HRD Eloísa Barrios In Venezuela under threat following the killing of another member of her family

January 12, 2013

Following the killing, on 15 December 2012, of the ninth member of her family since 1998, the NGO Front Line Defenders is extremely concerned for the safety of human rights defender Eloísa Barrios and her family. Eloísa Barrios has previously submitted petitions to the Inter-American Commission (IACHR) and Court of Human Rights (IACtHR), on 16 March 2004 and 30 December 2005, requesting protection measures for the family as a result of persecution, allegedly by members of the Police of Aragua State.eloisa_barrios_cropped_0

Eloísa Barrios,together with local NGOs, has publicly denounced human rights violations in Aragua State. She has also actively promoted the committees of victims and families of victims in Aragua, and in particular has mobilised mothers of those extrajudicially killed by the state police and accompanied them through the process of filing complaints, the court process and speaking out in social media. Eloísa Barrios has been vocal in speaking out about the Venezuelan State’s failure to effectively protect her family from extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations and has reported an increase in the threats made against her and her family after she denounced the killings before the Inter-American system. She has been threatened by state police officials in retaliation for the constant complaints to the 20th Prosecutor’s Office of the Public Ministry in Aragua concerning her son’s detention on three occasions and ill-treatment in custody. In January 2012 the human rights defender moved from her home as a result of the intimidation.

Since 1998 nine members of the Barrios family have been murdered and several others have been detained and subjected to illegal and arbitrary searches of their homes, suffered threats against their lives and personal integrity, and been forced to move from their place of residence.

The IACHR and the IACtHR have followed the case through all available mechanisms after concluding that Venezuela has violated the rights to life, physical integrity and freedom of several members of the Barrios family, including some minors, however the State has failed to comply with the recommendations of either institution and the Barrios family continue to be at risk.Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

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