During the period covered by the Annual Report, the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights filed the following cases:
Case Nº 7571 Aideé León (Colombia)
Case Nº 10.320 Marco Tulio Carvajal Lozano (Colombia)
Case Nº 10.490 Santiago Montoya Gil (Colombia)
Case Nº 10.530 Edgar Padilla (Colombia)
Nº 10.572 Antonio Manuel Hernández Correa (Colombia)
Case Nº 11.170 Víctor Saloj y otros (Guatemala)
Nº 11.551 César Ovidio Sánchez Aguilar (Guatemala)
Case Nº 8040 José
Santos Pérez García (Perú)
Case Nº 10.219 Angelica Mendoza de Ascarza (Perú)
Case Nº 10.536 Avelina Monzón Ortíz y otros (Perú)
Case Nº 10.540 Elisa Allcca Lima (Perú)
Nº 10.541 Víctor y Juan Hugo Lavado Olivera (Perú)
Case Nº 10.546 Esteban Armas Cueva y Máximo Fernandez Armas (Perú)
Nº 10.811 Bernardina Salazar Rojas (Perú)
Case Nº 10.812 Deonato Ramírez Haihuire (Perú)
Case Nº 10.814 Modesto Ventura Pichardo (Perú)
Case Nº 11.203 Johnny Tejada Pérez (República Dominicana)
Nº 11.635 Josefina Juan Pichardo (República Dominicana)
Case Nº 11.644 Juan Bolívar Díaz y otros (República Dominicana)
PETITIONS AND CASES BEFORE THE INTER-AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
In connection with the provisional measures ordered in the case of
Caballero Delgado and Santana, see Part 5, Cases Before the Court.
On September 20, 1994, the Commission requested the Government of
Colombia to adopt precautionary measures in behalf of Yanette Bautista and
Gloria Herney Galindez, President and Secretary General of the Association of
Families and Members of Detained and Disappeared Persons of Colombia (ASFADDES).
The reason was that in May, 1992, a senior official of the Army of
Colombia described this organization as a group that was sympathetic with the
guerrilla movement. Since then,
the members of the organization have been experiencing systematic persecutions
against them, including surveillance, threatening telephone calls and visits
by unknown persons to the offices of the organization.
On February 11, 1997, the Commission received additional information
indicating that this dangerous situation for the employee members of ASFADDES
was growing worse. On February
25, 1997, the Commission reiterated its request for precautionary measures for
Yanette Bautista and requested that the same measures be taken for Evidalia
On June 24, 1997, a bomb exploded at the Medellin offices of ASFADDES.
On July 7, 1997, the Commission requested the Court to take provisional
measures in behalf of 17 persons who belonged to that organization.
On July 22, 1997, the President of the Court adopted urgent measures to
have the State of Colombia protect the persons mentioned and to assure that
those who worked for ASFADDES could perform their work without risk to their
life and personal integrity. The
President extended the measures to another person on August 14, 1997.
The Court conducted a hearing about the measures on November 8, 1997.
The Court ratified the provisional measures adopted by the President on
November 11 of that same year. The
Court later extended the provisional measures to one more person.
On November 22, 1995, the Commission requested that precautionary
measures be taken in behalf of Alirio Felix, Josue Giraldo, Teresa Mosquera,
Islena Rey Rodriguez, Sister Noemi Palencia, Monsignor Alfonso Cabezas and
Gonzalo Zarate, all members of the Civic Human Rights Committee of Meta.
That committee was formed in 1991 and since that time its members have
been subject to constant threats, attacks and have even the victims of summary
executions. Some of the persons
protected by the requested measures continue being threatened with death and
persecution by unknown individuals. On
October 13, 1996, Mr. Josue Giraldo, one of the persons protected by the
Commission's precautionary measures, was murdered. On October 18, 1996, the Commission requested the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights to take provisional measures in behalf of
Mariela de Giraldo, Sara and Natalia Giraldo, Sister Noemi Palencia, Gonzalo
Zarate and Islena Rodriguez. In
addition, the Commission opened the case as No.11690.
On October 29, 1996, the President of the Court adopted the provisional
measures requested in this case. The
Court ratified the provisional measures adopted by the President on February
In the Giraldo Cardona case, the Court held a public hearing on April
12, 1997, at its headquarters to take up the provisional measures that it
adopted with respect to Colombia at the request of the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights.
