1.       The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has decided to include in the present Chapter considerations dealing with the Republic of Haiti, a member state of the OAS whose human rights practices merit special attention because it can be said to be in a situation covered by the fifth criteria provided for in the Annual Report of the IACHR for 1997 and mentioned above, i.e. a


temporary or structural situation that may appear in member states confronted, for various reasons, with situations that seriously affect the enjoyment of fundamental rights enshrined in the American Convention or the American Declaration.  This criterion includes, for example:  grave situations of violations that prevent the proper application of the rule of law; serious institutional crises; processes of institutional change which have negative consequences for human rights; or grave omissions in the adoption of the provisions necessary for the effective exercise of fundamental rights.


2.       The Commission has elaborated this section of Chapter IV of its Annual Report in accordance with Article 57(1)(h) of its Rules of Procedure and has based its analysis on information obtained during the on-site visits described below as well as on other reliable publicly available sources. On 18 December 2002, the IACHR transmitted to the State a copy of a draft of the present section of Chapter IV of the its Annual Report for 2002, in accordance with the previously mentioned Article, and asked the Government of the Republic of Haiti to submit its observations on the section within thirty days. The State has not submitted observations within that time limit.


3.       The IACHR has conducted in 2002 two on-site visits to the Republic of Haiti at the invitation of the government of that country. During the first visit, from May 28 to 31, 2002, the delegation was composed of Mr. Clare K. Roberts, Member of the IACHR and Rapporteur for Haiti, Mr. Santiago A. Canton, Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Eduardo Bertoni, Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the IACHR, Ms. Christina Cerna, Principal Specialist, and Ms. Raquel Poitevien, Human Rights Specialist for Haiti. During the second visit, from August 26 to 29, 2002, the delegation consisted of IACHR member and Rapporteur for Haiti, Clare K. Roberts, the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Eduardo Bertoni, and the Human Rights Specialist for Haiti, Raquel Poitevien.


4.       The Commission expressed its gratitude to the Government of Haiti for all the courtesies extended enabling it to carry out these visits and for the invitation to return periodically to the country to conduct follow-up. The visits of the IACHR were conducted in accordance with the IACHR’s mandate, Statute and Rules of Procedure. The importance of such visits is reaffirmed by OAS Permanent Council resolution CP/RES. 806 (1303/02) [SW1]of January 15, 2002. This resolution was prepared with the active collaboration of the Haitian State and adopted by the Organization of American States.  The purpose of this resolution is to restore a climate of confidence and security to resolve the political crisis in Haiti via several mechanisms:  1) the creation of a Special Mission to strengthen democracy, 2) an investigation by an Independent Commission of Enquiry into the events of December 17, 2001, and, 3) reparations for individuals and organizations that suffered damages as a direct result of the violence that broke out that day.   The IACHR has, in the area of its competence, received a mandate to assess and report on the current situation of human rights and on the events that took place on December 17, 2001. Those activities were carried out in close cooperation with the other OAS entities and with the Secretary General of the OAS, respect being accorded throughout to the autonomy and independence of the activities of the IACHR.


A.      The May 2002 on-site visit


5.       In the course of the first visit, the delegation met with officials of the Haitian Government, as well as with representatives of the opposition and civil society organizations. The delegation also met with the President of the Republic, Mr. Jean Bertrand Aristide, the Prime Minister, Mr. Yvon Neptune, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Justice and Public Security, the Minister of the Interior, the Director General of the National Police of Haiti, the Inspector General of the National Police, and the Secretary of State for Public Security. The delegation also held meetings with representatives of different sectors of civil society, belonging to the Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations. In addition, the delegation met representatives of different political parties of the opposition grouped together under Convergence Democratique, as well as representatives of the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches. The IACHR also met representatives of the Haitian Press Association, the Haitian Journalists’ Association, and the Association of Haitian Women Journalists. Furthermore, the IACHR met representatives of the United Nations Development Program in Haiti and representatives of USAID. The delegation, likewise, expressed its gratitude for the opinions of the Group of Friends of Haiti on the conditions prevailing in that country.


