A.      Legal bases, functions and powers


1.       The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (“IACHR” or the “Commission”) is an autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (“OAS”) headquartered in Washington, D.C. Its mandate is found in the OAS Charter, the American Convention on Human Rights, and the Statute of the Commission. The IACHR is one of two bodies in the inter-American system responsible for protecting human rights, the other being the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which is located in San José, Costa Rica.


2.       The IACHR is composed of seven members who act independently, without representing any particular country. The members of the IACHR are elected by the General Assembly of the OAS for a four-year period and can be re-elected only once.  The IACHR meets in ordinary and special sessions several times a year. The Executive Secretariat of the IACHR carries out the tasks delegated to it by the IACHR and provides legal and administrative support to the IACHR as it carries out its work. 


3.       In April of 1948 the OAS approved the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (the “American Declaration”) in Bogotá, Colombia, the first international human rights instrument of a general nature. The IACHR was created in 1959 and held its first session in 1960. 


4.       By 1961, the IACHR had begun to carry out on-site visits to observe the human rights situations in various countries.  Since that time, the IACHR has carried out 83 visits to 23 member states.  Based in part on its on-site investigations the IACHR has published 56 special country and thematic reports to date. 


5.       In 1965, the IACHR was expressly authorized to examine complaints or petitions regarding specific cases of human rights violations. By 2002, the IACHR had received thousands of petitions, resulting in more than 12,000 completed or pending cases. The final published reports of the IACHR regarding these individual cases may be found in the Annual Reports of the Commission. 


6.       In 1969, the American Convention on Human Rights (the “American Convention”) was adopted. The Convention entered into force in 1978. As of December 2002, 24 are parties to the Convention: Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.  The Convention defines the human rights that the ratifying States have agreed to respect and ensure.  The Convention also created the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and defines the functions and procedures of both the Commission and the Court. In addition to considering complaints of violations of the American Convention by states that are parties to that instrument, the IACHR is competent under the OAS Charter and the Commission’s Statute to entertain alleged violations of the American Declaration by OAS member states that are not yet parties to the American Convention. 


7.       The IACHR has the principal function of promoting the observance and the defense of human rights in the Americas. In carrying out its mandate, the Commission: 


1.       Receives, analyzes and investigates individual petitions that allege human rights violations, pursuant to Articles 44 to 51 of the Convention, Articles 19 and 20 of the Commission’s Statute, and Articles 22 to 50 of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure.


2.       Observes the general human rights situation in the Member States and publishes special reports regarding the situation in a specific Member State, when it considers it appropriate.


3.       Carries out on-site visits to countries to engage in more in-depth analysis of the general situation and/or to investigate a specific situation. These visits usually result in the preparation of a report regarding the human rights situation observed, which is published and presented to the Permanent Council and General Assembly of the OAS.


4.       Stimulates public consciousness regarding human rights in the Americas. To that end, the Commission carries out and publishes studies on specific subjects, such as: measures to be taken to ensure greater independence of the judiciary; the activities of irregular armed groups; the human rights situation of children and women; and the human rights of indigenous peoples.


5.       Organizes and carries out conferences, seminars and meetings with representatives of governments, academic institutions, non-governmental groups and others in order to disseminate information and to increase knowledge regarding issues relating to the inter-American human rights system.


6.       Recommends to the Member States of the OAS the adoption of measures that would contribute to human rights protection.


7.       Requests Member States to adopt "precautionary measures" pursuant to Article 25 of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure to prevent irreparable harm to human rights in serious and urgent cases. The Commission may also request that the Inter-American Court order "provisional measures" in cases of extreme gravity and urgency to avoid irreparable damage to persons, even where a case has not yet been submitted to the Court.


8.       Submits cases to the Inter-American Court and appears before the Court in the litigation of cases.


9.       Requests advisory opinions from the Inter-American Court in accordance with Article 64 of the American Convention. 


          8.       At present the Commission is processing over 900 individual cases.  Any person, group of persons or nongovernmental entity legally recognized in one or more of the member states of the OAS may submit petitions to the Commission concerning violations of a right recognized in the American Convention, the American Declaration or other pertinent instrument in accordance with their respective provisions and the Commission’s Statute and Rules. The denunciation may be presented in any of the four official languages of the OAS (English, French, Portuguese or Spanish) and may be presented by the alleged victim of the violation or by a third party. 


