INTER - AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
COMISION INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS
COMISSÃO INTERAMERICANA DE DIREITOS HUMANOS
COMMISSION INTERAMÉRICAINE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME

ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
WASHINGTON, D.C. 2 0 0 0 6 USA

February 28, 2013
Ref.:

Case No. 12.828
Marcel Granier et al. (Radio Caracas Televisión)
Venezuela

Sir:
I have the pleasure of writing on behalf of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
to submit to the jurisdiction of the honorable Inter-American Court of Human Rights case No. 12.828
in respect of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (hereinafter “the State,” “the Venezuelan State,”
or “Venezuela”) concerning the decision of the Venezuelan State not to renew the broadcast license
for the Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV) network. As a consequence of that decision, on May 28,
2007, RCTV ceased transmitting as a free-to-air television network, impacting the freedom of
expression of its stockholders, executives and journalists. The Commission concluded that the
Venezuelan State failed to abide by its substantive and procedural obligations where the allocation
and renewal of broadcast licenses was concerned.
As regards procedural aspects, the Commission found that the dispute concerning the
nonrenewal of RCTV’s license occurred in a context of legal uncertainty for the network, which
lacked clarity as to the applicable legal framework for its license. This situation was incompatible
with the State's obligation to establish a closely regulated broadcast license-renewal process.
Furthermore, the decision not to renew RCTV’s license but to grant the concession to a new
television network was not the result of an open and transparent process governed by public and
impartial criteria. Also, RCTV was not afforded an opportunity to offer evidence and defend itself
from supposed legal infractions that a number of officials attributed to it.
As to substantive aspects, the Commission concluded that although the State's formally
declared objective of promoting diversity and plurality is a legitimate public interest, the evidence
contained in the record strongly suggests that the decision not to renew RCTV’s license was based
on the network’s editorial line. Within this evidence, the Commission highlighted statements made
by high-ranking officials and the context in which the events occurred.

Mr.
Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Secretary
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Apartado 6906-1000
San José, Costa Rica
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