RESOLUTION N║ 32/82
March 8, 1982
1. In a communication dated April 1981, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights received the following denunciation:
Antonio Solano, born January 27, 1955 in Llallagua, Bolivia, a
metallurgy student at the University of Oruro and member of the
University Federation, was detained in 1977 during the Banzer
Government, and again in 1980 after the coup d'Útat. He has been in
exile in Switzerland since November 22, 1980, when he was forced to
leave his country, Bolivia.
on July 18, 1980 in the university cafeteria of the University of Oruro
by the Armed Forces and the police, along with 250 other students. He
was first taken into detention in a military post in Vinto (Oruro), and
then to the Oruro DOP, where he remained for 45 days and was later
transferred to the Ministry of the Interior in La Paz. During the entire
period of his detention, he was mistreated and was forced to sign false
statements. The interrogations were conducted by agents of the
Intelligence Service. Since he was considered to be a "dangerous
element," he was to be sent to Argentina. The intervention of the
church, CIME and the United Nations prevented Bolivian political
prisoners from being sent to Argentina. He was taken to Viacha, where
CIME officials interviewed him and facilitated his exile to Switzerland.
and ill-treatment: Immediately after his arrest, along with 250 other
students, he was taken to a military post in Vinto (Oruro) where they
all were subjected to a mock burial, being forced to get into a trench
where they were sprayed with tear gas and covered with earth and water.
They were then beaten with sticks and were put through mock shootings.
They were taken to the DOP in Oruro, where prison conditions were very
bad. They were forced to sign statements under duress; there was neither
water nor food. There were between 30 and 40 detainees in cells
measuring 2 x 3 meters. The detainees' families brought them food. Since
there were a number of detainees from the interior of the country, they
had no one to bring food to them. During the 45 days he was in the DOP,
he survived basically on the food that other prisoners shared with him.
His next transfer was to the Ministry of the Interior in La Paz, where
there were a large number of detainees who would later be taken to the
concentration camps in the east of Bolivia (Madidi, San Joaquin, Puerto
Rico, Exiamas). For the first days, they shut him up in a small room and
took him out to interrogate him late at night. During the first stage of
the interrogations, they did not use violence, but when he did not
confess, they beat him until he lost consciousness. He was left for two
days in a dark room without anything to eat or to drink, and was then
taken out to be interrogated again. He was again beaten, and then taken
to a cell which contained all his companions who were in the same
physical condition as himself. In cells measuring 3 x 4 meters, there
were up to 60 people, and no sanitation facilities.
Juan was classified as a "dangerous element" and
together with other detainees, was on the list of deportees. On October
25, they were given safe-conducts to be deported to Argentina as members
of extreme leftist groups. When they were at the airport, they heard the
news that CIME, the church and the United Nations were intervening to
prevent political prisoners from being sent to Argentina, Chile and
Paraguay. They were taken to Vlacha, where CIME officials helped Juan to
leave for Switzerland.
the whole time he was detained, Juan had no meeting with his family and
no opportunity to tell them where he was and in what condition. He had
to leave Bolivia without contacting anyone in his family.
2. In a note dated
May 10, 1981, the Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of the
denunciation to the Bolivian Government, asking it to provide any
information it considered pertinent, as well as any terms of reference
that would make it possible to decide whether remedies under domestic
law had been exhausted in the case in reference.
3. Not having
received a response from the Bolivian Government, the Commission, in a
note dated September 24, 1981, repeated its request for information and
mentioned the possible application of Article 39 of the Regulations on
presumption of the truth of the facts. Despite this, to date the IACHR
has not received a response from the Bolivian Government.
4. The Commission
has received reports confirming the arbitrary detention and illegal acts
to which Mr. Solano was subjected. It has also been able to confirm
that, in fact, on November 22, 1980, he left Bolivia and went to
Switzerland as an exile.
1. Article 39 of
the Commission's Regulations establishes the following:
facts reported in the petition whose pertinent parts have been
transmitted to the government of the state in reference shall be
presumed to be true if, during the maximum period set by the Commission
under the provisions of Article 31, paragraph 5, the government has not
provided the pertinent information, as long as other evidence does not
lead to a different conclusion.
2. To date, the
Bolivian Government has not answered the Commission's request for
information in its notes dated May 10 and September 24, 1981, which
leads to the conclusion that there are no domestic remedies to be
3. The Bolivian
Government's failure to answer the Commission's request for information
implies that there is no reason for holding the hearing for a friendly
settlement provided for in the Commission's Regulations,
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
1. Pursuant to
Article 39 of the Regulations, to presume true the facts denounced in
the communication dated May 10, 1981, concerning the arbitrary detention
and illegal acts to which Mr. Juan Antonio Solano was sujected.
2. To point out to
the Bolivian Government that such acts constitute serious violations of
the right humane treatment (Article 5), and the right to personal
liberty (Article 7), and the right to freedom of movement and residence
(Article 22) of the American Convention on Human Rights.
3. To recommend to
the Bolivian Government: a) that it order a full and impartial
investigation to determine responsibility for the events denounced, b)
that it punish those responsible under Bolivian law, and c) that it if
it has not yet done so, it allow Mr. Juan Antonio Solano to return to
his homeland, and d) that it inform the Commission within 90 days of the
4. To convey this
resolution to the Bolivian Government for the appropriate purposes in
accordance with Article 44 of the Commission's Regulations.
5. If, after the
period established in paragraph 3 of this resolution, the Government of
Bolivia does not make observations, the Commission shall include this
resolution in its Annual Report to the General Assembly in accordance
with Article 59 paragraph (g) of the Commission's Regulations.