institutions are experiencing a profound crisis, which is rooted in the Executive Branch's interference in the other branches of government and has resulted in the absence of the rule of law. These circumstances have facilitated gross human rights violations being committed against people who make their dissent with the government public and has also led to the deterioration of living conditions for the population at large, forcing at least 5.6 million people to migrate since 2015.

The challenges described above indicate the need for processes of dialogue to re-establish democratic institutions by promoting the real, effective, practical independence of public authorities and consolidating a system of checks and balances. The IACHR also underscored the importance of ensuring that the people involved in these dialogues do not suffer reprisals of any kind as a consequence, in order to guarantee the seriousness, transparency, and respect that such processes deserve. In this regard, the IACHR noted the release of opposition leader Freddy Guevara, who had been arrested on July 12, 2021.

The IACHR once again expressed its commitment to raising awareness of the human rights situation in Venezuela and also announced that it will monitor the current dialogue closely through the MESEVE. Finally, it placed itself at the disposal of the parties to provide support for the negotiation process and technical assistance for implementing the commitments reached, while incorporating a human rights approach.

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. 217/21

10:21 AM