ACTIVITIES OF THE IACHR
This report covers activities conducted by the Commission in the
period from February 17, 1992, to March 12, 1993.
The IACHR held its eighty-second regular session from September
21 to October 2, 1992, and its eighty-third regular session from March
1-12 of 1993, in Washington, D.C.
All of the members participated in the eighty-second session of
the Commission: Dr. Marco
Tulio Bruni Celli, Chairman; Dr. Oscar Luján Fappiano, First
Vice-Chairman; Prof. Michael Reisman, Second Vice-Chairman; Dr. Patrick
Robinson; Mr. Oliver H. Jackman; Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza; and Dr.
Alvaro Tirado Mejía.
During the session, the Commission granted hearings to
representatives of governments, to individuals, and to representatives
of human-rights protection organizations, who expressed their views on
overall situations related to human rights and on the handling of
On October 1, 1992, the Commission received a courtesy visit from
the foreign minister of the Republic of Venezuela, Fernando Ochoa Antich,
who was accompanied by the Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the
Organization of American States and by the Sectoral Director General of
International Policy of the Foreign Ministry.
The Foreign Minister conveyed the Venezuelan government's
readiness to work with the Commission and reported on the overall human
rights situation in that country.
With respect to on-site visits, the Commission examined the
requests of the governments of Perú and El Salvador, which have
expressed their willingness for such visits to take place.
In connection with prior invitations, the Commission conducted
on-site visits to Nicaragua, Colombia, and Guatemala.
Lastly, the Commission examined the overall situation of human
rights in the American states; studied the reports concerning individual
cases in progress and adopted decisions thereon; and analyzed the
situation of those cases that are before the Inter-American Court of
Human Rights pending decisions.
All members of the Commission attended the 83rd session:
Dr. Oscar Luján Fappiano, Chairman; Prof. Michael Reisman, First
Vice-Chairman; Dr. Alvaro Tirado Mejía, Second Vice-Chairman; and members
Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza, Dr. Marco Tulio Bruni Celli, Mr. Oliver H.
Jackman; and Dr. Patrick L. Robinson.
REGULAR SESSION OF THE OAS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The Commission attended the twenty-second regular session of the
General Assembly, which took place from May 18 to 23, 1992, in Nassau, The
Bahamas. It was represented
by its Chairman, Dr. Marco Tulio Bruni Celli, by its Second Vice-
Chairman, Prof. Michael Reisman, and by member Dr. Alvaro Tirado Mejía,
who were accompanied by the Executive Secretary, Dr. Edith Márquez Rodríguez,
by the Assistant Executive Secretary, Dr. David Padilla, and by attorney
Dr. Luis F. Jiménez.
Among the resolutions adopted on that occasion, those pertaining to
human rights should be emphasized: Declaration
of the General Assembly Concerning Haiti; Annual Report of the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights; Legal Situation of Refugees,
Returnees, and Displaced Persons in the American Hemisphere, and Annual
Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
In light of its importance, the text of the latter resolution
AG/RES. 1169 (XXII-0/92)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
HAVING SEEN the Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights (IACHR) submitted to the General Assembly pursuant to Article
41. g of the American Convention on Human Rights (CP/CAJP-862/92), the
observations and recommendations of the Permanent Council on that report
(AG/doc.2835/92), and the presentation made by the Chairman of the
That in the Charter of the Organization of American States the
member states have declared that respect for the fundamental rights of the
individual, without distinction as to race, nationality, creed or sex, is
one of the basic principles of the Organization;
That the main purpose of the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights is to promote the observance and defense of human rights in all the
member states, and to serve as an advisory organ in this matter;
That Article 53.f of the Charter of the Organization of American
States establishes that one of the powers of the General Assembly is to
consider the observations and recommendations presented by the Permanent
Council with regard to the reports of the organs, agencies and entities of
the Organization, in accordance with Article 90.f of the Charter;
That, under Article 52 of the Charter, the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights is one of the organs through which the
Organization accomplishes its purpose; and
That the effective exercise of representative democracy is the best
guarantee of the full enjoyment of human rights,
take note of the Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights (IACHR) and to accept and transmit to the Commission the
observations and recommendations made thereon by the Permanent Council of
the Organization and contained in its report (AG/doc.2835/92) and, as
appropriate, those contained in this resolution.
