Monasterios Pérez

Key Judgment


Legal Relevance

Keywords: Crimes Against Humanity | Deprivation of Liberty | Refusal to Disclose Fate

Themes: Characteristics of the Crime

The Court highlighted the constitutional character of the prohibition against enforced disappearance, stemming from international instruments applicable to Venezuela and from the letter of the Constitution itself. The Court held that enforced disappearance is a multi-offensive crime, as it violates several fundamental rights, and stated that the systematic or generalised practice of enforced disappearance against the population is a crime against humanity. It recalled that under the Constitution, crimes against humanity are not subject to statute of limitations and perpetrators cannot be granted any benefit leading to impunity. The Court held that enforced disappearance are permanent, adopting the definition contained in the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and Inter-American Convention on the Enforced Disappearance of Persons. The Court found that, although the crime of enforced disappearance was included in the criminal code only after the victim’s arrest, it was possible to charge the accused with such crime without violating the principle of non-retroactivity of the law.

Judgment Date

August 10, 2007

Country

Venezuela

Judicial Body

Venezuela - Supreme Court

Articles violated

Article 181(a) [VCC]

Facts of the Case

Mr. Marco Antonio Monasterios Pérez was arrested by the military in December 1999, and never brought before a judge. His whereabouts were still unknown at the time of the proceedings.

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