Pedro Bacilio Roche Azaña y otro, Nicaragua

A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the report.


39. Both the Inter-American Commission and Court have held that the use of force must be examined in all cases in which force has been deployed and in which State agents have killed or injured anyone. (…)

40. When allegations are made that a death was the result of the use of force, both the IACHR and the Inter-American Court have established clear rules on the burden of proof. The Inter-American Court has indicated that “…whenever the use of force [by state agents] results in the death or injuries to one or more individuals, the State has the obligation to give a satisfactory and convincing explanation of the events and to rebut allegations over its liability, through appropriate evidentiary elements.”

42. As such, for an explanation of the use of deadly force to be deemed satisfactory, it must be the product of an investigation that is compatible with guarantees of independence, impartiality, and due diligence and, additionally, must meet certain requirements under inter-American legal precedent in order to justify the use of force.

45. Regarding the use of force in migration-related operations, the Court has held the following, in the Nadege Dorzema case, on the need to implement less harmful means: …in this case, less harmful means could have been used for the traffic control sought and to avoid a violent pursuit; for example, by setting up traffic controls, with barricades, speed bumps, tire puncturing devices, and/or cameras that permit the non-violent recording and identification of those involved and an improved control of the flow of traffic in the area. Mainly, measures that are in keeping with the daily transit of migrants in the area.

46. In the same case, the Court specified that the migrants did not represent a real danger or threat, and consequently, the use of lethal force was not absolutely necessary; and that the State could have established less extreme means to achieve the same end, and therefore there was no proportionality.

57. The Commission reiterates that the use of lethal weapons at police or immigration checkpoints will always prove to be arbitrary and contrary to the principles of legality, absolute necessity, and proportionality when a vehicle tries to flee, unless there is aggression involved or indications that someone’s life is in danger. In this case, the use of legitimate force was not substantiated, and the grave consequence was the death of Mr. Pedro Roche Azaña and the serious condition of Patricio Roche Azaña. The unnecessary and disproportionate use of force can be attributed to the Nicaraguan State owing to the actions of law enforcement officials.62 This conclusion is sufficient to establish the State’s international responsibility for that use of force.


De versie van de browser die je gebruikt is verouderd en wordt niet ondersteund.
Upgrade je browser om de website optimaal te gebruiken.