In connection with the provisional measures ordered in the Blake case,
see Part 5, Cases Before the Court.
May 15, 1997, the Commission addressed the Honorable Court to request
expansion of the precautionary measures in effect for the case of Juan Chanay
Pablo and others (Case 11212, known as Colotenango).
Although the case itself was the subject of friendly settlement (see
Report 19/97, published in the IACHR Annual Report for 1996, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.95,
Doc. 7 rev., of March 14, 1997), the measures requested for the first time by
the Court on June 22, 1994, to protect the life and physical integrity of 12
persons involved in the domestic judicial proceedings remain in effect, and
were extended by an order dated April 16, 1997.
The reason for this was persistent threats and attacks.
The request to extend the measures to cover another 7 persons was based
on charges of new threats against the persons summoned to provide testimony in
the court proceedings and on a machete attack in which one person already
protected by the precautionary measures was injured.
The Court resolved through an order dated September 19, 1997, to expand
the measures to protect the life and personal integrity of a total of 19
persons. The representative of
the Commission in this and in the following cases is member Claudio Grossman,
assisted by the Attorney of the Secretariat, Elizabeth Abi-Mershed.
June 3, 1997, the Commission informed the Court that in its opinion the
precautionary measures issued by the Court on June 28, 1996, to protect the
life and physical integrity of 15 family members and witnesses in the case of
pastors Serech and Saquic, pending before the Commission (Case 11570), could
be lifted. The Commission stated
that after speaking with the persons affected, the petitioners had reported
that the situation no longer required the application of urgent measures.
The Commission also indicated that it would naturally follow the
situation closely and would seek the application of these measures once again
if it became necessary. The Court
decided to lift the precautionary measures in an order issued September 19,
an order dated September 19, 1997, the Honorable Court extended the
precautionary measures applied in the case of Jorge Carpio Nicolle, pending
before the Commission. In 1997
the Commission and the State continued reporting periodically on the
precautionary measures taken first by the full Court by a resolution dated
September 19, 1995.
October 27, 1997, the Commission reported to the Court that in its opinion,
the precautionary measures ordered by the Court on June 27, 1996, to protect
the life and physical integrity of Fr. Daniel Joseph Vogt, the person involved
in Case 11497 before the Commission, could be lifted. After consulting with Fr. Vogt, the petitioners reported that
the situation no longer required the application of urgent measures.
The Commission observed that it will continue watching over the
situation closely and will seek to apply these measures once again if
circumstances warrant it. The Court decided to remove the precautionary measures by an
order dated November 11, 1997.
February 5, 1998, the Commission requested the Court to order the State of
Guatemala to take precautionary measures to protect the life and physical
integrity of the Vasquez family, including Oscar Humberto Vasquez, Raquel de
Jesus Solorzano, Thelma Judith de Vasquez, Marvin Vasquez and Lydia de
Vasquez. On January 24, 1998,
Oscar Humberto Vasquez, the son of Oscar Vasquez (the victim in the Paniagua
Morales and others case, "the white panel truck case"), who was to
give testimony to the Inter-American Court in a hearing on the merits of the
case, was kidnapped and beaten violently by three unknown persons.
The members of the Vasquez family had been the targets of earlier
incidents of surveillance, threats and hostility before and after the murder
of Oscar Vasquez in 1994. This
led the Commission to request the precautionary measures in behalf of the
family on December 13, 1994.
On July 17, 1997, during the processing of Case 11730, since the
precautionary measures requested by the Commission of the Government of Peru
had not proven effective, the Commission requested the Court to order
provisional measures to secure the release of Mr. Gustavo Cesti.
On July 31, 1997, the IACHR received a response from the Court
informing it that it had requested the State of Peru to take without delay
whatever measures were necessary to assure the physical, mental and moral
integrity of Mr. Cesti. On
September 8, 1997, the Court held a hearing on the provisional measures
requested. On September 11, 1997,
the Court decided to issue precautionary measures in connection with the care
of the life and the physical, mental and moral integrity of Mr. Cesti by
requesting the State of Peru to report every three months on the measures that
had been adopted.
On January 9, 1998, in addition to the demand in the case of Mr.
Gustavo Cesti, the Commission requested for a second time that the Court take
provisional measures to secure his release.