B.       The Commission's sessions in 2002


9.       During this reporting period, the Commission met on three occasions: during its 114th regular session from February 25 to March 15, 2002; during its 115th special session from September 2 to September 6, 2002; and during its 116th regular session from October 7 to October 25, 2002. [1]


1.       114th regular session


10.     During its 114th regular session, the Commission elected its new board of officers, which was comprised of Juan E. Méndez, President, Lic. Marta Altolaguirre, First Vice-President, and José Zalaquett, Second Vice-President.


11.     The Commission also took up numerous individual petitions on human rights violations alleging the international responsibility of OAS member states.  It adopted a total of 49 reports on individual petitions and cases and held 24 hearings on individual cases, the general human rights situation in different nations in the hemisphere, precautionary measures, follow up on recommendations, and other issues over which it has competence. In addition, the Commission held a series of hearings and working meetings with petitioners and representatives of OAS member states to promote the friendly settlement of complaints. During its week of audiences, the Commission also convened plenary hearings on the situation of human rights in Colombia, Haiti and Venezuela.


12.     The Commission’s audiences included a public plenary hearing on terrorism and human rights, in which the Commission received written and oral opinions from experts Joan Fitzpatrick, David Martin, Aryeh Neier, Jorge Santistevan and Ruth Wedgwood on this topic. The hearing was held in furtherance of the Commission’s December 12, 2001 resolution in which it decided to undertake a study on terrorism and human rights to assist OAS member states in adopting laws and regulations that accord with international law.


13.     Also during this session, the Commission held meetings with representatives of various other human rights bodies, including Maria Francisca Ize-Charrin, Head of the Services Branch and Dr. Roberto Garretón, advisor for Latin America, with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as Dr. Roldofo Stavenhagen, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People.  In addition, the Commission had the opportunity to meet with numerous government officials as well as representatives of other institutions involved in the protection of human rights, including Dr. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, Secretary of State for Human Rights of Brazil, and Dr. Sofía Macher and Dr. Carlos Iván De Gregori, members of the Truth Commission in Peru.


14.     The IACHR continued to receive information from its Special Rapporteurs in the course of its session.  This included a report by the Rapporteur on the Rights of Women, Commissioner Marta Altolaguirre, concerning her on-site visit on February 12 and 13, 2002 to evaluate the situation of women’s rights in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico (see Part D. below), as well as reports by the Commission’s Rapporteur on Migrant Workers and their Families, Commissioner Juan Méndez, and its Rapporteur on Children, Commissioner Susana Villarán, concerning their activities and schedules of work. In addition, the Commission continued its process of selecting a new Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and received up-dated information from Dean Claudio Grossman, observer in the process being carried out in Argentina to investigate the attack against the headquarters of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA).


2.       115th special session


15.     The Commission held its 115th special session in San José, Costa Rica, at the invitation of the Government of Costa Rica.  During this session, the Commission analyzed various matters relating to the human rights situation in the Americas, including in particular the continued study and discussion of the Commission’s draft report on terrorism and human rights.


16.     During the session, the Commission also participated in its joint meeting with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in order to discuss and consider procedural matters and other topics of common interest to the two bodies.  In addition to this meeting, the Commission met with representatives of the Government of Costa Rica as well as with the Standing Committee on Human Rights of the Senate of Canada, representatives of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, and Penal Reform International. 


3.       116th regular session


17.     During its 116th regular session, the Commission continued with its study of numerous individual communications alleging violations of human rights protected by the American Convention and the American Declaration and adopted a total of 38 reports.  The Commission also discussed the preparation of its 2002 Annual Report, to be presented to the OAS General Assembly during its thirty-third regular session in Chile in 2003.


18.     In conjunction with its 116th regular session, the Commission convened 61 hearings during the week of October 14 to October 18, 2002.  These were comprised of hearings on individual petitions and cases being processed before the Commission as well as hearings of a general nature concerning the human rights situation in particular member states and on particular issues, such as legislative proposals regarding the imposition of the mandatory death penalty in Barbados and Belize and the administration of justice in Argentina and Colombia.  The Commission also received general information on the situation of particular persons and groups in the Hemisphere, including women, children, indigenous peoples and refugees, from such institutions as the United Nations International Children’s Fund, the Inter-American Institute of Children, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In addition to these hearings, the Commission conducted more than 50 working meetings with the parties in petitions and cases relating to a variety of countries and issues, which included the advancement of friendly settlements. 


