Dear President Morales,

I am writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch to respectfully urge you to push for the reform of several laws that restrict basic rights.

The 2009 Bolivian Constitution, which was adopted during your presidency, provides for the protection of a wide range of basic rights, including freedom of association and expression, due process guarantees, and children’s rights. In addition, it states that international human rights treaties ratified by Bolivia that include broader protections prevail over the Constitution.[1]

However, the Plurinational Assembly has in recent years passed several laws that significantly restrict the exercise of these basic rights. As described in this letter, these include laws on (1) civil society organizations, (2) torture, (3) child labor, (4) racism and discrimination, and (5) the sanctioning of high level officials and magistrates. The Plurinational Assembly has also failed to modify Bolivia’s Military Criminal Code to ensure that human rights violations are tried in civilian courts rather than in the military justice system.

While the recent reform of key provisions in one of these laws is a positive step, it should only be the starting point of a comprehensive review process to bring Bolivia in line with its human rights obligations. Based on the considerations detailed below, we respectfully urge you to use your constitutional powers to promote legislative changes in these six areas to ensure that Bolivia complies with its international obligations.[2]

Regulating the Work of Civil Society
In March 2013, the Plurinational Assembly passed a law to grant legal status to civil society groups (Ley de Otorgación de Personalidades Jurídicas), which was later regulated through a presidential decree (Decree no. 1597).[3] Taken together, these provisions give authorities overly broad powers to regulate civil society groups’ activities, undermining the right to free association and the ability of human rights defenders to work independently.

The presidential decree authorizes officials to dissolve civil society organizations on grounds that invite arbitrary, politically motivated decisions. It allows any government office to request the Ministry of Autonomy to revoke an organization’s permit to operate if it performs activities different from those listed in its statute, or if any of the representatives of the organization named in its permit application is criminally sanctioned for carrying out activities that, using the organization, “undermine security or public order.”[4] The Plurinational Assembly may also request that permits be revoked in cases of “necessity or public interest.”[5] In addition, the decree states that the organizations’ statutes must specify the extent to which their activities “tak[e] into account the guidelines established in the national plans, the national policies and the sectorial policies.”[6]

These vague provisions undermine the right to freedom of association, recognized both in the Constitution and in human rights treaties.[7] The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights has noted that “[t]he freedom of association, in the specific case of human rights defenders, is a fundamental tool that makes it possible to fully carry out the[ir] work … [b]ecause of this, when a state impedes this right, it not only restricts the freedom of association, but also obstructs the work of promoting and defending human rights.”[8] In this respect, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has repeatedly noted that “[s]tates have the duty to provide the necessary means for human rights defenders to conduct their activities freely…[and] to refrain from placing restrictions that would hinder the performance of their work.”[9]

Moreover, the UN special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association has noted that associations “should be free to determine their statutes”[10] and has stressed that restrictions on the right to association must—in order to be “necessary in a democratic society”—respect the principles of “pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness.”[11] According to the rapporteur, “[t]he suspension and the involuntary dissolution of an association are the severest types of restrictions on freedom of association.. [and] it should only be possible when there is a clear and imminent danger resulting in a flagrant violation of national law, in compliance with international human rights law… it should be strictly proportional to the legitimate aim and used only when softer measures would be insufficient.”[12]

The Mechanism to Prevent Torture
Under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT), Bolivia has been required since 2007 to adopt an internal mechanism to prevent torture.[13]

In December 2013, the Plurinational Assembly passed a law that creates the Service for the Prevention of Torture “under the supervision (tuición) of the Ministry of Justice.”[14] In August 2014, your office adopted a regulatory decree (Decree no. 2082) that provides that the director of the new service will be appointed by the executive from a short list elaborated by the Ministry of Justice.[15] Neither the law nor the decree establish the specific duration of the director’s mandate, or set forth permissible grounds for his or her dismissal or criteria to ensure a national prevention mechanism that includes gender balance and representatives from different communities in the country.