On January 21, 1998, the Court adopted a resolution which maintained
the provisional measures adopted on September 11, 1997, "to assure the
personal integrity" of Mr. Cesti and which requested the State of Peru
"to permit Mr. Cesti Hurtado to receive whatever medical care he
chose" and to continue "informing (the Court) every two months on
whatever measures had been taken to carry out this resolution."
The Court requested the IACHR to remit its observations on that
information to the Court within six weeks.
In the case of Garrido and Baigorria which refers to events that
occurred on April 28, 1990, when Adolfo Garrido and Raul Baigorria were
detained by the Mendoza provincial police, in the Republic of Argentina, and
have been missing since that date, the Court studied the possibility of
approving a proposed friendly settlement on the reparations in this case
during its 35th regular session that started on January 27.
However, on January 31, 1997, the Court issued a resolution in which it
considered that the proposal presented did not meet the necessary requirements
to be considered a friendly decision. Consequently,
it opened the proceedings on reparations and indemnities.
During its 35th regular session from January 27 to February 7, 1997,
the Court handed down a decision on reparations and costs in respect of what
had been settled by a judgment dated December 8, 1995, in the case of
Caballero Delgado and Santana, interposed by the Commission for the events
that occurred on February 6, 1989, in the locale of Guaduas, in the municipal
district of San Alberto, the department of Cesar, Republic of Colombia.
These events resulted in the illegal and arbitrary detention and later
disappearance of Isidro Caballero Delgado and Maria del Carmen Santana.
In its judgment on reparations, the Court decided that the Government
of Colombia was obligated to pay an indemnity to the family members of victims
and that the form and the amount of that indemnity would be set by the Court.
During the same 35th regular session between January and February,
1997, since it was in a stage of complying with provisional measures, the
Court studied the several reports presented by the governments regarding which
it has adopted provisional measures and the observations that the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has presented to these reports.
It decided to lift the provisional measures adopted with respect to
Nicaragua in the case of Aleman Lacayo and with respect to Colombia, in the
case of Callabero Delgado and Santana.
The Commission had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the
Colombian government to examine the decision of the Inter-American Court of
Human Rights to lift the provisional measures when it handed down its final
judgment on the case of Caballero Delgado and Santana.
Its decision raised some concerns because of the dangerous situation of
several persons as a result of the domestic investigations and tasks that were
performed in this case. As a
result of the hearing, the Government of Colombia decided to request the Court
to reestablish the provisional measures which it in effect requested in a
letter to the Court dated March 11, 1997.
This constitutes an important precedent that is worthy of following in
similar circumstances in the future.
During its 36th regular session, on April 12, 1997, the Court held a
public hearing to take up the allegations of the parties interested in the
request for consultative opinion OC-15. That
request, presented by the Government of Chile, refers to the powers of the
Commission regarding the reports included in Articles 50 and 51 of the
American Convention on Human Rights.
On April 19, 1997, the Inter-American Court held a public hearing in
connection with the Suarez Rosero case to listen to the testimony of Margarita
Ramadan de Suarez, Carlos Ramadan, Carmen Aguirre and Rafael Ivan Suarez
Rosero, and the opinion of the expert, Ernesto Alban Gomez, all of them for
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
In addition, the Court heard the final verbal charges which were
presented both by the Commission and by the State of Ecuador.
This case relates to events that occurred starting on June 23, 1992,
when agents of the State of Ecuador arrested Mr. Rafael Ivan Suarez Rosero in
a presumably arbitrary and illegal manner and held him incommunicado for 36
days, thereby denying his right to effective court remedies, and violating his
right to judicial guarantees of due process.
The case of Ivan Suarez Rosero was filed with the Court to determine
what the Commission called an arrest and arbitrary and illegal detention of
the victim, including the 36 days in which he was held incommunicado, the
absence of any effective response to judicial guarantees requested, and the
fact that the state did not bring him quickly before a judge or try him within
a reasonable time or free him while the case was being prepared.
Mr. Suarez was held under preventive detention for almost four hours,
as was accused of crimes for which the law does not authorize such detention
since the maximum punishment for these crimes is two years of jail.
