IACHR WELCOMES ACCEPTANCE OF RESPONSIBILITY
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed its satisfaction that on this day, April 4, 2006, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela had accepted responsibility for the events that occurred between November 27 and 29, 1992, inside and around the prison Retén e Internado Judicial de las Flores de Catia, as a result of which dozens of persons perished.
The violations occurred when the prison guards, upon hearing of an attempted coup d’état, opened the doors of the cells and announced that the inmates were free. They executed at least 37 of them and injured many others. These acts, and the subsequent denial of justice, caused serious harm to the victims and their family members.
The Commission submitted the case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which held a public hearing on it today, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At that hearing, the Venezuelan State said that it accepted fully and unconditionally the facts of the case, the conclusions of law, and the claims for reparations–a declaration that reaffirms and expands on various statements to the Commission in which it had accepted responsibility.
The Venezuelan State thereby acknowledged, before the Court, its international responsibility for violations to the right to life, to humane treatment, to a fair trial, and to judicial protection for victims and their families, rights embodied in the American Convention on Human Rights. It also recognized that it had failed to fulfill the general obligations to respect and guarantee rights, and to adopt measures to ensure their observance.
After the State had accepted responsibility, everyone present at the hearing, including the full Court, the delegation of the Commission, the representatives of the victims, and the State’s delegation observed a minute of silence as a sign of respect for the victims and as a tribute to their memory.
The Commission points to the willingness expressed by the State and values the importance of its statement. This action paves the way for redress and for the efforts that should be undertaken to ensure justice in this case and to prevent further violations of this sort.
Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 4, 2006