This mechanism does not fulfill Bolivia’s international obligations. As the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has noted,[16] it lacks the independence required by international law.[17]

The Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture, for its part, has criticized similar selection procedures elsewhere, noting that they must be “open, transparent and inclusive… [and] should involve a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society, and should be in accordance with published criteria.”[18] The Guidelines on National Preventive Mechanisms provide that “[t]he relevant legislation should specify the period of office of the member/s of the NPM and any grounds for their dismissal,”[19] and, according to the OPCAT, “[states parties] shall strive for a gender balance and the adequate representation of ethnic and minority groups in the country.”[20]

Finally, the law fails to establish the scope of the national prevention mechanism’s legal powers, despite international standards that require that they be “clearly set out in a constitutional or legislative text.”[21]

Child Labor
In July 2014, the Plurinational Assembly passed a law that lowers the minimum working age to 10, and includes conditions for child labor that run counter to Bolivia’s obligations under international law, as well as its own constitutional provisions.[22]

The law sets the minimum working age at 14, but states that Bolivia’s ombudsman offices on childhood (Defensorías de Niñez y Adolescencia) may in exceptional circumstances authorize self-employment by children as young as 10, and employment by a third party of children as young as 12 if “these activities do not undermine their right to education, or are not dangerous, unhealthy, [or] threatening to their dignity and development.”[23] The new law gives Bolivia the unfortunate distinction of being the first country in the world to legalize employment for children as young as 10.

These provisions violate ILO Convention 138 regarding the minimum age of employment.[24] By ratifying the Convention, Bolivia committed itself to “pursu[ing] a national policy designed to ensure the effective abolition of child labor and to rais[ing] progressively the minimum age for admission to employment or work to a level consistent with the fullest physical and mental development of young persons.”[25] Bolivia’s new law, however, runs counter to article 2 of the Convention, which forbids work or employment (including self-employment) under the specified minimum working age—that is, age 14 in the case of Bolivia.

Regulating Non-Discrimination
In October 2010, the Plurinational Assembly passed the Law against Racism and Any Form of Discrimination, and your office issued a decree to implement the law in January 2011.[26] While Bolivia’s efforts to protect the right to non-discrimination are welcome, these norms include vague provisions that may undermine the right to freedom of speech.

Under international law, racist and discriminatory expressions should not be subject to prior censorship, and restrictions to freedom of expression should only be imposed in limited and very specific circumstances and by independent bodies.[27] According to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, subsequent liability must be based on “precise definition[s]”[28] and must “interfere… to the least possible extent with the legitimate exercise of the freedom.”[29]

Bolivia’s 2010 law and the 2011 decree do not meet these standards. Under article 16 of the law, a media outlet that “authorizes or publishes racist and discriminatory ideas may be subject to economic sanctions and the suspension of its licenses.”[30] The decree states that an administrative body that reports to the Ministry of Public Works, Services, and Housing (Ministerio de Obras Públicas, Servicios y Vivienda) can impose the sanctions.[31] Moreover, under the decree, broadcast media outlets are responsible for any third party racist or discriminatory expressions they air if they do not interrupt the broadcast and “advise the public to refrain from expressions of a racist or discriminatory nature.”[32]

The law and the decree employ vague provisions to define “racists and discriminatory ideas,” allowing for ample discretion when applying sanctions. For instance, “discrimination” is defined in open-ended fashion as “any form of distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference, based on gender, color, age, sexual orientation or identity, cultural origin… or other [grounds] that have the objective or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal standing, of human rights…”[33] Moreover, the decree, forbids “deliberate and systematic expressions… that have the purpose of damaging the dignity of an specific person or group for racist or discriminatory motives.”[34]

In addition, article 23 of the law, which amends the Bolivian Criminal Code to create the crime of “broadcasting or incitement to racism or discrimination,” states that anyone who “through any means broadcasts ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, or that promote or justify racism or any kind of discrimination… or that incite to violence… on racist or discriminatory grounds… will be imprisoned from one to five years.”[35]

Therefore, a racist or discriminatory comment can be criminally sanctioned with a prison sentence in the same manner as a call that constitutes incitement to violence, which is inconsistent with international norms. The Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which monitors states' obligations to combat racist speech, has itself noted that “criminalization of forms of racist expression should be reserved for serious cases...while less serious cases should be addressed by means other than criminal law....”[36]