6.       During its May 2002 visit, the Commission took note of the difficult plight of Haitian society evidenced by several factors including the extreme poverty in which the majority of the population lives, the high rate of maternal and child mortality, and the high level of illiteracy and of malnutrition. The Commission has maintained that these circumstances create a situation of social crisis which, taken as a whole, can be considered to impede the enjoyment of certain rights, including socio-economic rights. It also considered that, in this context, respect for human rights not only encompasses civic and political rights, but also economic, social and cultural rights, which represent a considerable challenge that cannot be tackled without broad-based participation of the Government, a concrete development program on the part of the Haitian Government, and the collaboration of the civil society and that of the international community.


7.       In addition to other aspects of the situation of human rights in the country, the Commission addressed the particular issue of the respect for the rule of law in Haiti, which it considers of the utmost importance to ensure full observance of human rights in the Haitian Republic.  The Commission has devoted particular attention to issues dealing with the independence of the judiciary, impunity, citizen security, and freedom of expression.

i.        Rule of law in Haiti


8.       The IACHR underscored the importance of the democratic system and of the rule of law for the protection of human rights. As stressed by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in a democratic society, the rights and freedoms inherent to the human person, the guarantees applicable to them and the rule of law are interrelated and complementary.[1]


9.       Democracy is based on the principle that political sovereignty is vested in the people, and that, in exercising such sovereignty, the people elects its representatives in whom political power lies, in the respect of the rights of those who have minority views. The representatives have a mandate from their constituents, who aspire to a decent life, to liberty and to democracy, objectives which are achievable only through the effective control of public institutions and through the existence of a balance between all branches of government. While citizens elect their representatives, they are also involved in the decision-making process through a multitude of forms of expression and peaceful assembly. The effective observance of human rights requires the existence of a legal and institutional order, in which the laws come before the will of the rulers, and in which there exists a balance between all branches of government for the purpose of preserving the expression of the popular will.


10.     The Inter-American Democratic Charter provides that the “[e]ssential elements of representative democracy include, inter alia, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, access to and the exercise of power in accordance with the rule of law, the holding of periodic, free, and fair elections based on secret balloting and universal suffrage as an expression of the sovereignty of the people, the pluralistic system of political parties and organizations, and the separation of powers and independence of the branches of government.” Furthermore, “[t]ransparency in government activities, probity, responsible public administration on the part of governments, respect for social rights, and freedom of expression and of the press are essential components of the exercise of democracy.”[2]


11.     The Commission was informed by representatives of international and national organizations of the efforts underway to start a dialogue between the Government and representatives of the opposition. The absence of dialogue with different sectors of society unquestionably had a negative effect on the protection of human rights.  In the experience of the Commission, full observance of human rights is mainly achieved through dialogue involving all sectors of society.  The Commission has encouraged such dialogue, which it hopes will enable all sectors of Haitian society to take part in the shaping of a comprehensive policy on human rights.  In the current context in Haiti, progress in the effective protection of human rights will only be possible if sectoral interests are put aside.


ii.       The events of December 2001


12.     With respect to the events of December 17, 2001, the Commission has reiterated its strong condemnation of the acts of violence that resulted in the deaths of many persons and that caused numerous injuries and substantial property damage to several citizens.  While the IACHR has no competence to determine the individual criminal responsibility of persons involved in those events, the Commission has insisted that the State comply with its international obligation to investigate and prosecute, in accordance with the guarantees of due process, those responsible for the acts that took place in December 2001, and to ensure that those crimes do not go unpunished.  The Commission has underscored the urgent need of conducting an in-depth, impartial and objective enquiry into the crimes committed and to determine the respective responsibilities and punishments. In particular, the IACHR has mentioned that it was necessary to investigate as to the responsibility of those who may have ordered, encouraged, or tolerated the presence of gun-carrying individuals and armed civilian groups.  The Commission has expressed its concern as to information that it has received, according to which some of the persons identified as those who carried out some of the human rights violations perpetrated in December 2001 are not being subjected to a proper investigation.


