I
PURPOSE OF THE DISPUTE
1.
This case, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
(hereinafter “the Inter-American Commission” or “the Commission”), concerns the fact that
on August 27, 2003, Jose Luis Castillo González (hereinafter also “Joe Luis Castillo” or “Joe
Castillo” or “Mr. Castillo”) was allegedly the “victim of an attack carried out by two
unidentified men riding a motorcycle who proceeded to shoot him repeatedly, while he was
driving in his car in the company of his family.” As a result of this attack, Joe Luis Castillo
lost his life, while is wife, Yelitze Lisbeth Moreno Cova (hereinafter, “Yelitze Moreno” or “Mrs.
Moreno”), and his son Luis César Castillo Moreno (hereinafter also “Luis César Castillo” or
“Luis Castillo”), who was one and a half years old, were seriously injured. According to the
Inter-American Commission, the attack against Joe Luis Castillo remains in impunity
because the investigation “had serious irregularities and was closed by the Public
Prosecutor’s Office without taking any actions aimed at clarifying the facts, according to
logical lines of investigation.” Moreover, it noted that in “the investigation there were
indications of presumable connivance and/or collaboration on the part of State agents in the
murder of Joe Luis Castillo […] that were dismissed without the respective investigations.”
According to the Commission, this case “involves issues of inter-American public interest
such as the contexts of violence and harassment faced by human rights defenders, and the
chilling effect that can be generated in the community of human rights defenders by the
murder of someone like Joe Luis Castillo González.”
2.
The proceeding before the Commission took place as follows: the initial petition was
filed before the Commission on March 20, 2006 by the Episcopal Vicariate for Human Rights
of Caracas (hereinafter “the Vicariate of Caracas”) and the Center for Justice and
International Law (hereinafter “CEJIL”). On March 9, 2007 the Inter-American Commission
approved Admissibility Report No. 22/07, declaring the case admissible, in accordance with
the requirements established in Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention.
Subsequently, on October 22, 2010 it approved, under the terms of Article 50 of the
Convention, Merits Report No. 120/10. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (hereinafter
“the State” or “Venezuela”) was duly notified on November 22, 2010 and was granted a
period of two months to report on its compliance with the recommendations. At the same
time, precautionary measure MC-619/03 was processed. On August 28, 2003 the petitioners
submitted a request for precautionary measures to protect the lives and personal integrity
of the survivors of the events of August 27, 2003: Yelitze Moreno and the child Luis César
Castillo. On August 29, 2003 the Commission requested that the State adopt precautionary
measures, pursuant to Article 5(1) of its Rules of Procedure.
3.
The Commission considered that the State did not comply with its recommendations,
and subsequently submitted the case to the Court. In its Merits Report No. 120/10, the
Commission declared the State responsible for the violation of the rights recognized in the
following provisions of the American Convention, in relation to Article 1(1) (Obligation to
Respect Rights): the right to life (Article 4), to the detriment of Joe Luis Castillo González;
the right to humane treatment and judicial protection (Articles 8 and 25), to the detriment
of Yelitze Moreno and Luis César Castillo Moreno, and also of Yolanda Margarita González
(hereinafter also “Yolanda González”), Jaime Castillo, Jaime Josué Castillo González
(hereinafter also “Jaime Castillo González) and Julijay Castillo González, who are,
respectively, the mother, father and siblings of Mr. Castillo; the right to humane treatment
(Article 5(1)), to the detriment of Yelitze Moreno, Yolanda González, Jaime Castillo, Jaime
Castillo González and Julijay Castillo González; the rights to humane treatment and rights of
the child (Articles 5(1) and 19), to the detriment of the child Luis Castillo, and the right to
3

Select target paragraph3