These vague provisions, while upholding Bolivia’s commitment to sanction racist and discriminatory expressions,[37] grant the government broad powers to censor information published by the media, failing to balance legitimate government concerns with combatting racism with the need to protect the right to free expression.[38]

Prosecutions of High Level Officials and Magistrates
In October 2010, the Plurinational Assembly passed the Law on the Prosecution of High Authorities (Ley de Juzgamiento a Altas Autoridades), which set forth procedures for criminally sanctioning and impeaching the president, vice president, attorney general (Fiscal General del Estado), and high court personnel, including Supreme Court and Constitutional Court judges.[39] Despite positive modifications recently adopted by the Plurinational Assembly, the law still violates basic due process safeguards provided in international law.

Specifically, the law does not allow actual or former presidents or vice presidents, if convicted, to appeal the conviction, despite an international law requirement that these judicial decisions be reviewed by a higher court.[40] The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has specifically stated that “[s]tate[s] may establish special judicial privileges for the prosecution of high-ranking government authorities… [h]owever, even in these situations, the State may allow the accused the possibility of appealing a condemnatory judgment.”[41]

Other problematic provisions, however, were reformed by the Plurinational Assembly in December 2014. While the law allowed senators to impose both disciplinary and criminal sanctions on judges of high courts, the new provisions only allow senators to impose disciplinary ones.[42] The reform, which was supported by Vice President Álvaro García Linera, protects individuals’ right to be tried by an independent court, recognized both by the Bolivian Constitution and international treaties.[43]

While the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has noted that, exceptionally, public bodies other than the judiciary can exercise judicial functions (for instance, in impeachment processes),[44] the American Convention on Human Rights states that “all persons [have the right] to a hearing…. by a… judge or tribunal… in the substantiation of any accusation of criminal nature made against him.”[45] Similarly, the Human Rights Council has defined a tribunal as “a body… independent of the executive and legislative branches of government,” and noted that “any criminal conviction by a body not constituting a tribunal is incompatible with [article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights].”[46]

Moreover, to preserve judicial independence, international standards state that judges should be protected from direct or indirect “pressure, threats or interference.”[47] The Universal Charter of the Judge, for instance, says that “criminal action… against a judge must only be allowed under circumstances ensuring that his or her independence cannot be influenced.”[48] The UN special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, for her part, has recently noted that “judicial accountability should be undertaken through an independent body.”[49]

Military Criminal Code Reform
In December 2012, the Constitutional Court ruled that Bolivia’s Military Criminal Code was incompatible with international human rights standards regarding judicial independence and the right to judicial protection, and urged legislators to reform it.[50] At the time of writing, however, the code has not been modified.

Under the Military Criminal Code, “all the crimes committed by members of the Armed Forces in the line of duty, either inside or outside the headquarters, military camps and zones” are to be prosecuted and tried by the military justice system.[51] This includes alleged human rights violations committed by members of the military.

Under international norms, allegations of human rights abuses should not be tried by military courts. The Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons specifically states that, “[p]ersons alleged to be responsible for the acts constituting the offense of forced disappearance of persons may be tried only in the competent jurisdictions of ordinary law in each state, to the exclusion of all other special jurisdictions, particularly military jurisdictions.”[52]

Similarly, treaty monitoring bodies have repeatedly stated that military courts are not suitable to prosecute and bring perpetrators of abuse to justice. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, for example, has held that “when the State permits investigations to be conducted by the entities with possible involvement, independence and impartiality are clearly compromised.”[53] And the Inter-American Court on Human Rights has repeatedly ruled that pursuant to article 8 of the American Convention “military criminal jurisdiction is not the competent jurisdiction to investigate and, if applicable, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of human rights violations.”[54] For its part, the UN Human Rights Committee, which monitors implementation of the states’ obligations under the ICCPR, has called on states parties to subject military personnel alleged to have committed human rights violations to civilian jurisdiction.[55]

Based on the above-mentioned considerations, we respectfully urge you to actively work with legislators in the Plurinational Assembly to push for legal reforms to these six laws to ensure that Bolivia complies with its international human rights obligations.

