Victims of Bolivia's 18 years of military rule to expose lack of justice at Washington hearing tomorrow

Former political prisoner Julio Sevilla, with a portrait of Socialist Party leader Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz, killed in 1980 © ©Amnesty International

The Bolivian government has a historic opportunity to address years of abuses under military rule, Amnesty International said ahead of a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington tomorrow (19 March). Torture survivors and relatives of the disappeared will denounce the lack of truth, justice and reparation for human rights violations they have suffered.

An estimated 150 people were victims of enforced disappearance in Bolivia between 1964 and 1982. According to official data hundreds more were arbitrarily detained and tortured.

For years, victims have been demanding the creation of a truth commission to shed light on the human rights violations committed during the 18 years of military and authoritarian regimes.

The victims will also expose the lack of full reparation to the Inter-American Commission.

Maria Jose Eva, South America researcher at Amnesty International, who will attend the hearing, said:

"Victims of torture, arbitrary detention and relatives of victims of enforced disappearances during the darkest years of Bolivia’s recent history should not have to wait a minute longer for their legitimate demands of justice, truth and reparation to be heard.

"The Bolivian authorities have a duty to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice and to be proactive in the search for and identification of victims of enforced disappearance. It's time to put an end to this lingering injustice and to address the wrongs of this tragic and dark period in Bolivia’s history."

Four organisations from Bolivia – the Asociación de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos y Mártires por la Liberación Nacional; Mujeres Libertad; the Plataforma de Luchadores Sociales; and the Unión de víctimas de violencia política– will participate in the hearing alongside Amnesty and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL).

 
 

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