REPORT No. 91/12
PETITION 1336-07
ADMISSIBILITY
JOSÉ GREGORIO MOTA ABARULLO ET AL.
(DEATHS AT THE SAN FÉLIX PRISON)
VENEZUELA
November 8, 2012

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On October 12, 2007, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Commission” or “the Inter-American Commission”) received a petition submitted by the Observatorio
Venezolano de Prisiones OVP (hereinafter “the petitioners”) alleging responsibility on the part of the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (hereinafter “the State”) for the death of José Gregorio Mota Abarullo,
Johan José Correa, Gabriel de Jesús Yánez Sánchez, Rafael Antonio Parra Herrera, and Cristian Arnaldo
Molina Córdova (hereinafter “the alleged victims”) who died in a fire on June 30, 2005 at the Monsignor
Juan José Bernal Diagnostic and Treatment Center of the National Institute for Minors (INAM), known as
the “San Félix Prison,” in the State of Bolívar.
2.
The petitioners allege that the State is responsible for violating the rights to life and judicial
protection and the rights of the child as established in Articles 4, 19, and 25 of the American Convention on
Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention” or “the American Convention”) in connection with Article 1.1
thereof, to the detriment of the alleged victims and their family members. The names of the victims’ family
members as reported to the IACHR to date are: Nelys Margarita Correa, Elvia de Jesús Abarullo de Mota,
Maritza del Valle Sánchez Ávila, Miryam Josefina Herrera Sánchez, and María Cristina Córdova de Molina.
The State alleges that this petition is inadmissible due to a failure to exhaust the domestic remedies.
3.
Without prejudging the merits of the complaint, after analyzing the positions of the parties,
and in accordance with the requirements of Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention, the Commission
decided to declare the petition admissible for purposes of review with respect to the alleged violation of the
rights enshrined in Articles 4, 5, 8, 19, and 25 of the American Convention, in connection with Article 1.1
thereof, to the detriment of the alleged victims. It also decided to inform the parties of this decision, to
publish it, and include it in its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the OAS.
II.

PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION

4.
The Inter-American Commission recorded the petition under Number P-1336-07 and
forwarded the relevant portions to the State on May 13, 2008, allowing the State a period of two months to
submit its observations. On October 31, 2008 the IACHR repeated its request to the State for comments.
5.
The Commission received the State’s observations on May 12, 2009 and forwarded them
to the petitioners on May 15, 2009.
6.
The petitioners’ observations regarding the State’s response were received on April 14,
2011 and were forwarded to the State on April 29, 2011, allowing it a period of one month to submit its
observations. On March 30, 2012 the Inter-American Commission again requested information from the
State, but has not received any response as of the approval date of this report.
III.

POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES

A.

Position of the petitioners

7.
As background, the petitioners state that José Gregorio Mota Abarullo, Johan José Correa,
Gabriel de Jesús Yánez Sánchez, Rafael Antonio Parra Herrera, and Cristian Arnaldo Molina Córdova,
inmates at the INAM, had been locked in cell No. 4 as punishment for their alleged participation in a fight

Select target paragraph3