The representative of the Commission in the case is the member Oscar
Lujan Fappiano, assisted by the Attorney of the Secretariat, Elizabeth
Abi-Mershed. On April 19, 1997,
the Inter-American Court convened the parties to a hearing on the merits of
the case. On this occasion, the
Commission presented the testimony of four witnesses and one expert.
In a judgment dated November 12, 1997, the Honorable Court found
unanimously that the State of Ecuador was responsible for violation of Article
7, 8, 5 and 25 of the American Convention, as well as its Article 1.1.
In addition, the Court proved that the provisions of the Ecuadoran
Penal Code, which deny persons accused of crimes associated with narcotics
legal protection that allows for provisional freedom in the case of lengthy
delay in the preparation of the case and the judgment, violate Article 2.
The Court ordered that the state was to undertake an investigation to
identify the persons responsible for the violations and to apply the pertinent
sanctions, and that it would open indemnity proceedings.
During its 35th regular session held between January 27 and February
17, 1997, the Court studied the procedural actions relating to the Bamaca
Velasquez case. This related to
the cases that occurred starting on March 12, 1992, when persons who were
presumably members of the armed forces of Guatemala captured Mr. Efrain Bamaca
Velasquez after an armed confrontation, and kept him alive in several military
installations were Mr. Bamaca was tortured and later murdered by members of
the armed forces of Guatemala. On
April 16, 1997, because the Government of Guatemala withdrew a preliminary
exception that it had filed, the Court decided to take that exception as
having been withdrawn and to continue its processing of the case with respect
to a finding of basic issue.
On April 17 and 18, 1997, during its 36th regular session, the Court
dealt with the Blake case which pertained to the events that occurred as from
March 28, 1985, when agents of the State of Guatemala presumably kidnapped in
an arbitrary and illegal manner Messrs. Nicholas Chapman Blake and Griffith
Davis, leading later on to their forced disappearance.
The Court heard in a public hearing testimony provided by the following
persons: Richard R. Blake Jr.,
Samuel Blake, James Elleson, Coronel George Hooker, Justo Victoriano Martinez,
Ricardo Roberto, Thomas Strook, James Michael and Felipe Alva, all of whom
were offered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as witnesses in
the aforementioned Blake case. In
addition, the Court heard the final verbal allegations in this case which were
presented both by the Commission and by the Government of Guatemala.
During its 37th regular session held in September 1997, the Court
considered the possibility of handing down a judgment on preliminary
exceptions requested by the Government of Guatemala in the case of Villagran
Morales and others. This case was
motivated by the demands of the Commission regarding the murder of Anstraum
Villagran Morales and the kidnapping, torture and murder of Henry Giovanni
Contreras, Federico Clemente Figueroa Tunchez, Julio Roberto Caal Sandoval and
Jovito Josue Juarez Cifuentes.
Also in September of 1997, on September 22, 23 and 24, the Court held
public hearings for the purpose of hearing the statements of a number of
witnesses in the case of Paniagua Morales and others, also known as the White
Panel Truck Case, because a vehicle of this type was used as part of the modus
operandi in the events that occurred in 1987 and 1988 when several
civilians were kidnapped and murdered by agents of the Treasury Guard.
The following persons offered testimony:
Sonia Aracely del Cid Hernandez, Maria Elizabeth Chinchilla, Maria
Idelfonsa Morales de Paniagua, Alberto Antonio Paniagua, Jean-Marie Simon,
Raquel de Jesus Solorzano, Marvin Vasquez, Blanca Lidia Zamora de Paniagua,
Julio Enrique Caballeros Seigne, Carlos Odilio Estrada Gil and Felicito Oliva
Arias, all of whom had been proposed by the Commission.
The Court also listened to the statements of witnesses Napoleon
Gutierrez Vargas, Alberto Herrarte Gonzalez, Arturo Martinez Galvez and Mario
Guillermo Ruiz Wong, proposed by the State of Guatemala, and the opinion of
the experts, Ken Anderson, Phil Heyman, Robert H. Kirschner, Roberto Arturo
Lemus, Anne Manuel and Christian Tomuschat, all of whom had been offered by
Also presented to the Court was the case Ana Elizabeth Paniagua Morales
("the White Panel Truck Case") to determine what the Inter-American
Court concluded were acts of arbitrary and illegal detention, inhuman
treatment, torture and murder of 11 victims at the hands of agents of the
State of Guatemala from June of 1987 to February of 1988, and the later lack
of investigation, trials, punishment and reparation by the state for these
violations. The representative of
the Commission in this case is member Claudio Grossman, assisted by the
Attorney of the Secretariat, Elizabeth Abi-Mershed.
