IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Human Rights Defender Franklin Caldera Cordero in Venezuela

July 24, 2023

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 40/2023 on July 20, 2023, to grant precautionary measures in favor of Franklin Alfredo Caldera Cordero in Venezuela, in the belief that he faces a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to his rights.

The request for these precautionary measures alleged that the beneficiary was being subjected to persecution and threats linked to his work as a human rights defender and as the founder of the Familia S.O.S. Libertad victims' association. The request for precautionary measures noted that threats started following Caldera Cordero's public comments and acts of denunciation concerning the situation of individuals who are deprived of liberty for political reasons in Venezuela, particularly his own son. The beneficiary's son, a former lieutenant in the Venezuelan Army, is allegedly being arbitrarily deprived of liberty at the Caracas headquarters of the General Department of Military Counterintelligence, without access to the medical care he needs. In this context, Caldera Cordero has allegedly suffered gradually worsening threats and surveillance since January 2023.

In keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR asked the State of Venezuela for information but did not receive an answer.

After assessing the legal and factual allegations made by the party who requested these precautionary measures, the IACHR considered that Franklin Alfredo Caldera Cordero is at risk, given that the threats and surveillance he is suffering are getting worse. The situation is allegedly restricting his ability to freely do his work as a human rights defender and may continue to get worse over time. The Commission also took into consideration that officers of the State have allegedly been involved in these events, leaving the beneficiary increasingly defenseless.

The Commission has therefore asked the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to take the following action:

  1. Adopt any measures necessary to protect Franklin Alfredo Caldera Cordero's rights to life and personal integrity
  2. Take all protection measures necessary for Franklin Alfredo Caldera Cordero to be able to continue to do his work in defense of human rights without suffering threats, intimidation, harassment, and other acts of violence
  3. Come to an agreement with the beneficiary and his representatives concerning any measures that need to be taken
  4. Report on any actions adopted to investigate the alleged events that gave rise to the adoption of these precautionary measures, in order to prevent such events from happening again in the future

The fact that these precautionary measures have been granted and their adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the inter-American system to allege violations of rights protected by the American Convention on Human Rights and other applicable instruments.

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. 164/23

3:52 PM