IACHR TAKES CASES TO THE INTER-AMERICAN COURT
Washington, D.C., January 4, 2008 — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) submitted two cases to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in December 2007 against the Federative Republic of Brazil.
On December 20, 2007, the IACHR filed an application with the Inter-American Court against Brazil in Petition No. 12.353, Arley Escher et al. The case involves the illegal wiretapping and monitoring of the telephone lines of Arley José Escher, Dalton Luciano de Vargas, Delfino José Becker, Pedro Alves Cabral, Celso Aghinoni and Eduardo Aghinoni, members of the social organizations Associação Comunitaria de Trabalhadores Rurais (ADECON) and the Cooperativa Agrícola de Conciliaçao Avante Ltda. (COANA). These groups are associated with the Landless Workers Movement, which promotes agrarian reform in Brazil. The interception and monitoring of the telephone calls were carried out between April and June 1999 by the Military Police of the state of Paraná. The case also involves the illegal broadcasting through the public communications media of several recordings, made by the Paraná Military Police and turned over to judicial authorities in the same state, which included telephone conversations between the victims and those they represented. Finally, the case has to do with the denial of justice and adequate reparations to the victims.
On December 24, 2007, the IACHR filed another application with the Inter-American Court against Brazil in Petition No. 12.478, Sétimo Garibaldi. In its Report No. 13/07 on Admissibility and Merits, the Commission established the responsibility of the Brazilian State for violating the right to life of Mr. Sétimo Garibaldi and substantiated a series of omissions and the lack of due legal process in the investigation undertaken as a result of the murder. The police investigation was closed without the obstacles and mechanisms that maintained impunity in the case having been removed, and without sufficient judicial guarantees having been granted to prosecute the case or provide adequate reparations to the family members. Because Brazil accepted the Court’s contentious jurisdiction subsequent to the murder of Mr. Sétimo Garibaldi, the facts in the application, on which the Commission bases its legal claims and consequent requests for reparation measures, refer to developments and omissions after the date of acceptance of the Court’s jurisdiction, in terms of the State of Brazil’s lack of compliance with its duty to effectively and adequately investigate the homicide and with its obligation to provide adequate remedies to punish those responsible. The execution of Mr. Garibaldi took place on November 27, 1998, when a group of approximately twenty armed individuals carried out an operation to evict families of landless workers who were occupying an hacienda located in the municipality of Querencia del Norte, in Paraná state.
Both cases were taken to the Inter-American Court because the Commission believed that the State had not complied with substantive recommendations contained in the reports on the merits approved by the IACHR in accordance with Article 50 of the American Convention on Human Rights. In adopting its decision, the Commission took into account the considerations established in Article 44 of its Rules of Procedure.
Admissibility report, Petition 12.353 (English)
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