take note of the comments and observations made by the governments on the
Commission's Report and of the measures they are adopting to strengthen
the promotion, observance and protection of human rights in their
note with satisfaction the progress achieved in the effective observance
of human rights in the region, despite numerous obstacles encountered, and
to express at the same time its concern over continuing situations of
human rights violations.
recommend to the Commission that, in preparing its annual report, it
consider whether, in light of developments in the human rights situation
in the member states discussed in the chapter on the "Situation of
Human Rights in Several States" in its report of the previous year,
those states should continue to be mentioned.
recommend to the Commission that in its annual reports it strike a general
balance of how human rights have fared in the hemisphere, taking into
account the information supplied by the member states, without prejudice
to the use of other sources.
urge the Commission to include in its next annual report, in compliance
with paragraph c, Recommendations to the Commission, of resolution AG/RES.
1112 (XXI-0/91), a general description of the actions of irregular armed
groups and the adverse effect of such acts on the enjoyment of human
rights, for which it shall take into account, among other sources, the
information to be supplied by the member states.
recommend to the Commission that in the performance of its functions it
continue to pay attention to the recommendations of the program of action
for the strengthening of the OAS in matters of human rights, made in
resolution AG/RES. 1112 (XXI-0/91).
recommend to the Commission that it continue to carry out the
recommendations and requests contained in operative paragraphs 14, 15, 17,
and 18 of resolution AG/RES. 1044 (XX-0/90) and to report on the
implementation thereof at the twenty-third regular session of the General
urge the Commission to continue to study the observance of the human
rights of minors in coordination with the governments of the member states
and the Inter-American Children's Institute.
request the Commission to take appropriate measures in light of the
decision taken by the OAS Permanent Council on the "Study of the
possibility and advisability of preparing proposed amendments to the
American Convention on Human Rights" (CP/doc.2229/92 rev. 2).
recommend that the member states that are not parties to the 1969 American
Convention on Human Rights "Pact of San José, Costa Rica"
ratify or accede to it.
12. To urge
the states parties to the American Convention on Human Rights that have
not yet done so to accept the competence of the Commission to receive and
examine communications from one state party to another in accordance with
Article 45.1 of that Convention, and to recognize the compulsory
jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in keeping with
Article 61(1) of that Convention.
13. To urge
the member states that are not parties to the following Conventions, to
sign, ratify or accede to them, as appropriate:
Inter-American Convention on Support Obligations
Inter-American Convention on the International Return of Children
Inter-American Convention on Conflict of Laws Concerning the
Adoption of Minors
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child
recommend to the member states that, as appropriate, they sign, ratify or
accede to the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture and
to recommend to the states parties to the American Convention on Human
Rights that have not yet done so that, as appropriate, they ratify or
accede to the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human
Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the
Protocol to Abolish the Death Penalty.
request the member states that have not yet done so to submit the
information requested by the Commission within its general sphere of
competence and in particular, in the framework of the program of action
for strengthening the OAS in the area of human rights, pursuant to
resolution AG/RES. 1112 (XXI-0/91).
16. To urge
the governments of the member states that have not yet done so to respond
to the inquiry from the Commission on the content of an inter-American
instrument to protect the rights of indigenous peoples and
reiterate to the member state governments that they continue to extend all
necessary guarantees to nongovernmental human rights organizations and
their members, so that they may conduct their activities freely, in
keeping with the constitution and laws of each country.
acknowledge the cooperation between member states and the Commission which
has been manifest, inter alia, in the on-site visits that have been
made since the last session of the General Assembly.
reaffirm that the elimination of extreme poverty and of the causes of
economic underdevelopment and social injustice, and the strengthening of
democratic institutions are necessary to ensure the promotion and
protection of human rights.
stress the importance of prompt and effective action by the Commission in
the defense of human rights in the situations described in resolution
AG/RES. 1080 (XXI-0/91).
encourage the Commission to continue its important work of promoting and
defending human rights in the Hemisphere, and to encourage the member
states to continue to provide it with the support and financial resources
it needs to perform this important and relevant function.
OBSERVATIONS AND VISITS CONDUCTED BY THE COMMISSION
Visit to Nicaragua
The Commission, consisting of members Dr. Marco Tulio Bruni Celli
(Chairman), Mr. Oliver Jackman, and Dr. Alvaro Tirado Mejía, and aided by
the Executive Secretary, Dr. Edith Márquez Rodríguez, and by Executive
Secretariat attorneys Dr. Luis F. Jiménez and Dr. Marcela Briceno-Donn,
and with administrative support from Ms. Rosario McIntyre, conducted a
visit to Nicaragua from April 27 to 30, 1992.
