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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 67 of 190 b. Judge Juan Carlos Apitz was dismissed in 2003 along with four other judges for issuing a ruling which was publicly condemned by Chávez on national television.255 The dismissed judges brought a complaint to the IACtHR for unlawful dismissal.256 The IACtHR ruled that Venezuela had violated the rights of the judges and ordered that they be reinstated to similar positions in the judiciary.257 In December 2008, the Constitutional Chamber issued a ruling declaring that the decision of the IACtHR was unenforceable in Venezuela and as such the judges remained banished from the bench.258 c. Judge Mercedes Chocrón Chocrón was removed from her position as judge of the Fortieth Control Court of Caracas by an administrative decision of the Judicial Commission. Her removal took place on 3 February 2003, one week after she had conducted a judicial inspection of the home of General Carlos Alfonso Martínez, a dissident member of the armed forces, to determine whether the State was complying with the precautionary measures extended by the IACHR.259 The IACHR ruled that the GoV had acted in breach of the convention by arbitrarily dismissing her from her position, without the minimum guarantees of due process. The GoV failed to adopt any measures to address the situation.260 d. Judges Miguel Luna, Petra Jiménez, and María Trastoy, three members of Court of Appeals of the Criminal Judicial Circuit of the Metropolitan Area of Caracas were removed one day after releasing a number of citizens arrested for allegedly participating in the anti-government demonstrations of 27 February 2004 as the Office of Public Prosecutions had not presented sufficient evidence to justify their continued custody. 261 Hundreds of people were detained during those demonstrations, which involved violent clashes with government force.. Immediately after, on 2 March 2004, the three judges were dismissed by a resolution of the Judicial Commission that failed to cite the reasons for their removal. All three judges challenged their dismissals. One of them, Luna, was reinstated, although he has since magistrados. El Universal. [Online] 16 December. Available from: [Accessed 23 August, 2015]; See also: IACHR. (2005) Annual Report 2004. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. [Online] 23 February. Available from: [Accessed 23 August, 2015] Chapter IV: Human Rights Developments in the Region Venezuela, para. 179 255 NPR. (2010) Venezuela's Chávez Tightens Grip On Judiciary 256 Case of Apitz Barbera et al. (“First Court of Administrative Disputes”) vs Venezuela. (2008) 257 Case of Apitz Barbera et al. (“First Court of Administrative Disputes”) vs Venezuela. (2008) Preliminary Objection, Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of August 5, 2008. Series C No. 182 258 BREWER-CARÍAS. (2010) Dismantling Democracy in Venezuela: The Chávez authoritarian experiment 259 IACHR. (2006) Report on Admissibility No. 38/06. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. [Online] 15 March. Available from: [Accessed 23 August, 2015]. Petition 549-05, Mercedes Chocrón Chocrón 260 IACHR. (2009) Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela 261 HRW. (2004) Rigging the Rule of Law: Judicial Independence Under Siege in Venezuela

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