13.     In this regard, the Commission has noted the initiatives of the Government of Haiti in coordination with the international community (in particular the OAS) intended to restore a climate of confidence and security, through the investigation by an Independent Commission of Enquiry of the events of December 17, 2001.  The IACHR has welcomed these initiatives and expressed its hopes that they lead to the identification and punishment of those responsible for serious human rights violations and help to reinforce the rule of law in Haiti.


iii.      Administration of justice


14.     The Judiciary has the fundamental task to apply and to ensure compliance with the law, and is no doubt the fundamental organ for the protection of human rights.  In the inter-American human rights system, the adequate operation of the judiciary is essential for preventing the abuse of power by State institutions, and, therefore, for protecting human rights.  In order for the judicial branch to be able to serve effectively as an organ of oversight, guarantee, and protection of human rights, it must not only exist formally, but must also be independent and impartial.  The existence of an independent judiciary is essential for the effective enjoyment of human rights and democracy, and constitutes a right that all member states of the OAS, including Haiti, are obliged to respect and ensure for the benefit of all persons under their jurisdiction.


15.     After its August 2000 on-site visit, the Commission expressed serious concerns about the weakness of the Haitian justice system given its marked lack of independence from the executive branch and the impunity prevailing with respect to a large number of crimes.  During its May 2002 visit, the IACHR noted with regret that no substantial improvements had been made in the administration of justice.


16.     Furthermore, the Haitian judicial system continues to be plagued by chronic problems, such as shortages of personnel, funds and logistical resources, which result in delays in judicial proceedings and systematic violations of due process guarantees. The Commission was also informed that the judicial apparatus is non-existent at the Communes level.


17.     The Commission has mentioned on many occasions the need to combat impunity.  The IACHR has specified that the current state of impunity for violations of human rights contributes greatly to the perpetuation of violence.  In this regard, the investigation, prosecution, and punishment of the culprits are crucial for the elimination of violence.  The Commission has noted with concern that many cases involving human rights violations have not been brought before the courts, and that investigations are progressing slowly or are at a standstill.


18.     The Commission has received specific information about murder cases that remain in a state of absolute impunity, as investigations are idle even though they began several years ago. Such cases include, inter alia, that of the radio journalist Jean Dominique.  The IACHR has noted however that, in some cases, the judicial investigations have produced results, as in the Raboteau and Carrefour Feuilles cases, demonstrating that the establishment of facts and the prosecution of persons responsible for violations of human rights are possible.  However, these two examples attest to insufficient progress in the elimination of impunity, given that the vast majority of such cases remain unresolved. In addition, the IACHR received information of a general nature according to which the global situation of impunity that exists in a large number of cases leads the Haitian society to loose faith in its justice system.


19.     The proper administration of justice is also ensured in great part by the independence of the judiciary, in particular by its independence from the executive branch. The Commission has observed in Haiti serious weaknesses with regards to this aspect of the administration of justice.  Several factors attest of the judiciary’s subordination to the executive branch. These include the fact that the President has the power to dismiss judges, and the fact that the commissaires de gouvernement and their alternates are agents of the executive branch before the courts. Furthermore, juges de paix are assistants to the offices of commissaires de gouvernement (or parquets), as well as being under their jurisdiction.  The Commission was further informed that the lack of independence of the judiciary also stems from the fact that it is largely dependent on the executive for funds. In particular, the Commission has been informed that although the juges d’instruction have the authority to pursue their own investigations, they are not provided with sufficient resources to do so, that they thus depend on police officers for investigations and that the National Police, whose duties include investigation of crimes, are under the supervision of the executive branch. Finally, it appears that the executive has the power to select, appoint and remove judicial officials, resulting in interference and serious impairment of the judiciary’s independence.


20.     The Commission has emphasized that the State of Haiti should, in accordance with its obligations under the American Convention, hasten the process of correcting the grave situation to which the Haitian judicial system is subjected, and which is characterized by a lack of independence, the persistence of impunity, and by budgetary and logistical limitations.


iv.      Citizen security


21.     In the area of citizen security, the Commission has expressed its concern at the slow progress that it has observed since its last visit. On that occasion, the IACHR mentioned on this matter that it had been informed of improvements regarding the National Police, in particular with respect to proposed plans dealing with the training of police officers, and with respect to suggested oversight mechanisms. The Commission noted however that the 5,600 members of the police force, whose duty is to guarantee the security of the eight million people, are manifestly insufficient. The competent authorities have acknowledged that the police are clustered in urban areas and that rural areas are without police presence. This void has created a breeding ground for abuse and cases of public lynching. The IACHR has received complaints of acts perpetrated by agents of the Haitian National Police, including acts of abuse of power, acts amounting to degrading treatment, acts of torture, and extra-judicial executions.


