On February 16, 1989, the then President of Venezuela, Carlos Andrés Pérez, announced a series of structural adjustment measures to refinance the external debt through the International Monetary Fund that were implemented on February 27 that year. On February 27, 1989, an undetermined number of persons from the poorer sectors of the population began a series of disturbances in Garenas, State of Miranda, owing to the increase in urban transport rates and the failure of the Executive to grant a preferential rate to students. A sector of the Metropolitan Police was on strike, and consequently did not intervene promptly to control the disturbances. Armed forces were put together by the minister of defense, which consisted mostly of 17 to 18 year-old men. As a result of the disturbances in February and March of 1989, 276 people lost their lives. Some of these victims were not even participating in the disturbances and were shot in their homes, including woman and children. The State, through the Executive, ordered that an undetermined number of corpses should be buried in mass graves. The Court found that the State violated the American Convention on Human Rights.
Case Summary: Case of the "Caracazo" v. Venezuela, Case Summary