At that time, the Commission met with the President of the
Republic, Ms. Violeta Barrios de Chamorro; Dr. Virgilio Godoy, Vice
President of the Republic; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Ernesto
Leal Sánchez; the Minister of the Presidency, Dr. Antonio Lacayo; the
Minister of the Interior, Dr. Alfredo Mendieta; the Attorney General, Dr.
Guillermo Vargas Sandino; the President of the National Assembly, Dr.
Alfredo César; the members of the Human Rights Commission of the National
Assembly; the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, Dr. Orlando
Trejos S.; the Commander-in-chief of the Sandinista People's Army, Gen.
Humberto Ortega; the Chief of the National Police, Commander René Vivas;
and the Director of the Nicaraguan Institute for the Development of the
Autonomous Regions, Dr. Brooklin Rivera.
The Commission also had the opportunity to meet with His Eminence
Cardinal Obando y Bravo; human rights protection institutions:
the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH), the Nicaraguan
Human Rights Center (CENIDH), and the Nicaraguan Permanent Commission on
Human Rights (CPDH); the Pro-civilian Movement; the Civic Association of
the Nicaraguan Resistance; the National Association of Confiscatees; and
Two subcommissions traveled to the interior of the country, the
first to Puerto Cabezas on the Atlantic coast.
The other went to the Tipitapa prison, where it interviewed the
director of the detention center, viewed its installations, and spoke with
the persons, in whose regard the IACHR has a case in progress, who were
convicted of the murder of Pedro Joaquín Chamorro.
The Commission had also planned a visit to the city of Matagalpa,
but was unable to carry it out for reasons beyond its control.
The Commission was pleased to learn of the establishment of an
Office of the Attorney General for the Protection of Human Rights and to
receive expressions by high government officials of their resolve to
strengthen and broaden the observance of human rights.
The Commission also found that the persons interviewed agreed that
the civil and political rights situation had improved substantially since
the end of the armed conflict and the installation of the current
government. A special section
of Chapter IV of this Annual Report is devoted to this country.
Visit to Colombia
The Commission, consisting of members Dr. Oscar Luján Fappiano,
First Vice- Chairman, Prof. Michael Reisman, Second Vice-Chairman and Dr.
Leo Valladares Lanza, aided by Dr. David Padilla, the Assistant Executive
Secretary, by Secretariat attorneys Dr. Manuel Velasco Clark and Dr.
Osvaldo Kreimer, and by administrative assistants Ms. Gabriela Hageman and
Ms. Nora Anderson, conducted an on-site visit to Colombia from May 4 to 8,
In Santafé de Bogotá, the Commission interviewed the President of
the Republic, Dr. César Gaviria; Dr. Pedro Lafont Pianetta; the President
of the Supreme Court of Justice, Dr. Carlos Espinosa Facio-Lince; the
President of the Congress, the Minister of Foreign Relations, Dr. Nohemí
Sanín Posada de Rubio; the Minister of the Interior, Dr. Humberto de la
Calle Lombana; the President of the Superior Council of Judges,
Dr. Hernando Yepes Arcila; the Minister of Defense, Dr. Rafael
Pardo Rueda; the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, General Luis
Eduardo Roca Maichel; the Attorney General, Dr. Gustavo de Greiff; the
Assistant Director of Criminal Proceedings, Dr. Fernando Brito Ruíz; the
Chief of the DAS, Dr. Alvaro Lacompte; the President of the Council of
State, Dr. Jaime Sanín; the President of the Constitutional Court, Dr.
Carlos Gustavo Arrieta; the Prosecutor General, Dr. Jaime Camacho Flórez;
the Assistant Prosecutors for the Protection of Human Rights, for the
National Police, Dr. Tahi Barrios Hernández and for the Armed Forces, Dr.
César Uribe Botero; the Public Defender, Dr. Jaime Córdoba Triviño; the
Presidential Advisers for the Defense, Protection, and Promotion of Human
Rights, and for Peace, Security Matters, and Social Policy, Horacio Serpa
Uribe, Ricardo Santamaría, Luis Fernando Londoño Nicholls and Tomás
Outside the capital of the republic, the Commission met with the
Mayor of the City of Barrancabermeja, the Representative, and the
Provisional Prosecutor of that city.
Likewise, during its visit to Medellin, the Special Commission met
with the Departmental and Provincial Prosecutors, the Representative,
Mayor, and Presidential Adviser of that city, and the Governor of the
Department of Antioquia.