22.     The IACHR has noted the statements of President Aristide regarding the policy of “zero tolerance” towards criminal activity.  The Commission has specified that, while it did not wish to make recommendations as to the type of criminal policy that governments adopt, it recalled, acting within its authority, that respect for the individual rights of all persons is essential when enforcing any criminal policy.


23.     The Commission received information from different sources regarding acts of police violence. Particular mention was made of some cases of extra-judicial execution. These acts of violence allegedly committed by agents of the National Police could be due to the fact that these agents misinterpreted the “zero-tolerance policy “ and thought that any means were justified to eliminate criminal activity.


24.     On this point, President Aristide told the Commission that he was completely convinced of the need for such a zero tolerance policy, to be implemented in strict accordance with the law and with generally recognized international standards dealing with the respect for the rights of individuals. The Commission has welcomed this clarification made by the President and has expressed its hopes that such clarification regarding the strict compliance with the law and generally recognized international principles has been transmitted to every member of the National Police of Haiti.


v.       Popular organizations


25.     Various sectors of the population have expressed to the Commission their concern regarding the activities of so-called “popular organizations,” which the authorities described as groups organized within a given community to deal with the problems of that community. However, according to the information received by the IACHR, some of these organizations are armed and intimidate the opposition, in accordance with the instructions received from the authorities. It has been alleged that some of these organizations have been involved in the serious incidents that occurred in December 2001.


26.     The rights to participation in government, to assembly, and to free expression are recognized by the American Convention.  Accordingly, “popular organizations,” acting as free groups of citizens or grassroots organizations that support the political agenda of the President, may in certain circumstances be suitable channels for the exercise of such rights.  This being said, the Commission has specified that the expression of certain partisan political views cannot be given precedence over others, nor can they justify acts of violence or restrictions on the right of other groups or individuals who have different political positions, including the right that they have to express these positions.


27.     The international responsibility of a State is triggered if groups of civilians violate human rights and do so with the support or acquiescence of the Government. The Commission has called upon the Government to investigate seriously the acts of violence attributed to some “popular organizations,” and to adopt, as a matter of the utmost urgency, all necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of such acts.


28.     The IACHR has also noted that it is crucial that the use of force be vested exclusively in the public security forces.  It is essential to investigate the existence of these alleged armed groups and to disarm them fully as soon as possible. The Commission has welcomed the recent announcement made by President Aristide regarding the implementation of a nationwide program of disarmament. The Commission has specified that it will monitor closely the progress of the program, which it regards as vital to ensure greater respect for human rights.


vii.     Freedom of expression


29.     Respect for the freedom of expression is one of the main concerns of the IACHR in the hemisphere, as evidenced by its decision to create the Special Rapporteurship for Freedom of Expression, which enjoyed the support of the Heads of State and Government at the Second Summit of the Americas held in Chile in April 1998. The IACHR has devoted particular attention to the status of freedom of expression in Haiti in its annual reports and in the report of the Office of the Rapporteur dealing with the visit conducted in February of 2002.  It is important to note, considering the information received in the course of the May 2002 visit, that many of the observations contained in the reports of the IACHR and its Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression are still relevant today.


30.     The Commission has expressed concern at the lack of progress of the investigations dealing with the murders of the journalists Jean Dominique and Brignol Lindor. The impunity that surrounds these murder cases contributes significantly to the perpetuation of acts of violence against other journalists.  Furthermore, the information received indicated that while it is possible in Haiti to criticize the authorities, in some cases such criticism leads to threats that expose journalists to situations of risk, which in turn have an intimidating effect on their work.  According to the information received, such situations have led journalists to exercise self-censorship or to abandon the profession. It should be emphasized that freedom of expression is not ensured merely by the absence of acts of prior censorship. Threats directed at social communicators also constitute an indirect restriction on freedom of expression and it is the duty of the State to provide the necessary protection of such communicators so that they can perform their function and continue informing the public.