          19.     Also during its 116th session, the Commission completed its examination of and approved its Report on Terrorism and Human Rights.  Following final translation and editing of the report, the Report was subsequently released to member states and to the public in December 2002.  As indicated in its Preface, the Report was prepared in the hope that it would “assist member states of the Organization of American States and other interested actors in the inter-American system in ensuring that anti-terrorism initiatives comply fully with fundamental human rights and freedoms and thereby achieve one of the crucial components for a successful campaign against terrorist violence.” 


          20.     At the conclusion of its 116th session, the Commission recognized important financial contributions provided by a variety of governments to assist the Commission in fulfilling its tasks.  This included funding from the Government of the United States for promotion and study in the areas of freedom of expression and the rights of women in the Hemisphere, the Government of Spain to assist the Commission’s activities in the areas of documentation, publication and the CIDH web page, and the Government of Mexico for promotion and monitoring tasks relating to the situation of migrant workers and their families, human rights defenders and the rights of women in the Hemisphere.


C.      On-Site Visits


On-Site Visit to Venezuela


21.     From May 6 to May 10, 2002, the Commission conducted an on-site visit to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, at the invitation of President Hugo Chávez Frías, to observe the situation of human rights in that country. The Commission’s delegation for the visit included its President, Juan E. Méndez, First Vice-President, Lic. Marta Altolaguirre, and Commissioners Professor Robert K. Goldman, Dr. Julio Prado Vallejo and Dra. Susana Villarán. The Executive Secretary, Santiago A. Canton, the newly-designated Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Eduardo Bertoni, and Commission Secretariat staff attorneys Milton Castillo, Mario López, Maria Claudia Pulido, Débora Benchoam, and Ariel Dulitzky. 


22.     During its visit, the Commission met with authorities from the different branches of government, including the President of the Republic, as well as with non-governmental human rights organizations, representatives of the Venezuelan Bishops Conference, political leaders, journalists and representatives of the media, representatives of trade unions, victims and relatives of victims, and other representatives of civil society at the national and local levels.


23.     In gathering information during the course of its visit, the Commission focused upon specific aspects of Venezuelan society, including the new Venezuelan Constitution, the administration of justice, freedom of expression, the armed forces and security forces, the right to form and join trade unions, and the operation of death squads or grupos de exterminio made up of State security officers operating in various states in Venezuela.  The Commission expressed particular concern regarding the attempted coup d'etat in Venezuela in April 2002 that resulted in the deaths of at least 16 persons, which the Commission considered constituted the most tragic and serious expression of the polarization of Venezuelan society.


24.     In its final comments on the visit, the Commission called for the rule of law to be strengthened in Venezuela as soon as possible, emphasized the importance of full compliance by the Government of Venezuela with the decisions and recommendations of the organs of the inter-American system, and indicated that it would continue observing closely the development of the human rights situation in Venezuela. 


On-Site Visits to Haiti


25.     From May 28 to May 31, 2002, and again from August 26 to 29, 2002, the Commission conducted on-site visits to the Republic of Haiti, at the invitation of its Government and within the framework of OAS Permanent Council Resolution CP/RES. 806 adopted on January 15, 2002. [2] During its first visit the Commission’s delegation was comprised of Commissioner and Rapporteur for Haiti Clare K. Roberts, Executive Secretary Santiago A. Canton, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Eduardo Bertoni, and Principal Specialists Christina Cerna and Raquel Poitevien.  During its second visit, the Commission’s delegation was comprised of Commissioner Clare K. Roberts, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Eduardo Bertoni, and principal specialist Raquel Poitevien.  


          26.     In the course of its visits to Haiti, the Commission met with numerous government officials, including the President of the Republic, Jean Bertrand Aristide and First Minister Yvon Neptune, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Justice and Public Security, the Director General of the National Police of Haiti, the Inspector General of the National Police, and the Secretary of State for National Security. The Commission also met with representatives of different sectors of civil society, which included representatives of nongovernmental organizations, representatives of political parties, representatives of Protestant, Lutheran and other churches, and representatives of the press.