The Commission also held meetings with representatives of various
nongovernmental institutions of human-rights, church, journalistic,
humanitarian, labor, union, native, peasant, professional, and other
The Commission recognized the positive developments that have taken
place in the country, including the decision by the Government of
President Gaviria to establish the Public Defender's Office, and the
establishment of the Constitutional Court, the Office of the Attorney
General of the Nation, and the Superior Council of Judges, as well as a
number of offices specializing in human rights in various government
ministries. On the basis of
this visit and other information the Commission prepared a Special Report
on Colombia which shall be published shortly.
The Commission, composed of its Executive Secretary, Dr. Edith Márquez
Rodríguez and attorney, Dr. Luis F. Jiménez conducted an exploratory
mission to Peru from April 23-24 of 1992.
In Lima the mission interviewed Government officials, members of
the armed forces, Ms. Pilar Nores de García, wife of the ex-President
Alan García; it visited the headquarters of the APRA party of Peru;
likewise, it met with Dr. Máximo San Román, the President of the
Republic designated by the Congress; with Mr. Felipe Orterling, President
of the Senate as well as other Peruvian Congressmen; with representatives
of organizations that make up the National Human Rights Coordinating
Committee; with the Episcopal Social Action Committee, with the Andean
Commission of Jurists, with representatives of labor unions; with ranking
public officials who have been fired or resigned as a result of the events
of April 5, 1992 and with other persons who presented complaints of human
Visit to Peru
Following the exploratory mission noted above, a Commission,
composed of the Chairman, Marco Tulio Bruni Celli and Secretariat lawyer
Luis F. Jiménez, carried out an on site visit to Perú.
The Chairman arrived in Lima on May 10 (the staff attorney had
arrived on May 6.) The
mission lasted until May 12, 1992.
During this visit the mission interviewed Col. PNP Gabino
Cajahuanca Parra, Director of the Miguel Castro Castro Penitentiary; Dr.
David Tejada, Vice-minister of the Interior; Ambassador José Urrutia; in
addition, it met with the Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense;
with Ministers of Justice, Interior, Foreign Relations, Defense and Labor;
with the President of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces; with
delegations of senators and deputies lead by the President of both houses;
with Dr. Máximo San Román; with representatives of the National Human
Rights Coordinating Committee, the Episcopal Social Action Committee, the
Andean Commission of Jurists; with ex-Presidents Fernando Belaúnde Terry,
and (by phone) Alan García. In
addition, the IACHR Chairman met with a delegation of interns from the
Santa Mónica Penitentiary in Chorrillos; it visited the Police Hospital,
spoke with various wounded persons and with Mr. Agustín Mantilla, who is
currently a prisoner in that establishment.
visit to Guatemala
The Commission, consisting of its Chairman Dr. Marco Tulio Bruni
Celli and members Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza, Dr. Alvaro Tirado Mejía, and
Dr. Patrick Robinson; aided by Executive Secretary Dr. Edith Márquez Rodríguez,
Assistant Executive Secretary Dr. David Padilla, by Secretariat attorney
Dr. Jorge Seall-Sasiain and by administrative assistants Ms. María Julia
Meyer and Ms. Rosario McIntyre, conducted an on-site visit to Guatemala
from November 2 to 6, 1992.
During the visit the Commission met with Jorge Serrano Elias,
President of the Republic; Dr. Gonzalo Menéndez Park, Minister of Foreign
Affairs; Dr. Francisco Perdomo Sandoval, Minister of the Interior;
Division General José Domingo García Samayoa, Minister of National
Defense; Dr. Edgar Tuna Valladares, acting Attorney General and Chief
Public Prosecutor; Dr. Juan José Rodil Peralta, President of the Supreme
Court of Justice and of the Judiciary; Dr. Jorge Mario García Laguardia,
President of the Court of Constitutionality; Dr. Ramiro de León Carpio,
Attorney for Human Rights, and Dr. César Alvarez Guadamuz, Assistant
Attorney; Dr. Bernardo Neumann, President of the Presidential Commission
to Coordinate Executive Policy on Human Rights Matters (COPREDEH), and
other officials of that agency; Mr. Manuel Conde Orellana, President of
the Peace Negotiation Commission; Mr. Oliverio García Rodas, President of
the Human Rights Commission of the Congress of the Republic; Col. Luis
Felipe Miranda Trejo, Commander of the Military Police Foot Patrol; Mr.