The Honorable Court convened the parties to a hearing on the merits of
the case from September 22 to 24, 1997. In
this hearing, the Commission presented the testimony of seven witnesses and
three experts, and took statements from three witnesses who had been requested
to make presentations to the state. The
state presented the testimony of three experts.
The parties then presented their final arguments.
On November 3, 1997, the Court convened another hearing to take the
declaration of a witness offered by the state.
The parties presented their final arguments in writing in January of
1998 and a ruling is expected in March of 1998.
The case of Anstraum Villagran and others (known as the "San
Nicolas Woods case") was presented to determine what the Commission found
were acts of kidnapping, torture and murder of four victims and the murder of
a fifth victim committed by agents of the state in 1990 and the absence of any
response from the State of Guatemala to these violations with the due speed
required by the Convention. The
five victims, all young homeless people, included three minors.
In the presentation of preliminary exceptions, the state argued that
since the crimes were the subject of court proceedings, any examination by the
Court would constitute a "fourth appeal" which was proscribed. On September 11, 1997, the Honorable Court handed down its
opinion in which it dismissed the preliminary exceptions interposed by the
state and decided to continue examining the merits of the case.
The representative of the Commission in the case is member Claudio
Grossman, assisted by the Attorney for the Secretariat, Elizabeth Abi-Mershed.
On January 16, 1998, the Commission submitted case 11325 to the Court.
This demand relates to events that occurred starting on December 14,
1990, when Law No.25 was adopted. Under
this law, hundreds of public sector employees were arbitrarily dismissed from
their jobs because they had participated in a demonstration for labor claims.
These persons were accused of complicity in a military mob and later
on, when they were arbitrarily dismissed, they were denied the guarantees of
due process in their claims under domestic law.
The case includes 270 persons.
The Castillo Paez case, arising from events that occurred on October
21, 1990, involved Mr. Ernesto Castillo Paez who was arrested by agents of the
National Police Force of Peru. Since
that time, he has been missing. On
February 6 and 7, 1997, during its 35th regular session, the Court held public
hearings and heard the following witnesses:
Maria Elena Castro Osoria, Joe Roberto Ruiz Huapaya, Cronwell Pierre
Castillo, Elba Minaya Calle, Augusto Zuniga Paz and the expert, Enrique
Ballesteros. The Court also heard
the charges regarding the evidence received which was submitted by both the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Government of the Republic
On July 29, 1997, the President of the Court, at the request of the
Commission, decided to request the Peruvian government to adopt without delay
as many measures as were necessary to ensure the physical, mental and moral
integrity of Mr. Gustavo Cesti Hurtado. The
purpose was to have the provisional measures that the Court might be able to
take to have their appropriate effects. On
September 8, 1997, a public hearing was held in the Court for the purpose of
hearing the charges made by the State of Peru and the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights regarding the provisional measures requested by the
latter in the case of Mr. Gustavo Cesti Hurtado, in process before the
During its 37th regular session in September 1997, the Court
deliberated and studied the possibility of handing down a judgment in the case
of Loayza Tamayo, which arose from events that occurred in Peru starting on
February 6, 1993. Mrs. Maria
Elena Loayza Tamayo was presumably deprived of her freedom illegally, tortured
and treated in a cruel, inhuman and degrading manner.
She was also deprived of her judicial guarantees and subjected to
double jeopardy on the basis of the same events.
In this case, the Commission has requested the Court to order the state
to conduct the necessary investigations to identify, try and punish those
responsible, to locate and deliver her remains to her family members and to
make full, material and moral reparation to the family members of the victim
for all losses suffered.
During its 37th regular session held in September 1997, the Court
deliberated and the studied the possibility on issuing a judgment in the
Castillo Paez case. This case
arose from the demand presented by the Commission in connection with events
that occurred on October 21, 1990, when Mr. Ernesto Castillo Paez was detained
by agents of the National Police Force of Peru.
Since that time, he has been missing.
In its session of September 1997, the Court took up the case of
Castillo Petruzzi and others, filed by the Commission on June 27, 1997 against
the Republic of Peru, for the trial by an illegal court of the Peruvian state.
