No. 7/03





1.          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has placed special emphasis on promoting friendly settlement procedures, which make it possible to resolve individual cases out of court, and on obtaining agreements on compliance with its recommendations.  In various cases, for instance, representatives of the member states and the petitioners, victims, and family members have made efforts leading to concrete progress and results.  The IACHR would like to extend these procedures to other cases and petitions, and thus it is urging member states and petitioners to take steps towards achieving this objective, in the context of respect for the human rights guaranteed by the instruments of the inter-American system.  We will now refer to some of the cases and subjects where important progress has been made in the course of our recent session.




2.          The state and petitioners held working meetings with a view to arriving at a friendly settlement of six individual petitions.  Of particular importance is the final agreement of the friendly settlement process that was signed in Case P 11,807 regarding José Alberto Guadarrama García, in which the parties indicated compliance with the points agreed in October 1998 with the Inter-American Commission.  They included identification of some of the remains of Mr. Guadarrama García; the arrest and trial of various state agents who participated in the kidnapping and murder of the victim, and public recognition of responsibility on the part of the federal government and the government of Morelos State.


          3.          In case P 11,733 regarding Víctor Pineda Henestrosa, a friendly settlement agreement was signed covering the following points:  investigation of the alleged acts and, if appropriate, criminal prosecution of the perpetrators of the acts; and, action to initiate a new expert study, for which purpose the state reported that a large sum had been made available.  As for economic support, the state made a commitment to deliver resources to purchase computer equipment and construction material for a library in honor of Professor Pineda Henestrosa, and to seek alternative solutions for the benefit of the victim’s family, by including them in a social program.  A study of alternative solutions was also pursued, and agreement between the parties reached on specific goals and time periods, in the following cases: P 11,734 – Modesto Patolzin Moicén; P 11,775 – Gregorio Alfonso Alvarado; P 11,822 – Reyes Penagos Martínez et al; and, P 11,824 – Sabino Díaz Osorio and Rodrigo Gómez Zamorano.




          4.          The IACHR held working meetings on friendly settlement with the parties in the following cases in Colombia: 11,022 – Tomás Tunarroza et al; 11,025 – Jhon Wilson Rodríguez et al; 11,026 – Chaparro Nivia et al; and, 12,291 -  Wilson Gutiérrez Soler.  In Case 11,141 – Villatina, Colombia, the parties reported to the IACHR that specific progress had been made in reaching a friendly settlement agreement endorsed by the parties in December 2003.





5.          In Case 11,317 – Rodolfo Robles Espinoza, the State of Peru delivered a friendly settlement agreement signed by the two parties for approval by the Inter-American Commission.  The state of Peru initially acknowledged responsibility for the acts in this case, which occurred in 1993, in a press release presented jointly with the IACHR on February 22, 2001.  In the friendly settlement agreement, Peru reiterated recognition of its international liability for violation of the human rights of General Robles Espinoza, and its commitment to pay compensation to the victim.  At the same time, the state made the commitment to hold a public act of apology at the Peruvian Army Headquarters and a “ceremony of honorable discharge” with military and civilian officials attending. 




6.          During its recent session, the IACHR also adopted a report to follow up on the recommendations in Case 11,725 regarding Carmelo Soria Espinoza.  In that report, the Inter-American Commission acknowledged the Chilean state’s intention to settle the case by carrying out the recommendations contained in Report 133/99, including payment of compensation for the damages incurred and punishment of the perpetrators of the violations committed against  Carmelo Soria Espinoza, who was kidnapped on July 14, 1976, by police officers from the National Department of Intelligence (DINA) and later murdered.




          7.          The state and the petitioners in various cases and petitions in Argentina also held working meetings with the Inter-American Commission in the course of the recent session.  The status of Cases 11,804 – Juan Carlos Greco, 12,080 – Sergio Schiavini, 12,298 - Fernando Giovanelli, and P12.094 – Lhaka Honhat was examined, and ways to move the friendly settlement procedure forward were considered.


          8.          In addition, in the course of recent hearings conducted by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the IACHR was instrumental in advancing a friendly settlement during the merits stage of the Bulacio Case in Argentina.  On March 6, 2003, the Inter-American Court issued a decision in this case, in which it determined that the Argentine State had accepted international liability based on the petition presented by the IACHR and that the parties had “arrived at a basic understanding regarding the acts” in violation of the American Convention, and that reparations would be pursued.



Washington, D.C., March 20,de 2003