Nş 22/02





          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will conduct an on-site visit to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on May 6-10, 2002.   The Commission was invited by President Hugo Chávez during a visit he made to the IACHR headquarters in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the Commission’s visit will be to observe the human rights situation in Venezuela.


The IACHR is a principal organ of the Organization of American States (OAS), composed of seven members elected in their personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly.  The Commission’s mandate is to promote the observance of human rights in the Hemisphere according to parameters established in the American Convention on Human Rights, to which Venezuela has been a Party since 1977.  Among the commitments undertaken by OAS member states and states parties to the Convention is that of extending to the Commission all the necessary facilities to enable it to carry out its observation missions with full autonomy in the pursuit of its mandate.


The delegation of the IACHR that will commence its visit to Venezuela on May 6 will consist of its President, Dr..Juan E. Méndez; its First Vice President, Dr. Marta Altolaguirre; Commission members, Professor Robert K. Goldman, Ms. Susana Villarán, Dr. Julio Prado Vallejo and the Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Dr. Santiago A. Canton; also accompanying the delegation will be Dr. Eduardo A. Bertoni, who will shortly be taking up the post of Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. 


          During its stay, the IACHR delegation will interview government authorities and meet with representatives of various sectors of civil society in Caracas and Portuguesa. The IACHR will be staying at the Caracas Hilton Hotel.  The IACHR will end its visit on May 10, 2002 with a press conference in the Caracas Hilton Hotel at 9:30 a.m.


The Commission is grateful for the cooperation and facilities extended by the Government of Venezuela, nongovernmental organizations, and other civil society institutions in the planning and execution of this visit.


Washington, D.C., May 3, 2002