RESOLUTION Nš 15/82
March 9, 1982
The following denunciation was made to the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights in a communication dated November 24, 1980:
On the night of Friday, November 21, Felipe Alvarez, the Mayor of San Martin Jilotepeque, in the Department of Chimaltenango, Guatemala, was kidnapped by a group of armed men in two jeeps, who machine-gunned his home, wounding Alvarez and his two children. Alvarez was taken away, and nothing has been heard of him since.
Alvarez was the Mayor of San Martin during the presidency of General
Arana (1970-1974), but the 1974 election was stolen from him by a
massive fraud at the polls. Alvarez was reelected in 1978.
Alvarez is a Christian Democrat and the only Indian mayor of San Martin
since the Spaniards conquered Guatemala in the XVI century. He is a man
who is respected by the entire community and during his term of office,
his relations with the Indians and ladinos were very good and
showed a notable improvement.
2. In a note dated
April 3, 1981, the Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of this
denunciation to the Government of Guatemala, asking it to provide the
2. In a note of
August 10, 1981, the Commission again wrote to the Guatemalan Government
repeating its request for information, and reminding it that unless such
information were forthcoming within the corresponding legal deadline, in
application of Article 39 of the Regulations, the events recounted in
the petition, the pertinent parts of which had been transmitted to it,
would be presumed to be true.
1. To date, the
Government of Guatemala has not responded to the Commission's requests
for information on the present case.
2. It appears from
the Government of Guatemala's failure to reply to the Commission's
request for information that the hearing for friendly settlement called
for in the Commission's Regulations is not in order.
3. Article 39 of
the Regulations of the Commission provides:
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.
4. The Commission
has in its possession some additional points of information that
corroborate the events addressed by the denunciation,
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
1. On the basis of
Article 39 of the Regulations, to presume to be true the acts denounced
in the communication of November 24, 1980, concerning the
machine-gunning of the house of Mr. Felipe Alvarez, Mayor of San Martin
de Jilotepeque, Department of Chimaltenango in Guatemala, and his
subsequent kidnapping and disappearance, to be true.
2. To declare that
the Government of Guatemala violated Articles 5 (right to humane
treatment) and 7 (right to personal liberty) of the American Convention
on Human Rights.
3. To recommend to
the Guatemalan Government that it order an exhaustive investigation of
the events denounced, in order to establish the responsibility of those
persons who are directly or indirectly involved in order that the
corresponding punishment may be given according to the law, and that it
kindly communicate its decision to the Commission within a maximum of 60
4. To communicate
this resolution to the Government of Guatemala and to the claimants.
5. If within the
time limit set in paragraph 3 of this resolution, the Government of
Guatemala has not presented its observations, the Commission shall
include this resolution in its Annual Report to the General Assembly, in
accordance with Article 59, paragraph g of the Regulations of the