REPORT No. 121/111
PETITION 96-04
ADMISSIBILITY
MARÍA ANGÉLICA GONZÁLES, OLIMPÍADES GONZÁLES AND FAMILY MEMBERS
VENEZUELA
October 19, 2011

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On January 22, 2004, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter
"the Inter-American Commission" or "the Commission") received a complaint presented by
Olimpíades Gonzáles 2 and Maria Angélica Gonzáles, (hereinafter "the petitioners" 3 ), against the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, (hereinafter "the State" or "Venezuela"). The petition alleges a
failure to provide compensation for the preventive detention of the Wayúu indigenous members of
the Gonzáles family: Fernando, María Angélica and Belkis Mirelis Gonzáles and Wilmer Antonio
Barliza Gonzáles 4 , who had been arrested on November 23, 1998, tried and acquitted; and of
Olimpíades and Luís Guillermo who had been arrested on January 29, 1999 and released due to a
lack of evidence implicating them in criminal responsibility in the State of Zulia. As soon as the
petition proceedings had begun, Maria Angélica González conveyed news of the murder of
Olimpíades Gonzáles, which occurred on December 11, 2006, including allegations of the lack of an
investigation and punishment for those responsible for his death.
2.
The petitioners allege that the State is responsible for the violation of the rights to
personal integrity, personal liberty, to compensation, and to judicial protection, enshrined in Articles
5, 7, 10, and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter "the American
Convention"), all in conjunction with the general obligation to respect and guarantee rights, set out
in its Article 1.1. For its part, the State alleges that: (1) compensation is unfounded, given that the
preventive detention was in accordance with the law, (2) the domestic remedy relating to the
interpretation of the rule recognizing the right to compensation has not been exhausted; and (3) that
the investigation into Olimpíades Gonzáles's death is still ongoing.
3.
After considering the position of the parties in the light of the requirements on
admissibility set out in Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention, the Commission concludes
that it is competent to examine the claim, and that it is admissible for the alleged violation of the
rights enshrined in Articles 5, 7, and 25 of the American Convention, in relation to its Articles 1.1,
and 2. In addition, the Commission considers admissible a possible violation of Articles 4 and 8 of
the American Convention in relation to its Articles 1.1 and 2. Finally, the Commission concludes that
the petition is inadmissible as regards the alleged violation of Article 10 of the American Convention
and that the allegation as to the lack of compensation for the preventive detention of Olimpíades
and Luís Alberto Gonzáles is inadmissible due to a failure to exhaust domestic remedies. Therefore
the Commission decides to notify the report to the parties, to order its publication and to include it
in its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the OAS.

1

In accordance with the provisions of Article 17.2 of the Commission's Rules of Procedure, Commissioner Luz
Patricia Mejía, of Venezuelan nationality, did not participate in either the deliberations or the decision in the present case.
2

Died on December 11, 2006.

3

After Olimpíades Gonzáles' death, his cousin Dan William Barliza Gonzáles became the petitioner.

4

. Deceased.

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