Document - Bolivia: Protestor attacked, police take no notice: Victoria López

URGENT ACTION

UA: 45/13 Index: AMR 18/001/2013 Bolivia Date: 18 February 2013

URGENT ACTION

PROTESTOR ATTACKED, POLICE TAKE NO NOTICE

Victoria López, a victim of human rights violations and member of an association of people whose human rights were violated when Bolivia was under military rule, was attacked and injured by a man while at a protest outside the Ministry of Justice, in La Paz, on 8 February. Police took no action.

Victoria López was inside one of the tents set up in front of the Ministry since March 2012, with a man, a member of the Platform for social activists against impunity, for justice and historical memory of the Bolivian people (Plataforma de luchadores sociales contra la impunidad, por la justicia y la memoria histórica del pueblo Bolilviano), when three men, who appeared to be drunk, approached and started to destroy the tent and placards outside it, at about 10.15pm on 8 February. When Victoria Lopez tried to stop them, one of the men started to beat her with a stick. He also smashed a computer and other possessions in the tent. According to Victoria López, the man said, “Why are you still here; until when?” (Por qué siguen acá; hasta cuándo?) She was left with a broken arm and a cut on her head which required 13 stitches.

The man was caught by other protestors at the campsite, and handed over to a nearby police officer. According to reports, the officer let him go without questioning him. Victoria Lopez and other members of the association are concerned that the man that attacked her could be a Ministry employee. They have been protesting in front of the Ministry for almost a year. The association filed a criminal complain with the Public Ministry on 14 February. The Minister of Justice issued a statement the next day, denying that the Ministry had been involved in the attack in any way.

Please write immediately in Spanish, English or your own language:

Calling on the authorities to order, immediately, an impartial and independent investigation into the 8 February attack on Victoria López, and bring those responsible to justice;

Calling on them to guarantee the safety of the people protesting in front of the Ministry of Justice, and ensure their right to freedom of expression and assembly.

Urging them to ensure full reparation is made to victims of human rights violations committed while the country was under military rule, in accordance with international human rights standards.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 1 APRIL 2013 TO:

Minister of Justice

Dra. Cecilia Ayllon

Avenida 16 de julio N°1769

La Paz-Bolivia

Fax: +591 2 2158921

Salutation: Dear Minister/

Señora Ministra

General Prosecutor

Dr. Ramiro José Guerrero Peñaranda

Calle España #79 Esquina. San Alberto

Sucre-Bolivia

Fax: +591 4 6439509 (If voice answers, say "Tono de fax, por favor"

Email: info@fiscalia.gob.bo

Salutation: Dear General Prosecutor/Señor Fiscal General

And copies to:

Plataforma de luchadores sociales contra la impunidad, por la justicia y la memoria histórica

Av. 6 de Agosto 548

La Paz - Bolivia

Email: plataformadeluchadoressocialesb@hotmail.com

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

PROTESTOR ATTACKED, POLICE TAKE NO NOTICE

ADditional Information

Since March 2012 a group of victims of the military regimes that ruled Bolivia from 1964 to1982, called Platform for social activists against impunity, for justice and historical memory of the Bolivian people (Plataforma de luchadores sociales contra la impunidad, por la justicia y la memoria histórica del pueblo Bolilviano) have been protesting peacefully in front of the Bolivian Ministry of Justice to demand full reparations for the human rights violations they and their relatives suffered, including torture and enforced disappearance. They are asking for effective implementation of a law passed in 2004 that should provide them with financial and other compensation.

Bolivia was under military and authoritarian regimes from 1964 to 1982, and human rights violations, including torture and enforced disappearance, were widespread.

Law 2640 for “Exceptional compensation to victims of political violence during periods of unconstitutional governments” was passed on 11 March 2004. It established a set of compensatory measures such as free medical assistance, psychological rehabilitation and economic benefits to victims and relatives of those who suffered torture or enforced disappearance, among other human rights violations.

Under the law, the State should commit to make 20% of the total payments, while seeking external funds for the remainder. Approximately 6,200 applications for compensation have been sent to the Ministry of Justice. According to the Ministry, only 1,714 of these applicants have been accepted as beneficiaries.

On 30 April 2012 the national legislature (Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional) passed Law 238, which modified two articles about the beneficiaries’ payment. The next day, Supreme Decree 1211established the rules for the individual payments and approved the official list of beneficiaries. Victims and their relatives have told Amnesty International that they are being paid at most 20 percent of what they should be paid according to the 2004 law.

The Plataforma de luchadores sociales contra la impunidad por la justicia y la memoria histórica del pueblo Bolilviano represents a group of victims who believe the 2004 law has not been adequately applied and that some victims have been excluded from benefits without clear explanation. They argue that access to compensation measures has been conditioned to specific requirements such as medical certificates of the tortured suffered, death certificates and other documents of the time that are difficult or impossible to obtain by victims and relatives of victims.

Name: Victoria López

Gender m/f: f

UA: 45/13 Index: AMR 18/001/2013 Issue Date: 18 February 2013

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