The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Friday granted precautionary measures in favor of the mayor of the Bolivian municipality of Vinto, María Patricia Arce, attacked in the protests that led to the departure of the power of the former president and leader of his party, Evo Morales .
The Washington-based agency announced the decision that covers the official and her children “after considering that they are in a situation of serious and urgent risk of irreparable harm to their rights,” according to a statement.
The IACHR adopted the measures in response to a request dated November 6, 2019, according to which Arce – a member of the Movement to Socialism (MAS), Morales’ party – was “intercepted and held for hours by third parties, after having attacked, destroyed and burned dependencies of the Mayor’s Office that she presides. “
On November 6, the images of Arce – surrounded by a crowd that cut her hair and bathed her with paint – made headlines in the midst of the protests that shook Bolivia after the elections of October 20.
In those elections, Morales prevailed, but the validity of the process was challenged by the Organization of American States (OAS), whose observation mission detected “irregularities.”
In today’s statement, the IACHR, which belongs to the OAS, said that “third parties would have verbally and physically assaulted Mrs. Arce during the journey that was held by them, until I can be rescued by the Police and transferred to a hospital for assessment and medical care. “
The IACHR said that “no information was identified that indicates what is the scope” of the current Arce protection scheme, “nor are there any elements to analyze its suitability and effectiveness.”
In that context, and given that the mayor “would be promoting the actions of complaints about the events she faced” and that she has resumed her duties, the Commission considered “reasonable” that the official “would face a greater situation of vulnerability or would be a target for attacks. “
Therefore, “he asked Bolivia to take the necessary measures to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of María Patricia Arce and her children,” which she must agree with the beneficiary and her representatives and inform the IACHR in this regard.