On July 17, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted precautionary measures to Maury Carolina Carrero Mendoza, who had been arbitrarily detained on April 2 in Venezuela for her alleged connection to an advisor to National Assembly President Juan Guaido. Carrero was arrested at her home by members of the counterintelligence division of the Venezuelan army, who detained her without a warrant; her whereabouts are still unknown, and she has been denied access to lawyers and family members on the grounds of COVID-19 restrictions. These circumstances constitute an enforced disappearance – recognized as a crime against humanity – and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Foro Penal filed a request on June 2 for urgent precautionary measures on Carrero’s behalf.
Enforced disappearance is frequently linked to torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, or even death, and the IACHR found that, based on the facts alleged, Carrero faced a grave risk of imminent irreparable harm to her rights to life and personal integrity. The IACHR requested, that Venezuela adopt the measures necessary to protect these rights, to inform them whether she was in state custody and the circumstances under which she was detained – or at least to describe the actions taken to find out – and to investigate the circumstances of her arbitrary arrest and disappearance.
The practice of enforced disappearances is widely recognized as one of the worst human rights violations and must be eliminated. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights welcomes the Commission’s decision and calls on the government of Nicolas Maduro to release the whereabouts and condition of Maury Carrero and allow her access to a lawyer and communication with family.
To learn more about the practice of enforced disappearance in Venezuela see our recent report.