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in Article 1(1) (Obligation to Respect Rights) of said Treaty, and in Articles 1, 2, 6
and 7 of the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture, to the
detriment of Oscar José Blanco-Romero, Roberto Javier Hernández-Paz and José
Francisco Rivas-Fernández. It also requested the Court to determine whether the
State had violated the rights in Articles 5 (Right to Humane Treatment); 8(1) (Right
to a Fair Trial) and 25 (Right to Judicial Protection) of the American Convention in
relation to the obligation set forth in Article 1(1) (Obligation to Respect Rights) of
said Treaty, to the detriment of the victims’ next of kin.
3.
In its application, the Commission alleged that on December 15, 16 and 17 of
the year 1999, a heavy rain washed Vargas State in Venezuela causing landslides at
the Ávila foothills. In complying with the measures ordered with the purpose of
restoring public order, is alleged that some human rights violations took place, the
perpetrators of which were certain members of the national Army and of the
Dirección General Sectorial de los Servicios de Inteligencia y Prevención (Intelligence
and Preventive Services Sector Bureau) (hereinafter “DISIP”). Under these
circumstances, Messrs. Oscar José Blanco-Romero, Roberto Javier Hernández-Paz
and José Francisco Rivas-Fernández were detained and later disappeared.
4.
In particular, the Commission alleged that on December 21, 1999, Army
agents entered by force in Mr. Oscar José Blanco-Romero’s house, detained and hit
him, and up to date his next of kin have obtained no information on his
whereabouts. Moreover, on December 23, 1999, while Mr. Roberto Javier
Hernández-Paz was at his uncle’s house, some individuals who supposedly were
DISIP officers entered the house without an entry warrant and detained Mr. Roberto
Javier Hernández-Paz, who was violently obliged to leave the premises. Mr. Roberto
Javier Hernández-Paz was allegedly hurt with a firearm by DISIP agents, who put
him inside a car and drove him away to an unknown destination. Since that date, the
whereabouts of Mr. Roberto Javier Hernández-Paz are unknown. Lastly, the
Commission alleged that on December 21, 1999, Mr. José Francisco RivasFernández, while staying at a shelter for victims of the floods in Vargas State, was
detained and hit by military agents. Since then, the whereabouts of Mr. José
Francisco Rivas-Fernández remain unknown.
5.
In this respect, the Commission upheld that “there are sufficient elements to
conclude […] that [the alleged victims] were killed by Venezuelan State agents
because no information on [their] whereabouts has been obtained for more than four
years […] and because the location of their remains is unknown.”
6.
The Commission further stated that the fact that the alleged victims were
supposedly held incommunicado in isolated, and clandestine detention “are strong
indications that Venezuelan authorities tortured them.” Moreover, it pointed out that
the next of kin “may be considered victims of cruel, inhuman and degrading
treatment,” because the authorities allegedly “concealed information about the
victim’s whereabouts from their beloved ones and due to the [alleged] beatings and
excessive violence displayed by State agents to the detriment of the detainees and in
the presence of their next of kin.” It also pointed out that Venezuela was responsible
for the alleged “ineffectiveness of the writ of habeas corpus aimed at determining the
whereabouts of the [alleged] victims and the [allegedly] erroneous interpretation by
judicial authorities of the object and purpose of said guarantee remedy.” The
Commission affirmed that the State was responsible for “obstruction of justice and
lack of diligence in the investigation of the events [allegedly] by the Dirección de los
Servicios de Inteligencia y Prevención (Intelligence and Preventive Services Bureau),

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