03/28/2019

Urgent Action: Venezuelan Refugees Persecuted and Deported (Bolivia: UA 40.19)


On 17 March, police and immigration officers arbitrarily detained 14 Venezuelan refugees (three women and 11 men) at a shelter in La Paz, Bolivia, who had participated in a peaceful demonstration at the Cuban Embassy against human rights violations in Venezuela on 15 March. Officers took them to an immigration office, interrogated them and accused them of “conspiracy” and “political activities in exchange for money”, violating their right to due process. That same day, six of them were arbitrarily deported to Peru, which was the entry point to Bolivia. The remaining eight, who had applied for asylum, were released but five subsequently fled to Peru fearing further persecution. Those released who remain in Bolivia currently fear persecution and arbitrary deportation. According to local organizations and witnesses, many were ill-treated and threatened by police officers. Urge the Minister of Government to stop persecuting and arbitrarily deporting Venezuelan refugees in need of international protection.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 40.19. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
Mr. Carlos Romero
Minister of Government
Av. Arce esq. Belisario Salinas N° 2409, La Paz, Bolivia
Phone: + 591 2 2440466, +591 2 2120002
Email:
[email protected]
Twitter: @MindeGobierno, @CarlosGuRomero
Charge d’Affaires Freddy Bersatti Tudela
Embassy of the Republic of Bolivia
3014 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Phone: 202 483 4410 I Fax: 202 328 3712
Email: [email protected], [email protected]
Twitter: @EmbajadaBolivia
Facebook: @embajada.de.bolivia.usa
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Minister Romero,

On 17 March, police and immigration officers arbitrarily detained 14 Venezuelan refugees at a shelter in La Paz, accusing them of “conspiracy actions and participating in political activities that affect public order in exchange for money”, without due process and judicial guarantees. Then six of them were arbitrarily expelled from Bolivia to Peru.

According to local organizations and witnesses, many of them were ill-treated and threatened by police and, five of them fled to Peru, fearing further persecution. Both those who were deported and those who fled are currently exposed to abuse and crime at the Peru-Bolivia border. Those released who remain in the country fear further persecution and arbitrary deportation to places where their lives or freedoms could be at risk.

All people–including irregular migrants, regular migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees–have the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, due process and judicial guarantees, and to not be subjected to ill-treatment, collective expulsion or refoulement. Any state is forbidden from transferring anyone to a place where they would be at real risk of serious human rights violations.

I urge you to stop arbitrarily detaining, persecuting and expelling Venezuelan refugees in need of international protection.

Yours sincerely,

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