In the context of the International Day against the Death Penalty, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) reiterated its call to the Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS) to eliminate the death penalty, or failing that, impose a moratorium on executions as a step towards their gradual abolition. He called on the States that have not done so, to ratify the Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights regarding the Abolition of the Death Penalty.
The Inter-American Human Rights System has played an essential role in determining international norms related to the application of the death penalty. In this sense, the Commission was the first international human rights organization to analyze and evaluate the consequences of the mandatory application of this punishment on the enjoyment of human rights, concluding that it is incompatible with the rights to life, humane treatment. and due process.
For decades, the Inter-American Commission has identified the death penalty as a crucial challenge to human rights, although most OAS member states have abolished the death penalty, a minority maintain it.
The IACHR emphasizes that regional instruments for the protection of human rights do not per se prohibit the imposition of the death penalty; however, they establish specific restrictions and prohibitions regarding their application. In this regard, the American Convention on Human Rights establishes the provisions required to limit the application of this penalty, with the aim of reducing it until it is finally abolished.
In this sense, there is a global trend towards the abolition of the death penalty that is evident in recent developments in this matter at the level of the United Nations, regional systems for the protection of human rights and in the field of international criminal law.
For its part, the Commission emphasizes that the fact that the American Convention reduces the scope of application of the death penalty to the most serious crimes and that it establishes the principles of non-extension and non-reinstatement of the death penalty in countries that They have abolished it, it shows a clear objective of privileging the right to life. Therefore, moving toward the abolition of the death penalty must be a common goal in the hemisphere.
In this context, the IACHR reiterates the recommendation made in its report The death penalty in the inter-American human rights system: From restrictions to abolition, aimed at eliminating this penalty. Likewise, the Commission urges the States that have not ratified the Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights regarding the Abolition of the Death Penalty to be ratified.