The IACHR assured that Juan Pedro Lares, son of former Mérida mayor Omar Lares, suffered violations of his rights to health and food, was in poor conditions of detention, and without access to visits from his lawyer, in addition to torture and forced disappearance. This information “was not disputed by the State”
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) handed over the case on the disappearance and torture committed against Juan Pedro Lares to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR Court), in addition to the deprivation of political rights of his father, the former mayor of the municipality of Campo Elijah (Merida) Omar Lares.
According to Press release, the case was submitted on July 6. The IACHR recalled that in July 2017, officials from the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) tried to enter the former mayor’s house, but without a search warrant. During the operation, they took Juan Pedro Lares into custody, who was beaten, gagged and tortured to obtain the whereabouts of his father.
Lares was forcibly disappeared until August 15, 2017, when it became known that he was at the Sebin headquarters known as El Helicoide, in Caracas. The young man was released in June 2018without having been subjected to a legal process or presentation in court.
In addition, the IACHR assured that Juan Pedro Lares suffered violations of his rights to health and food, was in poor conditions of detention, and without access to visits from his lawyer. This information “was not disputed by the State.”
It will be up to the Inter-American Court to evaluate the request made by this body and decide whether to accept the trial of the case of Juan Pedro Lares against the State. Venezuela is unaware of the decisions of the IACHR and the high court after having denounced the OAS Charter in 2017.
For the IACHR, the Venezuelan State is responsible “for the violation of the rights to life, personal integrity, personal liberty, protection of honor and dignity, judicial guarantees and protection, political rights, and freedom of movement and residence.” » by Juan Pedro Lares and Omar Lares.
For this reason, they recommended that the State fully repair all these violations, initiate criminal investigations “in a diligent, effective manner and within a reasonable time” to address the complaints of torture and forced disappearance, as well as guarantee the effective return to Venezuela of Juan Pedro Lares and his family if they so decide.
They also call for a directive to be issued from the highest authorities “so that Sebin officials refrain from any practice that constitutes torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, including acts of sexual and gender-based violence”, as well as to investigate and prosecute the use of torture, including during interrogations.