GENEVA (19 August 2021) – We welcome this week’s report by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI)* that concluded that serious human rights violations, including systematic torture, summary executions and sexual and gender-based violence, took place in the Plurinational State of Bolivia during the post-electoral crisis in 2019.
The findings by the GIEI - which also conclude that the violence had a racial and anti-indigenous character, and that the security forces used excessive or disproportionate force and did not adequately prevent acts of violence - echo the conclusions of our own report published in August 2020.
The GIEI’s report should be used to support efforts to set up independent investigations, establish the truth, ensure justice, and comprehensive reparations for victims and their families, and prevent further violations of human rights in Bolivia.
It is also vital that the documentation of human rights violations in the report, delivered after eight months of rigorous work, is used in a constructive and impartial way, to promote dialogue among the Bolivian people and reduce the existing polarization and political tensions.
The report’s recommendations, together with those by the UN Human Rights Office, provide a roadmap for addressing systemic challenges in Bolivia, including racism and political interference in the justice system, and for strengthening the rule of law and democracy.
We welcome the commitment expressed by Bolivian President Luis Arce to implement the GIEI report and we urge the authorities to promptly establish a mechanism to ensure these recommendations are translated into concrete steps, both in the medium and long-term.
The UN Human Rights Office, through its field presence in the country, stands ready to support Bolivia in this important process, and reiterates its solidarity with the victims and their families.
*The GIEI was established under an agreement between the Bolivian Government and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on 12 December 2019.