31.     The IACHR received information about the existence of laws that criminalize offensive statements directed at public officials.  The IACHR has expressed its opinion regarding the incompatibility of such provisions with Article 13 of the American Convention, inasmuch as such laws, which are generally known as “desacato” laws, afford a greater measure of protection to public officials acting in official capacity than that available to the rest of society.  The IACHR has specified that such legal measures restricting free speech could sanction abuses, could be used as a means to silence unpopular ideas and opinions, and could thereby repress the popular debate that is essential to the effective functioning of democracy.  The Commission has expressed its hope that such laws would be revised by the Haitian State, to make them consistent with Article 13 of the American Convention, taking into consideration the criteria contained in the Inter-American Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression.


          B.       The August 2002 on-site visit


32.     During its second on-site visit to Haiti from August 26 to 29, 2002, the delegation of the Commission met with the Prime Minister, Yvon Neptune, the Ombudsman,  Necker Dessables, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Philippe  Antonio, the Minister of Social Affairs, Public Health, and Population,  Henry Claude Voltaire, the Chief of Staff of the Minister of Justice and  Public Security, Caius Alphonse, Examining Magistrates Bernard Saint Vil  and Fritzner Duclair, and the Director of the Haitian National Police, Jean Nesly Lucien.  The delegation also met with representatives of various sectors of civil society organized as associations, federations, and confederations, and with representatives of nongovernmental human rights organizations.  The Commission exchanged views with representatives of the various intergovernmental organizations working in Haiti. It also met with representatives of the Protestant, Lutheran, and other churches.


33.     The purpose of the visit was to observe the degree of compliance with the recommendations made at the conclusion of the May 2002 visit, and to obtain additional information.  Information was also gathered for completion of a report on the general situation of human rights in Haiti.


34.     At the conclusion of the visit, the Commission stated that it had seen no progress concerning the problems it noted at the end of the May 2002 visit.  The Commission affirmed its deep concern over the fragile state of the rule of law in Haiti, over the lack of independence of the judiciary, the problem of impunity, the general feeling of insecurity among the population, the existence of armed groups acting with complete impunity, and the threats made against some journalists.  The IACHR was also troubled by information that it received on the August 2, 2002, attack on the Gonaïve prison, which resulted in the escape of approximately 159 detainees. The Commission expressed its hopes that the Government would conduct the necessary investigation to bring to light the circumstances surrounding that event.


          35.     The Commission noted that the lack of dialogue between the government, the opposition and the other sectors of society has been seriously hindering the resolution of the problems mentioned above and reflects a deficiency in the elements necessary for establishing the rule of law according to the American Convention on Human Rights and the Inter-American Democratic Charter.  The IACHR has also specified that while it previously called urgently for a dialogue allowing all sectors of Haitian society to participate in framing a comprehensive human rights policy, no progress have been observed in this respect. The Commission has reaffirmed the need for such a dialogue.


36.     The Commission took note of Haiti’s difficult socio-economic conditions, which are characterized by extreme poverty for most of the population, high rates of illiteracy and maternal-child mortality, as well as malnutrition.  This situation, taken as a whole, can be considered to impede the enjoyment of certain rights, including socio-economic rights.  Effective respect for human rights requires not only the protection of civil and political rights, but also of economic, social, and cultural rights.  This major challenge cannot be met without the greater involvement of the Government, and for a concrete development plan, and requires cooperation with the various sectors of civil society and with the international community.


37.     The IACHR has also received information indicating that violence has escalated recently in Cité Soleil.  There are alarming reports of girls being raped, of murders, and of the illegal possession of weapons by civilians. The Commission considered that the State’s national disarmament campaign has had very little success. The Commission has emphasized that a State has the duty to take appropriate measures against the emergence of illegal armed groups, including measures to disarm them, and must exercise greater control over the possession and use of firearms. The use of force must rest exclusively with constitutionally mandated institutions. Responsible officials must apply due diligence in investigating, prosecuting, and punishing the members of illegal armed groups.


38.     In view of the importance that the Commission attaches to freedom of expression, the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Mr. Eduardo Bertoni, participated in the August 2002 visit. He gathered data and information on the exercise of that right that will be used in a report to be published in due course.


39.     Nevertheless, the Rapporteur’s Office received information regarding and expressed concern over the harassment, threat and murder of journalists, which curtail the exercise of freedom of expression in Haiti. The Rapporteur’s Office also received information on the status of the investigations underway to determine the identity of those responsible for the murder of the journalists Jean Dominique and Brignol Lindor.


