Victim of Gangs in Bolivia

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
15 April 2019

We have assisted a Bolivian national who came to the UK as a visitor and was a witness in a criminal case investigated by the Home Office, against a corrupt immigration official. He was also advised to claim asylum by his previous solicitors, and the basis of his asylum case is that if returned to Bolivia his ex-partner’s brother, who is a known criminal will assault him.
The interesting element of this asylum application was that there was a need to demonstrate that he was unable to relocate to another part of Bolivia, where he would be at risk of harm and his particular “social group” for the purpose of the Refugee Convention was fear of criminal gangs. Those who are fleeing criminal activity from gang members or from families, who are criminals have to prove a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of their membership of a particular social group. A general fear is insufficient. We had to demonstrate that he specifically would be targeted and that he will not receive protection in Bolivia. Therefore, we had to obtain a country expert report to be able to demonstrate to the Home Office that the risk amounts to persecution from a third party and the Government would be unable or unwilling to control that criminal activity. We had to demonstrate that persecution emanates from sections of the population that do not respect the standards established by the law of the country concerned.