Bolivia: IACHR admissibility report on CO case


The Inter American Court of Human Rights has adopted its admissibility report on José Ignacio Orías Calvo’s conscientious objection case, presented by Derechos en Acción against Bolivia. The IACHR considered that the Bolivian state didn’t comply with its commitment of legislating on the human right of conscientious objection.

José Orías presented a letter in 2015 to the Minister of Defence, arguing that the military service didn’t align with his convictions. Orías decided to take his case to the IACHR after the Minister of Defence replied to his request reiterating that the military service is compulsory and rejecting his request to be recognized as a conscientious objector.

This case is the second Bolivian case processed by the IACHR on conscientious objection. The first was brought by Alfredo Díaz Bustos against Bolivia in 2005, which concluded through an amicable settlement between Díaz and the State when he was recognized as a CO and his military card was issued. However, in this case, the State didn’t comply with its commitment to legislate internally around the right of conscientious objection. The deadline was 21st January 2020 and Bolivia didn’t make any progress on this. This was considered in José Orías’ case.

The IACHR has requested to present further arguments within the next four months or to ratify what was submitted. Likewise, the Commission has made clear it will accept both parties settling with an amicable agreement.

The commission will work to confirm whether Bolivia violated the rights listed in the complaint: freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, right to equality before the law; in addition to due process, political rights and legal protection.

Source: Los tiempos, IACHR admits complaint of conscientious objection to military service in Bolivia, 29 July 2020

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