          27.     During its investigations, the Commission expressed particular concern with regard to the extreme difficulties caused by poverty, illiteracy, maternal-child mortality and malnutrition in Haiti, and noted that respect for human rights involves not only civil and political rights, but also economic, social and cultural rights. The Commission emphasized that this was a major challenge that could not be met without extensive participation, a concrete Haitian government development plan, and cooperation with various sectors of civil society and the international community.  The Commission also expressed concern with respect to the situation of the democratic process in Haiti as well as the problems in the judicial system, including those affecting the independence of the judiciary, impunity, the security of citizens and freedom of expression.


28.     Upon the completion of its second visit to Haiti in August 2002, the Commission observed that it had seen no progress concerning the problems outlined in its May 2002 visit.  It noted in particular that the lack of dialogue among leading sectors of society was seriously hindering the resolution of the problems in Haiti and reflected a deficiency in the elements necessary for establishing the rule of law according to the American Convention and the Inter-American Democratic Charter. During both visits, the Commission expressed its willingness to work with the government and with Haitian society as a whole in strengthening the defense and the protection of human rights in the context of democracy and lawful institutions.



D.      Special visits and other activities


29.     In addition to its on-site visits, the Commission conducted a number of special visits to particular member states and undertook a number of special activities in 2002.


30.     On February 12 and 13, 2002, the Commission’s Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women, Lic. Marta Altolaguirre, together with Secretariat Principal Specialist Elizabeth Abi-Mershed, conducted a visit to Ciudad Juárez, Estado de Chihuahua, Mexico and to Mexico City, Mexico at the invitation of the government of President Vicente Fox.  The visit was conducted in light of concerns previously expressed by various civil society representatives concerning the situation of women’s rights in Ciudad Juárez.  In particular, the Commission had received communications indicating that since 1993, more than 200 women had been brutally murdered in that border city and that a vast majority of these cases remained opened and unsolved.  In the course of her visit, the Special Rapporteur met with numerous government officials as well as with representatives of nongovernmental human rights and civil society organizations at the local, state and federal levels.  In her preliminary observations on the visit, the Special Rapporteur expressed concern with respect to the lack of progress in resolving the serious problem of violence against women in Ciudad Juárez and reiterated her readiness to continue to collaborate with authorities and with civil society within the framework of the applicable instruments in order to help strengthen domestic and international mechanisms for the protection of women’s rights.


31.     On March 8, 2002, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Commission’s Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women, Commissioner Marta Altolaguirre, attended the first joint meeting with Radhika Coomaraswamy, United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, and Angela Melo, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women of the African Commission on Human Rights, organized by Rights and Democracy in Montreal, Canada. The meeting resulted in a joint Declaration that reaffirmed the right of women to be free from violence and discrimination, and condemned the fact that “violence against women is perpetrated in every country in the world.”  Following the meeting, the three Rapporteurs expressed their full satisfaction with the results obtained and indicated their interest in continuing to meet periodically in order to call the attention of the international community to the principal threats to the free exercise of women’s rights. A copy of the joint Declaration can be found on the Commission’s website at


32.     From July 23 to July 26, 2002, a Commission delegation comprised of Commissioner Susana Villarán, Executive Secretary Santiago A. Canton, and Secretariat staff, together with participation by the Commission’s Unit for Human Rights Defenders, visited the Republic of Guatemala to evaluate the situation of human rights defenders in that country. During its visit, the delegation met with government officials and with representatives of different sectors of civil society, and participated in the Second Regional Consultation on Human Rights Defenders as well as the National Workshop on Human Rights Defenders, both of which were held in Guatemala City during that time.


33.     At the invitation of the Government of the United Mexican States, a delegation of the Commission consisting of President and Rapporteur on Migrant Workers and their Families Juan E. Méndez, Secretariat staff attorney Mario López, and Rapporteurship staff attorneys Andreas Feldmann and Helena Olea, conducted a working visit to that country from July 24 to August 1, 2002.  The purposes of the visit were to hold a number of working meetings on follow up and friendly settlement of individual cases, to undertake promotional activities, and to examine the situation of the rights of migrant workers and their families in Mexico.  In this regard, the Rapporteurship delegation visited numerous locations pertinent to migrant workers including the Ixtapalapa migrant center in the Federal District and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua on the northern border of Mexico.


