IACHR REJECTS THE REQUEST TO RECUSE ITS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY IN MATTERS RELATED TO VENEZUELA
The Commission rejects the attempt to recuse the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Mr. Santiago A. Canton, presented before the Secretary General of the Organization of American States by the Agent of the State of Venezuela for Human Rights before the Inter-American and International Organs, and made public on March 5, 2004. Additionally, the Commission considers to be unacceptable the accusations of manifest bias by means of which the Venezuelan Government intended to question the actions of the Executive Secretary of the IACHR in relation to that country.
The Commission reaffirms that as a principal and autonomous organ of the OAS for promoting the observance and defense of human rights in the Hemisphere, it operates as a collegial body in which the Executive Secretary is charged with executing and communicating the decisions adopted by the Commission or its President (article 12 (f) of the Regulation of the IACHR). Therefore, on the occasions on which the Executive Secretary has addressed the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the context of individual cases, precautionary measures, and country reports, he has limited himself to transmitting the decisions adopted by the Commission as a whole.
The Commission considers that the attempt to recuse the Executive Secretary of the IACHR formulated by the Venezuelan Government lacks any foundation or juridical basis given that this procedure is not contemplated in any of the instruments of the Inter-American System.
Finally, the IACHR manifests its confidence in the high moral and professional qualities demonstrated by Mr. Santiago A. Canton in the performance of his functions as Executive Secretary of the IACHR.
Washington, DC, March 8, 2004