REPORT OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION
REPORT N° 89/90
HAVING SEEN the background information on this case, as
The petition received by the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights on November 22, 1989, the pertinent parts of which are transcribed
This is to inform you of the arrest and disappearance of
the following Peruvian citizens: Hugo
Bilbao Valenzuela (26 years of age), Flavio Bilbao Valenzuela (22), Wilfredo
Cuellar Chavez (22), Gregorio Canales Nalvarte (40), Reynaldo Laura Huarcaya,
and Hilario Piņarez. The
following information may be found in the habeas corpus petitions and the
appeals to the proper prosecutors as well as in the briefs addressed to the
Political-Military Chief of Ayacucho and the Military Chief of Huanta,
all dated November 22, 1989, signed by the Departmental Confederation of
Huancavelica chaired by Luis Pacheco Amorin:
1. On November 17,
1989, at 8:00 a.m. in the District of Julcamarca, Province of Angaraes,
Department of Huancavelica, uniformed army personnel arrested Professors
Flavio Bilbao Valenzuela and Hugo Bilbao Valenzuela, in the presence of their
mother, Mrs. Bertha Valenzuela de Bilbao and other witnesses, and took them to
the garrison at Jilcamarca.
2. That day, the
guards at the garrison denied to Mrs. Bertha Valenzuela de Bilbao that her
children were there, and when she tried to travel to Huamanga to let her
family know, she was prevented from doing so by army personnel.
3. Also, according to
several witnesses, the army arrested Professors Wilfredo Cuellar Chavez,
Gregorio Canales N. (Jesus of
Nazareth National College), Reynaldo Laura H., (Director of the Julcamarca
Educational Services Unit), and Hilario Piņarez, (a paramedic at the medical
facility in that area) when they were going to work.
4. Many persons who
witnessed their arrests said that the detainees were all taken to the garrison
5. Despite the many
days gone by, the above-mentioned remain under arrest and/or missing.
The Commission, in a note of November 29, 1989, initiated processing of
the case and requested the Government of Peru to furnish pertinent information
on the incidents referred to in the note, in addition to any other relevant
factors that would make it possible to ascertain whether in this case all
remedies under domestic law had been exhausted.
A period of 90 days was given to reply to the request.
On March 7, 1990, the Commission repeated its request for information
from the Government of Peru, noting that if such information was not received
within a period of 30 days, the Commission would consider possible application
of Article 42 of the Regulations, which provides that the facts reported in
the petition shall be presumed to be true as long as the government in
question has not provided the information requested within the period of time
indicated by the Commission.
The Commission repeated its request for information from the Government
of Peru on April 12, 1990, regarding the disappearance of Hugo Bilbao
Valenzuela, Flavio Bilbao Valenzuela, Wilfredo Cuellar Chavez, Gregorio
Canales Nalvarte, Reynaldo Laura Huarcaya, and Hilario Piņarez, basing its
request on the provisions of Article 42 of the Regulations.
The Commission is competent to consider the present case inasmuch as it
deals with violations of the rights recognized in Article 4 of the
Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, regarding the right to life,
and Article 7, regarding the right to personal liberty, as provided for in
Article 44 of the Convention, of which Peru is a State Party.
The petition fulfills the formal requirements for admissibility
contained in the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights and in the
Regulations of the Commission.
In the present case it is evident that the petitioner has not been able
to secure effective protection from jurisdictional organizations, and
therefore the requirements of exhaustion of remedies under domestic law
provided for in Article 46 of the Convention are not applicable.
The petition is not pending any other international settlement
procedures nor is it a reproduction of a previous petition already examined by
In spite of the time elapsed and the reiterated procedures undertaken
by the Commission, the Government of Peru has not provided a reply concerning
the facts involved in the present case.
By virtue of the fact that the Government of Peru has failed to reply
it has failed to fulfill its international obligation to provide information
to the Commission within a reasonable period of time, as established in
Article 48 of the Convention.
The Commission has repeatedly expressed, in various documents, its
clear-cut rejection of the serious phenomenon of forced disappearance of
persons in its reports on the situation of human rights, as follows:
...this procedure is cruel and inhuman, and disappearance not only
constitutes an arbitrary privation of freedom but also a very serious grave
danger for the personal integrity, safety and life of the victim.
The General Assembly of the OAS, in various resolutions, has stressed
the need for countries in which forced disappearances have taken place to put
an end to this practice, and it has urged governments to carry out whatever
efforts are required to ascertain the situation of such persons.
Furthermore, at the proposal of the Commission, the General Assembly of
the OAS has declared that the forced disappearance of persons in the Americas
constitutes a crime against humanity.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in its Judgment of July
29, 1988, in the Velasquez Rodriguez case, declared the following:
The practice of abductions, besides directly violating numerous
Articles of the Convention (...) entails a radical breech of that treaty,
inasmuch as it signals a crass abandonment of the values of human dignity and
the principles that lie at the heart of the Inter-American system and
the Convention itself.
Article 42 of the Regulations of the Commission provides as follows:
The 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 34 paragraph 5, the Government has not provided the
pertinent information, as long as other evidence does not lead to a different
11. Since the friendly settlement procedure is inapplicable (Article 48 (1) (f) of the Convention) because of the very nature of the actions complained of and the absence of a reply from the Government, the Commission must comply with Article 50 (1) of the American Convention and issue its findings and recommendations on the application before it.
THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
To presume true of the events reported in the communication of November
22, 1989, concerning the arrest and subsequent disappearance of Hugo Bilbao
Valenzuela, Flavio Bilbao Valenzuela, Wilfredo Cuellar Chavez, Gregorio
Canales Nalvarte, Reynlado Laura Huarcaya, and Hilario Piņares on November
17, 1989, at 8:00 a.m. in the District of Julcamarca, Province of Angaraes,
Department of Huancavelica.
To declare that the Government of Peru has not complied with its
obligation to respect the human rights and guarantees mentioned in Article 1
of the American Convention on Human Rights.
To declare that such actions are violations of the right to life and
the right to freedom enshrined in Articles 4 and 7 of the Convention.
To make the following recommendations to the Government of Peru
(Article 50 (3) of the Convention and Article 47 of the Regulations of the
it conduct a full, swift, and impartial investigation of the events complained
of, with a view to identifying the persons responsible for them and bringing
them to justice, in order that they may be appropriately punished for such
it take the necessary steps to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
it repair the consequences of the above-mentioned breech of rights and
pay a fair compensation to the injured parties.
To convey this report to the Government of Peru, so that the latter
may, within three months of the date of transmittal, inform the Commission
about the steps taken to settle the matter.
In line with Article 50 of the Convention, the Government is not
authorized to publish this report.
If the Government does not settle the matter within the period of three
months, the Commission may set forth its opinion and conclusions in accordance
with Article 51.1 of the Convention and may include this report in its annual
report to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, as
provided for in Article 63 (g) of the Regulations of the Commission.
Annual Report 1978, 1980-1981, 1982-1983, 1985-1986, 1986-1987.
Res. 443 (IX-O/79), 510 (X-)/80), 543 (XI-O/81), 618 (XII-O/82), 666
(XIII-O/83), and 742 (XIV-O/84).
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Velasquez Rodriguez case, Judgment of
July 29, 1988, Series C, No. 4, paragraph 158.