34.     From July 29 to August 6, 2002, the Commission conducted an working visit to the Republic of Argentina at the invitation of that State’s President, Eduardo Duhalde. The Commission’s delegation was comprised of Commissioner and Rapporteur for Argentina Robert K. Goldman, Executive Secretary Santiago A. Canton, and Principal Specialist Elizabeth Abi-Mershed.


          35.     During its visit, the Commission met with representatives of various sectors of government and civil society organizations These included meetings with Dr. Eduardo A. Duhalde, President of Argentina, Dr. Juan José Alvarez, Minister of Security and Justice, Dr. Oscar Luján Fappiano, Minister for Human Rights, representatives of the Ministry of the Economy and of the Ministry of Health, members of the Human Rights Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, and various officials from the governments of the Provinces of Buenos Aires, Salta, Neuquén, and Rio Negro.  Among the nongovernmental organizations with whom the Commission met were the Center for Legal and Social Studies, Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, Relatives of Political Detainees and Disappeared, and the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights. As is customary during these visits, the Commission also received complaints from numerous individuals, either directly or through their representatives, who claim to have been the victims of human rights violations.


          36.     The Commission’s schedule of activities centered upon several petitions and cases being processed by the Commission and focused upon the general situation of human rights as well as such specific areas as the administration of justice, the role of public security forces, and the status of economic, social and cultural rights. The information collected by the Commission related in part to the profound impact of the unprecedented social and economic crisis on the situation of human rights in Argentina. Both state officials and civil society representatives informed the Commission about the chronic problems besetting the public finances, the legal security crisis, and four years of recession with the attendant unemployment, dramatic rise in poverty, and social exclusion. The Commission also noted that large sectors of the Argentine population had been harmed by the bank freeze, known as the “corralito”, as well as by decrees that suspended certain judicial proceedings or the execution of precautionary decisions and judgments and by the "antigoteo" law introduced to enforce the freeze. In months prior to its visit, the Commission had received almost 2,000 petitions relating to this situation, and during its visit the Commission met with representatives of the petitioners and with the persons concerned to collect additional information.


37.     In its preliminary observations following the visit, the Commission indicated that it was important in the prevailing circumstances in that country for all sectors of society, especially national and local authorities and political leaders, to act as prudently as possible and with absolute respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

38.     From August 18 to August 22, 2002, the Commission’s First Vice-President and Rapporteur for Peru, Commissioner Marta Altolaguirre, together with Principal Specialists Ignacio Alvarez and Pedro Díaz, conducted a working visit to Peru in order to hold working meetings regarding implementation by the Peruvian State of the Commission’s recommendations in 105 final reports adopted and published by the Commission, as well as to undertake promotional work.  During its visit, the Commission delegation met with government authorities and representatives of different sectors of civil society, as well as with the Inter-Institutional Working Group for Follow Up on IACHR Recommendations established by the Peruvian State to look for integral settlements and comply with Commission recommendations.  Also during its visit, the Commission delegation traveled to the Challapalca prison in the Department of Tacna in connection with numerous complaints received by the Commission concerning inhumane and degrading prison conditions.  In its Second Report on the Human Rights Situation in Peru, the Commission had recommended that the Challapalca prison be closed and reiterated this request as part of its August 2002 visit.


Inter-American human rights treaties    

          39.     During this reporting period, the Commission was pleased to note the signing and/or ratification by certain OAS member states of several treaties pertinent to the protection of human rights in the Americas.


          40.     On February 13, 2002 the Republic of Peru deposited its instrument of ratification of the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons, and on April 9, 2002 the Republic of United Mexican States deposited its instrument of ratification of the same instruments, bringing to 10 the number of state parties to that treaty.


          41.     On March 8, 2002 Suriname deposited its instrument of ratification of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women, becoming the 31st state party to that instrument.


          42.     Also in 2002, four OAS member states ratified the Inter-American Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities, the Republic of Chile on February 26, 2002, the Republic of El Salvador on March 8, 2002, the Republic of Paraguay on October 22, 2002, and the Republic of Nicaragua on November 25, 2002, bringing to 11 the number of states parties to that Convention.


          43.     Canada became the first state party to the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism when it deposited its instrument of ratification to that treaty on November 28, 2002.




