Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms
1. The Committee of Family Members of the Victims of the February - March 1989 Events (Cofavic), a NGO that has felt under harassment by the government for having sued the Venezuelan State for compensation on behalf of those victims, will introduce a complaint against the Office of the Public Prosecutor before the Human Rights Office of the United Nations, the Inter American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter American Court on Human Rights, for recent statements made by that Office which this NGO considers damaging to its reputation.
2. The Public Prosecutor's Office opened, on April 7, 2005 , a criminal prosecution against Carlos Ayala-Corao, President of the Andean Commission of Jurists and former President of the Inter American Human Rights Commission. On April 15, 2005, on the basis of hear say and press articles, he was charged with the crime of 'conspiracy' for having allegedly participated in the drafting of the April 12, 2002, proclamation known as the 'Carmona Decree'. This decree made void the Bolivarian Constitution, dissolved all branches of Government and dismissed from their positions all public officials. The Ayala-Corao case is an emblematic case since his position against the dissolution of the Government on April 12, 2002 , as well as his active defense of the rights of President Chavez's followers, some of which were persecuted immediately after the President abandoned his duties for a few hours, is well known. This case has been read as an indication of the Government's intention to harass pro-human rights individuals and organizations. It has given rise to very public polemics and to the solidarity of NGO's active in the field of human rights.
3. Four members of Sumate's board of directors have been charged with " conspiracy to destroy the republican political road chosen by the Nation", for having received funds from the National Endowment for Democracy to prepare and offer courses on citizens' rights. Finally, after 15 months of harassments, subpoenas to declare in court, accusations made through the media, etc., in July 2005 a court ruled to bring them up for trial. Sumate is a Civil Association for the defense of people's voting rights. In 2003 and 2004 it organized the gathering of firms to request the Presidential Recall Referendum.