 

Sincerely,

José Miguel Vivanco

 

[1] Constitution of Bolivia, art. 256 (I). See also, arts. 13 (IV) and 410 (I).

[2] Constitution of Bolivia, art. 162 (3).

[3] Ley de Otorgación de Personalidades Jurídicas (Law on Legal Entities), Gaceta Oficial, No. 351/2013, signed into law on March 22, 2013, http://www.gacetaoficialdebolivia.gob.bo/normas/descargarPdf/141719 (accessed October 14, 2014); Reglamento parcial a la Ley de Otorgación de personalidades jurídicas (Regulatory Decree on the Law on Legal Entities), Gaceta Oficial, Decree No. 1597/2013, signed on June 5, 2013, http://www.gacetaoficialdebolivia.gob.bo/normas/descargarPdf/142134 (accessed October 14, 2014).

[4] Law on Legal Entities, art. 14; Regulatory Decree on the Law on Legal Entities, art. 19.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Regulatory Decree on the Law on Legal Entities, art. 11(II).

[7] Constitution of Bolivia, art. 21(4). American Convention on Human Rights (“Pact of San José, Costa Rica”), adopted November 22, 1969, O.A.S. Treaty Series No. 36, 1144 U.N.T.S. 123, ratified by Bolivia on June 6, 1979, reprinted in Basic Documents Pertaining to Human Rights in the Inter-American System, OEA/Ser.L.V/II.82 doc.6 rev.1 at 25 (1992), art. 16. See also International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted December 16, 1966, G.A. Res. 2200A (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 16) at 52, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), 999 U.N.T.S. 171, entered into force February 10, 1972, ratified by Bolivia on August 12, 1982, art. 22.

[8] Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, “Report on the situation of human rights defenders in the Americas,” OEA/Ser.L/V/II.124 Doc. 5 rev.1, http://www.cidh.org/countryrep/Defenders/defenderschap1-4.htm#assembly_ (accessed October 14, 2014), para. 69.

[9] Inter-American Court, Kawas-Fernández case, Judgment of April 3, 2009, Inter-Am Ct.H.R., Series C. No. 196, para. 145; Inter-American Court, Valle-Jaramillo et al case, Judgment of November 27, 2008, Inter-Am Ct.H.R., Series C. No. 192, para. 91.

[10] UN Human Rights Council, “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai,” A/HRC/20/27, May 21, 2012, http://www.ohchr.org/documents/hrbodies/hrcouncil/regularsession/session... (accessed October 14, 2014), para. 97.

[11] Ibid., paras 17 and 84(e).

[12] Ibid., paras. 75 and 100 (emphasis added).

[13] Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT), adopted December 18, 2002, G.A. res. A/RES/57/199, [reprinted in 42 I.L.M. 26 (2003)], entered into force June 22, 2006, ratified on May 23, 2006, arts. 3 and 17.

[14] Ley del Servicio para la Prevención de la Tortura (Law on the Service for the Prevention of Torture), Gaceta Oficial, No. 474/2013, signed into law on December 30, 2013, http://www.gacetaoficialdebolivia.gob.bo/edicions/view/602NEC (accessed October 14, 2014), art. 1.

[15] Reglamento de la Ley del Servicio para la Prevención de la Tortura (Regulatory Decree on the Law on the Service for the Prevention of Torture), Gaceta Oficial, Decree No. 2082/2014, signed on August 20, 2014, http://www.gacetaoficialdebolivia.gob.bo/normas/view/152628 (accessed October 14, 2014), art. 11. Regulatory Decree on the Law on the Service for the Prevention of Torture, art. 11.

[16] United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the activities of her office in the Plurinational State of Bolivia,” A/HRC/25/19/Add.2, March 5, 2014, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session25/Documents/A-HRC-25-19-Add2_en.doc (accessed October 14, 2014), para. 74.

[17] Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, art. 18(1); Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, “Guidelines on national preventive mechanisms,” CAT/OP/12/5, December 9, 2010, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/opcat/docs/SPT_Guidelines_NPM_e... (accessed October 14, 2014), paras. 8 and 12.

[18] Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, “Report on the visit of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to Brazil,” CAT/OP/BRA/1, July 5, 2012, http://docstore.ohchr.org/SelfServices/FilesHandler.ashx?enc=6QkG1d%2fPP... (accessed October 14, 2014), para 16.

