embodied in Article 8 (Right to Fair Trial) and Article 25 (Right to Judicial Protection)
of the American Convention as regards to the obligation set forth in Article 1(1)
(Obligation to Respect Rights) of the same, in detriment of the alleged victims and
their next of kin. Finally, the Commission requested the Inter-American Court to
declare Venezuela responsible for the compliance of the general obligation set forth
in Article 2 of the American Convention, for failure to supress from its legislation
those provisions that confer military courts jurisdiction to investigate violations to
human rights, and further for failure to develop policies to reform the penitentiary
The application refers to the alleged extrajudicial execution of 37 detainees at
the Detention Center of Catia, located in the city of Caracas, Venezuela, at dawn, on
November 27, 1992. These facts might have occurred after the second attempt of a
coup d’etat in Venezuela, causing trouble in the aforesaid Detention Center.
Allegedly, the guards of the Detention Center and the troops of the Comando
Regional 5 (5th Regional Commander’s Office) of the Guardia Nacional (National
Guard) and of the Policía Metropolitana (Metropolitan Police) massively intervened
exercising excessive force and shooting indiscriminately at the detainees lodged
therein. The versions of the facts provided by some of the survivors state that the
guards of the Center opened the cell doors telling the detainees that they were
released, and waited for them to go out in order to shoot them. It was further
alleged that the detainees were enduring inhuman detention conditions.
The Commission alleged that, after the facts, an investigation was carried out
by the Ministerio Público (Prosecutor’s Office) and the judicial authorities, which
investigation was characterized by the obstacles and lack of collaboration showed by
police, military and penitentiary authorities. As from August 1994, no action was
taken to gather information, nor was any procedural act performed regarding the
instant case. During almost 8 years the next of kin of the alleged victims were
denied access to the records of the case. Currently, the case is in the preliminary
investigation stage, which is conducted by the Fiscalía Sexagésima Octava del Área
Metropolitana de Caracas (68th District Attorney’s Office of the Metropolitan Area of
Caracas) under record number 4582.
Furthermore, the Commission requested the Inter-American Court that,
pursuant to Article 63(1) of the Convention, the State be ordered to adopt certain
reparation measures requested in the application. Finally, it requested the Court to
order the State to pay the costs and expenses arising from the litigation of the case
in the domestic courts and in the Inter-American System for the Protection of Human
The Inter-American Court has jurisdiction to hear the instant case pursuant to
Article 62(3) of the Convention, given that Venezuela has been a State Party to the
Convention since August 9, 1977 and accepted the contentious jurisdiction of the
Court on June 24, 1981.

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