That court sentenced Chilean citizens Jaime Francisco Castillo Petruzzi,
Maria Concepcion Pincheira Saez, Lautaro Enrique Mellado Saavedra and
Alejandro Astorga Valdes to life imprisonment for the crime of treason.
In this case the Commission requested the Court to nullify the trials
held in the military court for these persons, to repay and indemnify for
losses suffered and to pay for the costs and fees of this case and the
procedures in the internal court.
On January 29, 1997, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights handed
down a sentence on the Jean Paul Genie v. Republic of Nicaragua case.
The demand of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was based
on events that started on July 23, 1991, the date on which the denial of
justice--caused by agents of the Nicaraguan state--began in connection with
the death of Jean Paul Genie Lacayo which took place in the city of Managua,
Nicaragua, on October 28, 1990. Those
events gave rise to case No.10792. The
Court's judgment ordered the following:
threw out the preliminary exception on non-exhaustion of remedies under
domestic law filed by the State of Nicaragua.
decided that the State of Nicaragua had violated, to the detriment of Raymond
Genie Penalba, Article 8.1 of the Convention, in connection with Article 1.1
of that same Convention.
decided that the State of Nicaragua had not violated Articles 2, 25, 24, and
51.2 of the Convention.
set US$ 20,000 (twenty thousand United States dollars) or its equivalent in
cordobas, as of the payment date, as the amount that the State of Nicaragua is
to pay within six months following the date of this judgment and without
deduction of any taxes, as fair compensation to Mr. Raymond Genie Penalba.
This payment shall be made in the form and on the conditions set out in
paragraph 95 of the judgment.
On April 30, 1997, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
presented a written statement to the Court in which it took up a letter from
the father of Jean Paul Genie, Mr. Raymond Genie Penalba, and from the
Permanent Commission on Human Rights of Nicaragua (CPHD) which contained a
request for review of the judgment handed down on January 29, 1997, by the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights in this case.
In a resolution dated September 13, 1997, the Court decided that the
appeal for revision filed by the IACHR was out of order in connection with the
judgment of January 29, 1997, in the Genie Lacayo case.
In a letter dated December 22, 1997, the Court transmitted to the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights a letter from the Ambassador of
Nicaragua to Costa Rica in which it attached the documents, signed by a
notary, for deposit of the some of US$ 20,000 American dollars in behalf of
Mr. Raymond Genie Penalba, in compliance with the judgment of January 29,
1997, in the Genie Lacayo case.
In the Aloeboetoe and others case, through a resolution dated February
5, 1997, the Court declared that the Government of Suriname has complied
satisfactorily with the judgment of September 10, 1993 and that, as a
consequence, it has concluded that case.
Furthermore, it has reserved the authority to reopen the case if
circumstances so warrant because the judgment established certain ongoing
On February 11, 1997, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
presented a written statement to the Court in which it took up a request from
the representatives of the family members of the victims for the purpose of
securing an interpretation or clarification of the terms of Article 67 of the
American Convention on Human Rights regarding the judgment of reparations in
the "El Amparo" case that the Court decided on September 14, 1996.
In a resolution dated April 16, 1997, the Inter-American Court of Human
Rights declared, "that the judgment of reparations in the El Amparo Case,
of September 14, 1996, is based strictly on the events of the trial by
pointing out that Article 54 of the Code of Military Justice was not applied
in this trial."
The thirteenth of November, 1996 the Chilean State presented a request
for Advisory Opinion OC-15 regarding the attributes of the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights with respect to the reports referred to in Articles
50 and 51 of the Convention.
By way of its note of March 25, 1997 the State of Chile informed the
Court of its decision to withdraw its request of an advisory opinion.
In two communications the Commission indicated to the Court that it was
in agreement with the withdrawal of the advisory opinion request and requested
that the matter be definitively concluded.
Nevertheless, the Court decided on April 14, 1997 in exercise of its
advisory authority to continue consideration of the matter.
Given the foregoing the Commission presented its observations on the
consultative proceeding on July 31, 1997.
A public hearing was held on OC-15 at the Court on November 14, 1997
embracing in large measure the arguments made by the Commission in its
pleadings of July 31, 1997 and the public hearing held on November 10 of the