          C.      Final considerations


40.     Since the August 2002 visit, the Commission has received information on the general situation of human rights in Haiti, including that submitted by the National Commission of Human Rights during a hearing held in its headquarters of Washington DC on 15 October 2002. Moreover, the Commission has taken note of the addresses made before the OAS Permanent Council by the Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Luigi R. Enaudi on November 6th and 20th 2002, and by Ambassador Raymond Valcin, Permanent Representative of Haiti before the OAS on November 5th, 2002. The IACHR has also taken into consideration the remarks made by the Head of the OAS Special Mission in Haiti, Mr. David Lee during the October 3rd, 2002 press conference, as well as the Preliminary Report presented by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security of Haiti Pursuant to Resolution CP/RES. 822 (1331/02) (OEA/Ser.G, CP/doc.3649/02, 26 September 2002).


41.     The Commission notes that, although the Government of Haiti has taken some initiatives with respect to the issues referred above, there has been  little progress to remedy those difficulties. In particular, the IACHR observes that, regarding the administration of justice, there are still several emblematic cases of human rights violations that remain in impunity. While the State has taken some initiatives to investigate and subject the perpetrators of human rights violations to justice, many other cases remain unresolved, in particular those concerning the events of December 2001. In this regards, the IACHR takes note of the release on July 1st 2002 of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Events of December 17, 2001, in Haiti. With respect to the issue of citizen security the Commission welcomes the Government efforts to train future members of the security forces, but notes that it continues to receive reports of police abuse in the country. Similarly, while the IACHR is pleased to note the Government’s endeavors to disarm its population, it must express its concern regarding the limited success of such efforts, the continued widespread illegal possession and use of firearms, and the repeated violent actions of certain armed groups and popular organizations. With regard to freedom of expression, the Commission regrets to note that there continues to be reports of threats to the press. Finally, the IACHR notes with regret that severe politically motivated disturbances and acts of violence occurred in Haiti at the end of November, attesting of the country’s tense and delicate political situation. In this respect the Commission observes that, notwithstanding a few exceptions, most of the candidates to the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) still need to be nominated in order to allow for future elections.


42.     The Commission has reiterated that the main source of democratic legitimacy is that granted by popular will expressed in free, periodic, and universal elections. Nevertheless, elections in themselves are not sufficient to ensure a fully effective democracy. As indicated in the Inter-American Democratic Charter, elements essential to democracy include the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, the access to and the exercise of power in accordance with the rule of law, the expression of the sovereign people through the holding of periodic, free, and fair elections based on secret balloting and universal suffrage, a pluralistic system of political parties and organizations, the separation of powers, and the independence of the different branches of government. Furthermore, other elements essential to the exercise of democracy include transparency in government activities, probity, responsible public administration on the part of governments, respect for social rights, as well as freedom of expression and of the press. The constitutional subordination of executive and legislative branches of government as well as their respective bodies to the legally constituted civilian authority and the respect for the rule of law on the part of all institutions and sectors of society are equally essential to democracy. In this context, the rule of law requires the functioning of an independent and impartial judiciary as a guarantor of the protection of human rights, as a vehicle for obtaining justice for victims, and as an organ of oversight and of supervision of the action of the other branches of government.


43.     The IACHR has specified that it will continue to monitor closely the situation of human rights in Haiti.[3] The May and August 2002 visits were important opportunities in this sense and have contributed to intensify the dialogue that the Commission, in accordance with its mandate, maintains with Haitian officials and the Haitian society.  The IACHR has reaffirmed its readiness to work with the Government and with the Haitian society as a whole in the strengthening, the defense and the protection of human rights in a context of democracy and lawful institutions.


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[1] Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Advisory Opinion OC-8/87, Habeas Corpus in Emergency Situations (Articles 27( 2 ), 25(1) and 7(6), American Convention on Human Rights, January 30th, 1987, paras. 24 and 26

[2] Inter-American Democratic Charter, Articles 3 and 4.

[3] The Commission is in the process of preparing a substantive report to be completed after the Commission’s third on-site visit which will take place at the beginning of 2003.