Plurinational State of Bolivia
On 14 February 2022, based on a thorough legal and factual analysis of the information available, the Office concluded that there was not a reasonable basis to believe that crimes falling within the subject-matter jurisdiction of the Court had been committed within the scope of the referred situation in Plurinational State of Bolivia ("Bolivia"). Accordingly, the Prosecutor concluded that there was no reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation and decided to close the preliminary examination.
Jurisdiction – General status
Bolivia deposited its instrument of ratification of the Rome Statute on 27 June 2002. The ICC may therefore exercise its jurisdiction over Rome Statute crimes committed on the territory of Bolivia or by its nationals from 1 September 2002 onwards.
Procedural history and focus of the preliminary examination
The preliminary examination focussed on the allegations contained in the Referral concerning certain events that occurred in Bolivia in August 2022. In the Referral, it was alleged that during the course of nationwide road blockades held for several days in August 2020, those involved in the blockades deliberately impeded the Bolivian population's access to vital medical supplies and services. In particular, it was alleged that this caused the deaths of over 40 individuals in need of medical oxygen and/or access to hospital care due to Covid-19 and inflicted serious physical and/or mental harm on such persons as well as the rest of Bolivian population more generally. Such conduct was alleged to amount to the crimes against humanity of murder under article 7(1)(a) and other inhumane acts under article 7(1)(k) of the Rome Statute.
Following a thorough and independent assessment of the information available to the Office, on 14 February 2022, the Prosecutor announced the completion of the preliminary examination into the Situation in Bolivia and determination that the criteria set out in the Rome Statute for opening an investigation have not been met.
In particular, the Office concluded that the information available did not provide a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity under article 7 of the Statute have been committed in Bolivia in connection to the August 2020 road blockade campaign. Specifically, the information available did not provide a reasonable basis to believe that the alleged acts of the organisers and participants of the blockades – even if established – would amount to a campaign directed against the civilian population of Bolivia pursuant to or in furtherance of an organisational policy, as to qualify as an 'attack' within the meaning and scope of article 7 of the Statute. Moreover, the Office concluded that the alleged acts attributed to the persons involved the blockades would also not constitute any relevant offences under article 7(1) of the Statute.