[19] Guidelines on National Preventive Mechanisms, art. 9.

[20] Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, art. 18(2).

[21] Guidelines on National Preventive Mechanisms, art. 7 (emphasis added). See also Regulatory Decree on the Law on the Service for the Prevention of Torture, art. 9; United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the activities of her office in the Plurinational State of Bolivia,” A/HRC/25/19/Add.2, March 5, 2014, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session25/Documents... (accessed October 14, 2014), para. 74.

[22] Constitution of Bolivia, arts. 58 and 60.

[23] Código niño, niña y adolescente (Code on Children and Adolescents), Gaceta Oficial, No. 548/2014, signed into law on July 17, 2014, http://www.diputados.bo/images/Docs/Leyes/2014/Ley_N_548-1.pdf (accessed October 15, 2014)., art. 129. The law defines “self-employment” (trabajo por cuenta propia) as “work which is not part of family or community work and is done without subordination or labor relationship with an employer.” Code on Children and Adolescents, art. 133 (I). Moreover, the law defines “employment by a third party” (trabajo en cuenta ajena) as “work which is carried out (a) upper request of an employer, (b) in exchange of payment… and (c) as part of a labor relationship.” Code on Children and Adolescents, art. 132 (I).

[24] ILO Convention No. 138 concerning the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment (Minimum Age Convention), adopted June 26, 1973, 1015 U.N.T.S.297, entered into force June 19, 1976, ratified by Bolivian on June 17, 1997.

[25] ILO Convention No. 138, art. 1.

[26] Ley contra el racismo y toda forma de discriminación (Law against Racism and Any Form of Discrimination), Gaceta Oficial, No. 045/2010, signed into law on October 8, 2010, http://www.cienciaytecnologia.gob.bo/vcyt2012/uploads/ley_045_racismodis... (accessed October 14, 2014); Reglamento a la Ley contra el racismo y toda forma de discriminación (Regulatory Decree on the Law against racism and Any Form of Discrimination), Gaceta Oficial, Decree No. 762/2011, signed on January 5, 2011, http://www.comunicacion.gob.bo/sites/default/files/docs/Decreto%20Suprem... (accessed October 14, 2014).

[27] American Convention on Human Rights, art. 13(2); UN Special Rapporteur in Freedom of Opinion and Expression, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, and OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, “Joint statement on racism and the media,” February 27, 2001, http://www.osce.org/fom/40120?download=true (accessed October 14, 2014); Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, “General recommendation No. 35, Combating racist hate speech,” U.N. Doc. CERD/C/GC/35 (2013), para. 18; UN General Assembly, “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression,” A/HRC/67/357, September 7, 2012, http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/67/357 (accessed October 23, 2014), para. 42.

[28] See, for example, Inter-American Court, Advisory Opinion OC-5/85 (Compulsory Membership in an Association Prescribed by Law for the Practice of Journalism), Judgment of November 3, 1985, Inter-Am Ct.H.R., Series A. No. 05, para. 39.

[29] See, for example, Inter-American Court, Kimel case, Judgment of May 2, 2008, Inter-Am Ct.H.R., Series C. No. 177, para. 83.

[30] Law Against Racism and Any Form of Discrimination, art. 16.

[31] Regulatory Decree on the Law against Racism and Any Form of Discrimination, art. 17.

[32] Ibid., art. 21.

[33] Ibid., art. 5 (emphasis added).

[34] Regulatory Decree on the Law against Racism and Any Form of Discrimination, art. 16 (emphasis added).

[35] Law against Racism and Any Form of Discrimination, art. 23.

[36] Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, “General recommendation No. 35, Combating racist hate speech,” U.N. Doc. CERD/C/GC/35 (2013), para. 12.

[37] International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), adopted December 21, 1965, G.A. Res. 2106 (XX), annex, 20 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 14) at 47, U.N. Doc. A/6014 (1966), 660 U.N.T.S. 195, entered into force January 4, 1969, ratified by Bolivia on September 22, 1970, art. 4 (a); American Convention on Human Rights, art. 13(5); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art. 20(2).

