CONCLUDES ITS 113TH REGULAR SESSION
On October 17, 2001, the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights (“the Commission” or the “IACHR”) concluded its 113th
regular session. The Commission is composed of Dean Claudio Grossman,
President; Dr. Juan E. Méndez, First Vice-President; and, Ms. Marta
Altolaguirre, Second Vice-President, in addition to the following
members: Dr. Hélio Bicudo; Prof. Robert K. Goldman; Dr. Peter Laurie;
and Dr. Julio Prado Vallejo. Dr. Santiago A. Canton serves as
Executive Secretary of the Commission.
The IACHR would like to express its strong solidarity with the
Government and people of the United States of America in the wake of
the criminal terrorist attack it suffered on September 11, 2001.
There is no doubt that this was an attack against humanity.
With its experience in protecting human rights, the IACHR would
emphasize that there is no valid justification for acts of terrorism.
INTER-AMERICAN DEMOCRATIC CHARTER
The IACHR attaches great value to the adoption of the
Inter-American Democratic Charter by the OAS member states on
September 11, 2001, at the twenty-eighth special session of the
General Assembly of the Organization in Lima, Peru.
The adoption of the Inter-American Democratic Charter is a
significant step towards strengthening the indissoluble link between
democracy and human rights. In
fact, the Preamble of that document states that “the American
Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man and the American
Convention on Human Rights contain the values and principles of
liberty, equality, and social justice that are intrinsic to
democracy.” It goes on
to reaffirm “that the promotion and protection of human rights are a
basic prerequisite for the existence of a democratic society, and [to
recognize] the importance of the continuous development and
strengthening of the inter-American human rights system for the
consolidation of democracy.” Article
7 of the Charter states that “democracy is indispensable for the
effective exercise of fundamental freedoms and human rights” and
Article 8 refers to the intention of OAS member states “to
strengthen the inter-American system for the protection of human
rights for the consolidation of democracy in the Hemisphere.”
Failure to comply with the decisions of the Inter-American
Court of Human Rights and the IACHR will certainly be an important
consideration in determining, in specific cases, whether the
democratic order has been seriously impaired and whether democracy is
at risk, situations which would activate the mechanisms established in
the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
The Commission devoted a large part of its meetings to
consideration of its Annual Report for this year, to be presented to
the OAS General Assembly in Barbados in June 2002.
The organization and content of the different chapters
comprising the report were approved.
PETITIONS AND INDIVIDUAL CASES
The Commission continued to review numerous individual
communications alleging violations of human rights protected by the
American Convention and/or the American Declaration, and adopted a
total of 60 reports pertaining to these individual petitions and
cases. The 48 reports in
which the IACHR’s decision is a public one are listed below:
Segundo Wenceslao Segura, P0344/97 - Report/01, Argentina
Wilma Rosa Posadas, P0015/00 – Report 122/01, Argentina
Alberto Dahik Garzozi, P12.259 - Report 93/01, Ecuador
Juan Fernando Cabrera Guerrero, P12.299 – Report 94/01,
Liliana Zambrano Pacheco, P12.203 – Report 95/01, Peru
José Alberto Pérez Meza, P0019/99 – Report 96/01, Paraguay
Atanasio Franco Cano, P0122/01 – Report 120/01, Paraguay
reports declaring the admissibility of petitions refer primarily to
compliance with the formal requirements pertaining to the
admissibility of the complaint, and should not be construed as a
prejudgment regarding the truth of the events of the case or as a
decision by the Commission on its merits.
