IACHR Court did not exonerate Venezuelan inmate
Chávez's reasons to withdraw from the IACHR organization are unfounded
"The straw that broke the camel's back." That is how Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez described the latest verdict of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR Court) against Venezuela for the treatment given to a former inmate charged with participating in two bomb attacks in Caracas in 2003. The verdict spurred Chávez decision of finally withdrawing Venezuela from the continental court.
In a press release Wednesday Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said that not only did the Court issued a ruling against Venezuela, but also favored "a terrorist (Raul Díaz Peña), whose name I cannot recall now, but who has been proven guilty."
"The IACHR (Court) rendered a judgment favoring a terrorist," said the Head of State, who stressed that both the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the IACHR Court ought to vanish.
However, when reading the 76-page ruling, it is clear that the Court went neither through the charges pressed by the Venezuelan Public Ministry against Peña Díaz nor the ruling issued by a (Venezuelan) judge in connection with the bomb attacks against the Spanish Embassy and the Colombian Consulate (in Caracas, Venezuela). Therefore, it is wrong to say that the former inmate has been exonerated.
The Court does not review the decisions passed by national courts unless the latter have been charged with violating the American Convention on Human Rights.
The seven magistrates of the IACHR Court did not even consider the allegations of supposed violations of due process made by the defendant's attorney and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Instead, in the ruling the magistrates, except for Chilean Magistrate Eduardo Vio Grossi, condemned Venezuela for the treatment given to Díaz Peña during his more than six years in a prison under poor conditions, including lack of electricity and ventilation, and restricted access to fresh air and the only toilet available.
In addition to ordering the Venezuelan authorities to adequate the prison of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin), the court ordered that the Venezuelan State shall compensate Díaz Peña with USD 70,000 for failing to provide him medical care in a timely, adequate and comprehensive manner."
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."