IACHR Grants Precautionary Protection Measures in Favor of Jorge Luis Salas Arenas and His Immediate Family in Peru

July 26, 2021

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Washington, D.C. — On July 25, 2021, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 56/21, through which it granted precautionary protection measures in favor of Jorge Luis Salas Arenas in Peru, whom it deems to be at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to his human rights.

When evaluating the petition, the IACHR noted the specific context in which the proposed beneficiary is going about his work as president of the National Electoral Jury, which has been of an especially high profile nature and of great public interest for various sectors of Peruvian society. It also considered the context in the country during the 2021 elections.

Likewise, the IACHR drew attention to the fact that the proposed beneficiary has been the target of multiple public campaigns instigated by different sectors of Peruvian society and that seek to stigmatize, discredit, and disqualify him. These have taken the form of acts of harassment such as the so-called sit-ins in front of his home, which were preceded by allegations that Mr. Salas Arenas is being followed when he leaves his workplace. This is particularly serious given that he is the president of the highest electoral judicial body in Peru and is exercising his functions at a time in which his role must be particularly protected, especially in the context of allegations of intimidation or harassment against electoral authorities.

In relation to the above, the IACHR also noted that there has been a public call "throw flares and fireworks" at the beneficiary's home; to prevent him from going to the headquarters of the National Electoral Body; and, subsequently, to kidnap him. It also warned that these alleged calls have been extended to include his nuclear family, particularly his wife and brother.

The IACHR valued the protection measures implemented by the State, which also provided information in accordance with Article 25 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure. However, it also noted that although investigations have been initiated, no substantive progress has been made toward punishing those responsible for the events that put the beneficiary at risk, which is a relevant aspect in the process of assessing the risk he is facing and establishing the likelihood of such situations arising again.

After analyzing the de facto and de jure allegations put forward by the parties, the IACHR requested that the state of Peru: a) adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of the people that have been identified in this press release as beneficiaries; b) adopt the necessary measures needed to guarantee that Jorge Luis Salas Arenas can go about his work as president of the National Electoral Jury without being the target of threats, harassment, or acts of violence in the course of doing so; c) agree on any measures to be implemented in consultation with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and d) report on the actions it puts forward 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.

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. 194/21

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