2 made no comment about a friendly settlement procedure. On December 8, 2009, the petitioners’ brief was transmitted to the State, which was requested to present its comments within two months. The State submitted additional comments on February 17, 2010. The State's briefs dated November 17, 2009 and February 17, 2010, were relayed to the petitioners on February 19, 2010, for comment. On February 19, 2010, the IACHR also transmitted to the State for comment a brief presented by the petitioners on February 18, 2010. 7. The petitioners submitted additional observations on April 8, 2010, which were conveyed to the State for its attention on April 9, 2010. On May 5, 2011, the petitioners submitted additional information which was relayed to the State for its attention on May 10, 2011. III. POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES ON MERITS A. The petitioners’ position 1. Context 8. The petitioners allege that from December 2001 to April 2002 there was an intense social mobilization of protest against several policies of the Government of President Hugo Chávez Frías. They indicate that on April 11, 2002, the commanders of the Armed Forces stated that they unrecognized the authority of the President of the Republic, and the next day General Lucas Rincón informed the population that the President of the Republic was asked to resign from his position, which he accepted. 9. The petitioners allege that in the early hours of April 12, 2002, Pedro Carmona Estanga, one of the leaders of the civic protests, communicated with jurist Allan Brewer Carías and sent a vehicle to collect him at his residence.3 They indicate that Brewer Carías was taken to “Fort Tiuna,” headquarters of the Ministry of Defense and of the General Command of the Army. They indicate that he was met there by two lawyers who showed him a draft decree, later known as the “Carmona Decree,” which ordered the dissolution of the constituted authorities and the establishment of a “government of democratic transition. 10. They hold that at approximately noon Allan Brewer Carías went to the Miraflores Palace to personally tell Carmona Estanga that he rejected the document as it strayed from the Constitution and was in violation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. They indicate that he finally had to do so by telephone, however. That same day, Pedro Carmona Estanga purportedly announced the dissolution of the constituted authorities and the establishment of a “government of democratic transition,” among other measures. They indicate that the announcement of a “coup against the Constitution” provoked reactions that led to the reinstatement of Hugo Chávez as President of the Republic on April 13, 2002. 11. They note that afterwards the media speculated as to the presence of Allan Brewer Carías during the early hours of April 12, 2002 at “Fort Tiuna” and identified him as the intellectual author or actual drafter of the so-called “Carmona Decree.” They indicate that such speculation was publicly refuted by Allan Brewer Carías.4 3 The petitioners note that Allan Brewer Carías is a jurist with well-known experience and expertise in constitutional law, the defense of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights who had voiced strong criticisms of a series of decisions adopted by Executive decrees in Venezuela. 4 The petitioners say that he did so in the following press reports: Allan Brewer Carías responde a las acusaciones: No redacté el decreto de Carmona Estanga, article by Ana Damelis Guzmán, El Globo, Caracas, April 17/4/02, p. 4. El abogado desmiente haber redactado acta constitutiva de gobierno transitorio; Brewer Carías se desmarca de Pedro Carmona Estanga, article by Feliz González Roa Notitarde, Valencia, April 17/4/02, p.13. Brewer Carías: no sé quién redactó el decreto Carmona, article by Jaime Granda, El Nuevo País, April 17/04/02, p. 2. Allan R. Brewer Carías, En mi propia defensa. Respuesta preparada con la asistencia de mis defensores Rafael Odremán y León Henrique Cottib contra la infundada acusación fiscal por el supuesto delito de conspiración, Editorial Jurídica Venezolana, Caracas, 2006, p. 192, among others.