[38] Constitution of Bolivia, arts. 21(5) and 106.

[39] This section of the law applies to members of the Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo de Justicia), the Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitucional Plurinacional), the Agro-Environmental Court (Tribunal Agroambiental) and the Judicial Council (Consejo de la Magistratura). Ley de Juzgamiento a Altas Autoridades (Law on the Prosecution of High Authorities), Gaceta Oficial, No. 044/2010, signed into law on October 8, 2010, http://www.diputados.bo/images/Docs/Leyes/2010/Ley_N_044.pdf (accessed October 14, 2014).

[40] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art. 14(5). See also American Convention on Human Rights, art. 8(2)(h).

[41] Inter-American Court, Barreto Leiva case, Judgment of November 17, 2009, Inter-Am Ct.H.R., Series C. No. 206, para. 90. While the law is consistent with article 184(4) of the Bolivian Constitution, it fails to acknowledge that human rights treaties provide more favorable rights regarding the right to appeal a criminal conviction and should prevail over the constitution pursuant to article 256 of the Constitution.

[42] “Diputados sancionan Proyecto Ley 463”, Prensa Diputados, December 3, 2014, http://www.diputados.bo/index.php/noticias/actualidad-legislativa/1455-diputados-sancionan-proyecto-ley-463 (accessed December 4, 2014).

[43] “Vicepresidente: el perfeccionamiento de la Ley 044 permitiría contar con jueces más calificados,” Vicepresidencia, November 28, 2014, http://www.vicepresidencia.gob.bo/Vicepresidente-el (accessed December 1, 2014); Constitution of Bolivia, art. 120; American Convention on Human Rights, art. 8(1); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art. 14(1).

[44] Inter-American Court, Constitutional Court case, Judgment of January 31, 2001, Inter-Am Ct.H.R., Series C. No. 71, para. 71.

[45] American Convention on Human Rights, art. 8(1). See Inter-American Court, Yvon Neptune case, Judgment of May 6, 2008, Inter-Am Ct.H.R., Series C. No. 180, para. 79.

[46] Human Rights Committee, “General Comment No. 32, Right to equality before courts and tribunals and to a fair trial,” U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/GC/32 (2007), para. 18.

[47] Inter-American Court, Chocrón Chocrón case, Judgment of July 1, 2011, Inter-Am Ct.H.R., Series C. No. 227, para. 100; UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, Seventh United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Milan, August 26 to September 6, 1985, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.121/22/Rev.1 at 59 (1985), art. 1(1).

[48] Universal Charter of the Judge, approved by the International Association of Judges, November 17, 1999, http://www.hjpc.ba/dc/pdf/THE%20UNIVERSAL%20CHARTER%20OF%20THE%20JUDGE.pdf (accessed October 23, 2014), art. 10.

[49] UN Human Rights Council, “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of

judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul,” A/HRC/26/32, April 28, 2014, http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G14/139/18/PDF/G1413918.pdf(accessed October 23, 2014), para. 97.

[50] Ivan Ichauste Rioja et al, Constitutional Court, No. SCP 2540/2012, Plenary Judgment, December 21, 2012.

[51] Código Penal Militar (Military Criminal Code), Gaceta Oficial, Decree No. 13321/1976, signed on January 22, 1976, http://gestor.pradpi.org/download.php?id_doc=989 (accessed October 14, 2014), art. 1 (emphasis added).

[52] Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons, 33 I.L.M.1429 (1994), entered into force March 28, 1996, ratified by Bolivia on September 19, 1996, art. 9.

[53] See, for example, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Manuel Stalin Bolaños Quiñonez, Resolution No. 10/95, Case No. 10.580, Ecuador, September 12, 1995, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.124 Doc. 7, February 27, 2006, para. 48.

[54] See, for example, Inter-American Court, Santo Domingo Massacre case, Judgment of November 30, 2012, Inter-Am Ct.H.R., Series C. No. 259, para. 158.

[55] See, for example, concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee on Colombia, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/COL/CO/6 (2001), para. 14; Mexico, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/MEX/CO/5 (2010), para. 11; and Perú, U.N. CCPR/C/79/Add.67, para. 22.