REPORT No. 14/111
PETITION 1347-07
ADMISSIBILITY
ORLANDO OLIVARES ET AL.
(DEATHS IN THE VISTA HERMOSA PRISON)
VENEZUELA
March 23, 2011

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On October 16, 2007, the Inter-American Commission on human rights (hereinafter “the
Commission,” “the IACHR,” or “the Inter-American Commission”) received a petition submitted by the
Venezuelan Prisons Observatory (hereinafter “the petitioners”), which alleged that the Bolivarian Republic
of Venezuela (hereinafter also “the State”), was responsible for the extrajudicial execution of Messrs.
Orlando Edgardo Olivares Muñoz, Joel Rinaldi Reyes Navas, Orangel José Figueroa, Héctor José Muñoz
Valero, Pedro Antonio López Chaurán, José Gregorio Bolívar Corro, and Richard Alexis Palma (hereinafter
“the alleged victims”), who at the time of the facts were incarcerated at the Bolívar State judicial detention
center (“Vista Hermosa Prison”). They alleged that agents of the State executed the victims in the context
of an operation to control a riot in that prison. They also alleged that the State is responsible for the lack of
investigation and punishment for said deaths, which occurred on November 10, 2003.
2.
The petitioners alleged that the State is responsible for violations of the right to life, the
right to humane treatment, and the right to judicial protection, as guaranteed in Articles 4, 5, and 25 of the
American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention” or “the American Convention”), in
connection with the obligation respect the rights established in Article 1.1 of said treaty
3.
The State argued basically that it had been legal for the National Guard to go into the Vista
Hermosa Prison at the time of the facts; that competent authorities had intervened and had taken the
necessary measures to respond to the violent situation; and, that investigations in the case were underway
and domestic remedies had not been exhausted.
4.
Without prejudging the merits of the petition, after analyzing the parties’ positions, and in
compliance with the provisions of Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention, the Commission decided
to declare the case admissible for purposes of examining the alleged violation of the rights guaranteed in
Articles 4, 5, 8, and 25 of the American Convention, in connection with its Article 1.1, to the detriment of the
alleged victims. The Commission decided to notify the parties of this decision, to publish it, and to include
it in its annual report to the OAS General Assembly.
II.

PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION

5.
The Inter-American Commission registered the petition with number P-1347-07, and
transmitted the relevant parts to the State on December 11, 2007, giving it two months to submit its
observations, in accordance with Article 30 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure. Subsequently, the IACHR
repeated its request to the State for observations in letters of April 1 and October 29, 2008.
6.
The State’s response on the petition was received on November 17, 2008, and the
appendixes to that note arrived on November 24, 2008.
7.
The petitioners’ comments on the State’s response were received on December 19, 2008,
and forwarded to the State on January 5, 2009, giving it one month to present its observations.
Subsequently, the Inter-American Commission reiterated that request on November 19, 2009, but as of this
date has not received a response.
1
Pursuant to Article 17.2 of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure, Commissioner Luz Patricia Mejía, a Venezuelan national,
did not participate in the discussion or decision on this case.

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