Sergio Mollinedo, Executive Director of the National Commission to Assist
Repatriates, Refugees, and Displaced Persons (CEAR); Dr. Claudia Fuentes
Serrano, Adviser to the Executive Directorate of the National Fund for
Peace (FONAPAZ); and Monsignor Rodolfo Quesada Toruno, National
Conciliator and President of the National Reconciliation Commission.
It also visited the San José Pinula, El Pavón, and El Pavoncito
penitentiaries, and the Zone 18 Prevention Center, met with their
officials, went through the cell blocks, and received testimony from a
number of detainees.
The Commission granted hearings to various representatives of non
governmental organizations such as the Human Rights Office of the
Archbishopric, Alliance House, CIEPRODEH, GAM, CONAVIGUA, CONFREGUA,
Marista Brothers, non governmental organizations Coordinator, EAFG/CERJ
Legal Team, and to representatives of native people's organizations,
unions, student groups, and the press.
The Commission was pleased to learn of the recent measures taken by
the government of President Jorge Serrano, such as the reorganization of
the Presidential Commission to Coordinate Executive Branch Policy in the
Area of Human Rights (COPREDEH), the establishment of new courts, and
other measures demonstrating a will to seek solutions to the problems of
human rights violations. It
was specially pleased to observe the operation of the Office of the
Prosecutor for the Defense of Human Rights, an institution that has gained
the confidence of society and has given credibility to human rights
protection efforts. For the
first time in history, members of the armed forces and police and civilian
officials have been brought before the bar of justice, and it is hoped
that the various cases being processed and investigated will be clarified
and the perpetrators punished.
Based on information received by the Commission concerning the
status of Communities of Resistant Populations (CRPs), a visit to the
Sierra and Ixcán CRPs has been scheduled for the early part of
1993 with the government's consent.
On the basis of this visit and other information made available to
the Commission, a Special Report on Guatemala was prepared which will be
published in the near future.
OF THE IACHR RELATED TO THE INTER-AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
cases 10,206, 10,264, 10,276 and 10,446 (Perú), known as the "Cayara
Case," the Commission, represented by a delegation consisting of one
of its members, Prof. Michael Reisman, and its Executive Secretary, Dr.
Edith Márquez Rodríguez, attended a preliminary hearing at the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights held in San José, Costa Rica, on
June 25, 1992. On February 3,
1993 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights composed of judges Héctor
Fix Zamudio, President, Sonia Picado Sotela, Vice-President, Rafael Nieto
Navia, Alejandro Montiel Arguello, Hernán Salgado Pesantez, Asdrúbal
Aguiar-Aranguren and Manuel Aguirre Roca, ad hoc Judge from Peru,
published its unanimous judgment on preliminary objections in the Cayara
case against Perú.
In this regard the Court hereby decides:
declare that the suit of February 14, 1992 was brought after the time
limit established in Article 51.1 of the Convention.
By unanimous decision.
that the Commission continues to possess the other powers conferred by
Article 51 of the Convention.
By unanimous decision.
the case to be filed.
case 10.078 (Peru), "Neira Alegría et al," known as
"El Frontón," the Commission, represented by a delegation
consisting of one of its members, Dr. Oscar Luján Fappiano, and
Secretariat Attorney Dr. Jorge Seall-Sasiain, attended a hearing on June
29, 1992, called by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to examine
the allegations of the parties on rejection of witnesses. By resolution of July 29, 1992, the Court unanimously
rejected the petition of the Government of Peru "that the hearing on
impeachment of witnesses be private" and declared the "objection
to the dates for hearing witnesses and experts to be groundless." By resolution of June 30, 1992, the Court unanimously
"rejected the challenges or objections to the witnesses,"
reserving "the right to assess their testimony later on," and
authorized the President of the Court to set the dates, in consultation
with the Standing Commission, for public hearings to receive the testimony
offered by the Commission. And
by resolution of July 3, 1992, the Court took note of the Government's
retraction of its petition for revision of the ruling of December 11, 1991
on preliminary exceptions; reserved to a later time its ruling on eventual
costs; and rejected "as groundless the request for an
interpretation" of the aforementioned award.
Ad hoc Judge Dr. Jorge E. Orihuela Iberico voted against.
Judge Thomas Buergenthal issued an individual statement that
accompanies the resolution.
On November 23, 1992 the Commission sought provisional measures
from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in relation to Case Nº
11.083 regarding accusations made against Mr. Carlos Chipoco.