          44.     The Commission continued in 2002 with its "Rómulo Gallegos Fellowships" training program.  The program provides training in the inter-American system for the protection and promotion of human rights for young attorneys from countries in the hemisphere, who are selected annually on a competitive basis.  They must have demonstrated commitment to human rights and strong academic credentials. Over the year 2002, the Commission received ten Rómulo Gallegos fellows, 5 during the first half of the year for the 2001-2002 period and 5 in the second half of the year for the 2002-2003 period.  

          Promotional activities


          45.     Throughout 2002, members of the Commission and Secretariat participated in numerous international conferences, workshops and training sessions on the international protection of human rights and related topics.  These included events that addressed such issues as the functioning of the inter-American system, penal reform in the Americas, the use of capital punishment, the implication and impact of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, protection of the rights to freedom of association in the inter-American system, and the rights of refugees.


          46.     The Members of the Commission, the Executive Secretary and Commission staff attorneys also participated in the Seventh Annual Moot Court Competition on the inter-American system of human rights in May 2002, organized by the Washington College of Law of the American University.  The competition has been convened every year since 1996 and has involved more than 500 students and faculty representing 55 universities from more than 20 countries of the Hemisphere.  


47.     From June 17 to June 19, 2002, the Commission’s Rapporteurship on the Rights of the Child, through its Special Rapporteur Commissioner Susana Villarán and staff attorney Mary Ana Beloff, held a training seminar in Asuncion, Paraguay on the promotion and defense of the rights of children and adolescence in the inter-American system.  The seminar was held in conjunction with the Ministry of Children and Youth of Paraguay and was attended by officials from the government’s executive branch, public defenders, judges, lawyers, representatives of nongovernmental organizations and members of civil society. Also during the seminar, Commissioner Villarán held various meetings with representatives of the government of Paraguay and nongovernmental organizations involved in the promotion and defense of the rights of children and adolescents.


E.       Activities of the Inter-American Commission in connection with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights 


          48.     The Commission continued to litigate a number of matters before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.


          49.     Between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2002, the Commission submitted the following contentious cases to the Inter-American Court: Plan de Sánchez (Guatemala); “Correccional de Menores Panchito López” (Paraguay); Ricardo Canese (Paraguay); Gómez Paquiyauri (Peru); Lori Berenson (Peru); and the Case of Moiwana (Suriname). With the submission of these cases, the Commission now has a total of 38 active contentious cases before the Inter-American Court. 


50.     Also during 2002, the Commission participated in numerous public hearings before the Court. During the Court’s LIV Regular Period of Sessions from February 18 to March 1, 2002, the Commission participated in a hearing on merits and eventual reparations in the Hilaire, Constantine and Benjamin et al. Case (Trinidad and Tobago). During the Court’s LV regular period of sessions from June 6 to June 21, 2002, the Commission participated in hearings on: provisional measures in the Case of the Community of Paz de San José de Apartadó (Colombia); preliminary objections in the Case of the 19 Merchants (Colombia); merits and eventual reparations in the Cantos Case (Argentina); Reparations in the Las Palmeras Case (Colombia); and the public hearing on the Request for Advisory Opinion OC-17. During the Court’s LVI regular period of sessions from August 26 to September 6, 2002, the Commission participated in the hearing on merits and eventual reparations in the Case of the Five Pensioners (Peru).


51.     During this reporting period, the Commission also took note of several judgments issued by the Court in relation to the cases before it during 2002, including: the reparations judgment in the Bámaca Velásquez Case, issued on February 22, 2002; the reparations judgment in the Trujillo Oroza Case, issued on February 27, 2002; the judgment on preliminary objections in the 19 Tradesmen Case, issued on June 12, 2002; the merits judgment in the Hilaire, Constantine and Benjamin et al. Case, issued on June 12, 2002; the reparations judgment in the Caracazo Case, issued on August 29, 2002; the reparations judgment in the Las Palmeras Case, issued on November 26, 2002; and the judgment on merits and reparations in the Cantos Case, issued on November 28, 2002. In addition, on August 28, 2002 the Court issued its Advisory Opinion OC-17/2002 concerning the Legal Situation and Human Rights of the Child.



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[1] For further details concerning the Commission's periods of sessions in 2002, see the IACHR 2002 Press Releases on the Commission's web site: