PRESS RELEASE

N° 22/08

 

IACHR DEPLORES VIOLENCE IN BOLIVIA AND URGES PUNISHMENT OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE

 

Washington, D.C., May 29, 2008 – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) deplores the acts of violence that took place on Saturday, May 24, in Sucre, Bolivia, and urges the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and punish those responsible.

 

According to information received by the IACHR, a group of people opposed to the presence of President Evo Morales in Sucre attacked campesinos and indigenous people who intended to participate in an event led by the head of State. According to the information and video recordings to which the Commission had access, the campesinos and indigenous people were insulted with racist epithets, kicked and clubbed with sticks, forced to kneel in the Plaza 25 de Mayo, humiliated in various ways, and robbed of their documents, money, and clothes. More than 20 people were injured. A journalist was also attacked.

 

Moreover, the information available indicates that the attackers also violently assaulted members of the police and military forces that had been deployed to guarantee public security during the event. According to the information received, the police and members of the military left the site as a result of the attack, and President Morales had to suspend his trip to Sucre.

 

The Inter-American Commission laments and emphatically condemns these acts of aggression and repudiates their racist and discriminatory nature. In this regard, the Commission calls for a dialogue based on tolerance and respect for human rights.

 

The IACHR recalls that it is the obligation of the State to guarantee public security and respect for human rights, as well as to thoroughly investigate the facts and punish those responsible. The Inter-American Commission calls on the judicial authorities to urgently initiate independent and impartial investigations to clarify the facts, identify and punish those responsible, and make reparations to the victims for moral and material damages.

 

Read this press release in Spanish / Lea este comunicado de prensa en español

Press contact: María Isabel Rivero
Tel. (202) 458-3867
Cell: (202) 215-4142
E-mail: mrivero@oas.org

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