Juan Angel Greco, Case 11.804 – Report 72/01, Argentina
MZ, Case 12.350 – Report 73/01, Bolivia
Humberto Palamara Iribarne, Case 11.571 – Report 77/01, Chile
Giacommo Turra, Case 11.662 – Report 74/01, Colombia
El Aro, Ituango, Case 12.266 – Report 75/01, Colombia
Wilson Gutiérrez Soler, Case 12.291 – Report 76/01, Colombia
Rigoberto Acosta Calderón, Case 11.620 – Report 78/01,
Marco Antonio Molina Theissen, Case 12.101 – Report 79/01,
Franz Britton a.k.a. Collie Wills, Case 12.264 – Report
Alfonso Martín del Campo Dodd, Case 12.228 – Report 81/01,
Zoilamérica Narváez Murillo, Case 12.230 – Report 118/01,
Aníbal Miranda, Case 12.000 – Report 82/01, Paraguay
Zulema Tarazona Arriate et
al, Case 11.581 – Report 83/01, Peru
Ricardo Manuel Semoza Di Carlo, Case 12.078 – Report 84/01,
Workers, Municipality of Lima, Case 12.084 – Report 85/01,
Maritime and Port Workers, Case 12.319 – Report 86/01, Peru
Radyo Koulibwi, Case 11.870 – Report 87/01, Saint Lucia
Winston Caesar, Case 12.147 – Report 88/01, Trinidad and
Balkissoon Roodal, Case 12.342 – Report 89/01, Trinidad and
Tomás Eduardo Cirio, Case 11.500 – Report 119/01, Uruguay
Oscar José Blanco Romero, Case 12.256 – Report 90/01,
Roberto Javier Hernández Paz, Case 12.258 – Report 91/01,
José Francisco Rivas Hernández, Case 12.307 – Report 92/01,
María Merciadri de Morini, Case 11.307 – Report 103/01,
Rodrigo Muñoz Arcos et
al, Case 11.441 – Report 104/01, Ecuador
Washington Ayora, Case 11.443 – Report 105/01, Ecuador
Marco Vinicio Almeida Calispa, Case 11.450 – Report 106/01,
Angel Reinerio Vega Jiménez, Case 11.542 – Report 107/01,
Wilberto Manuel Mansano, Case 11.574 – Report 108/01, Ecuador
Vidal Segura Hurtado, Case 11.632 – Report 109/01, Ecuador
Pompeyo Andrade Benítez, Case 12.007 – Report 110/01,
Milton García Fajardo, Case 11.381 - Report 100/01, Nicaragua
Extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances, Case 10.247
and 24 other cases– Report 101/01, Peru
Pursuant to Articles 48(1)(b) of the American Convention and
35(c) of its Regulations, the IACHR reviewed various case files and
decided to close the files pertaining to the following petitions:
10.927, Isaac Bustos Bermúdez, Ecuador
11.454, Luzmila Coral Manya, Ecuador
11.464, Alberto Augusto Zalles Cueto, Ecuador
12.120, Foro Democrático, Peru
12.039, Mario Pedro, Trinidad and Tobago
10.740, Joseph Fitzpatrick, Trinidad and Tobago
11.629, Angela Thompson, United States
12.340, John Paul Penry, United States
SIGNATURE AND RATIFICATION OF INTER-AMERICAN INSTRUMENTS
Since the 110th regular session, Mexico has signed
the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons on
May 4, 2001.
On June 5, 2001, Chile signed the Additional Protocol to the
American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social,
and Cultural Rights, the “Protocol of San Salvador.”
It also signed the Protocol to the American Convention on Human
Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty on September 10, 2001.
It should also be noted that the following states ratified the
Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities: Brazil, on August
15, 2001; Peru, on August 30, 2001; and, Uruguay on July 20, 2001.
The Commission would highlight these advances and urge all
member states that have not yet done so to ratify the American
Convention on Human Rights and other instruments, with a view to
reinforcing the legal protection for the fundamental rights of the
inhabitants of this Hemisphere.
OMBUDSMAN FOR PARAGUAY
On October 11, 2001, the Paraguayan Chamber of Deputies elected
Manuel María Páez Monges as the Ombudsman and Héctor Raúl Marín
Peralta as the Deputy Ombudsman. The Commission would like to point out the importance of this
decision on the part of the Paraguayan legislature, since the position
of ombudsman was instituted by the National Constitution of that
country in 1992, but has remained vacant every since.
On various occasions, the Commission has voiced its concern
over the delay in designating an ombudsman, such as in a report
published in Chapter IV of the IACHR Annual Report for 1999, and in
the “Third Report on the Status of Human Rights in Paraguay,"
published in March 2001.
The Commission regards this appointment as a move towards
consolidating democratic institutions in Paraguay and is fully
prepared to give its cooperation to the ombudsman as he performs his
The IACHR pursued its consideration of the details related to
invitations received to visit Colombia in early December of this year. It also looked into the possibility of moving forward on
pending invitations to make observation visits to other OAS member
MEETINGS AND HEARINGS
In the course of its regular session, the IACHR met with the
Secretary-General of the OAS, Dr. César Gaviria.
In so doing, it followed the practice of recent years to engage
in a frank dialogue with the General Secretariat.
There was complete agreement on the need to strengthen the
administrative independence of the IACHR and to prevent any
interference in its delicate functions as the primary organ of the OAS
working for the protection of human rights.
In addition, on October 17, 2000, the Commission held a meeting
with representatives of the Pan American Health Organization.
They took that opportunity to discuss matters related to the
status of the human rights of mentally disabled persons in the
The hearings to be held in conjunction with the 113th
regular session at the headquarters of the IACHR will take place
November 12-16, 2001.
D.C., October 18, 2001