On December 14, 1992 the President of the Court published a
resolution declaring inadmissible for the moment the request that the
Government of Perú adopt provisional measures of an urgent and
preliminary nature on the case in question.
It also provided that the Court would take up the matter at its
next regular meeting.
On January 27, 1993 the Inter-American Commission made another
request for provisional measures in Cases 11.015 and 11.048 regarding the
dangerous situation of prisoners held in Peruvian penitentiaries of Miguel
Castro Castro and Santa Mónica in Lima, Cristo Rey in Ica and Yanomayo in
By way of its resolution of December 14, 1992 the President of the
Court published a resolution similar to the one mentioned above refusing
to admit the request of the Commission that the Government of Perú adopt
urgent provisional measures with respect to these detention centers and
indicated that the matter would be taken up by the plenary of the Court at
its next regular sitting.
On January 27, 1993 the Court confirmed the decision previously
issued by its President.
In case 10.150 (Suriname), known as "Aloeboetoe et al,"
the Commission was represented by a delegation consisting of one of its
members, Mr. Oliver Jackman, and Assistant Executive Secretary, Dr. David
Padilla, and Commission adviser, Prof. Claudio Grossman in a hearing on
compensation and costs, held at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
on July 7, 1992, in San José, Costa Rica.
No ruling had been handed down by the Court as of the end of the
period covered by this report.
The Commission also appeared before the Inter-American Court of
Human Rights in a public hearing on the merits of case 10.274 (Suriname),
known as "Gangaram Panday."
On this occasion the Commission was represented by a delegation
consisting of Mr. Oliver Jackman, one of its members, and Dr. David
Padilla, Assistant Executive Secretary, assisted by Prof. Claudio Grossman
in the capacity of adviser. As
in the previous case, no ruling had been handed down by the Court as of
the end of the period covered by this report.
In case Nº 10.319 (Colombia) the Commission, represented by
its delegate, Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza, submitted a demand to the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights against the Government of Colombia on
December 24, 1992 for violations that took place on February 7, 1989 in
Guaduas, town of San Alberto, Department of Cesar.
The case involves the arbitrary detention and subsequent
disappearances of ISIDRO CABALLERO DELGADO and MARIA DEL CARMEN SANTANA.
From June 15 to 19, 1992, the Commission was represented by a
delegation consisting of its Chairman, Dr. Marco Tulio Bruni Celli; its
Second Vice-Chairman, Mr. Oliver H. Jackman; two of its members, Dr. Leo
Valladares Lanza and Dr.
Alvaro Tirado Mejía; and its Executive Secretary, Dr. Edith Márquez Rodríguez,
at the joint meeting of the European and African Regional
Intergovernmental Commissions on Human Rights, held at the headquarters of
the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.
From August 5 to 7, 1992, Dr. Marco Tulio Bruni Celli, Chairman of
the Commission, and Dr. Edith Márquez Rodríguez, Executive Secretary,
participated in a course on the Inter-American System for the Protection
of Human Rights conducted in Caracas under the auspices of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of Venezuela in conjunction with the IACHR.
On September 11, 1992, while in Washington, Nobel Peace
Prize-winner Dr. Adolfo Pérez Esquivel met with Dr. Edith Márquez Rodríguez,
Dr. David Padilla and the legal staff of the Secretariat.
On November 12, 1992 in response to an invitation of the
Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza,
Commission member, participated in the initial meeting of the "Ad
Hoc Group On Violent Displacement in the Americas" in San José,
From December 13 to 16, 1992, member, Dr. Oscar Luján Fappiano and
staff lawyer Osvaldo Kreimer participated in the "International Year
of Indigenous Peoples: A
Historical and Legal Analysis in Latin America," in the seminar on
"Human Rights: Current Issues" organized by the UN Information
Center for Argentina and Uruguay and the National Scientific and
Technological Research Council of Argentina in Buenos Aires.
On October 16, 1992 the Commission received a note from the
Government of Dominica in which Mr. Brian Alleyne, Minister of Foreign
Relations invited the Commission to visit Dominica to discuss the
implications of ratifying the American Convention on Human Rights.
The Commission, represented by member, Mr. Oliver Jackman and staff
attorney, Ms. Relinda Eddie visited the country from February 14-16, 1993.
From January 18-22, 1993, Dr. Marco Tulio Bruni Celli, President of
the Commission, assisted by Dr. Edith Márquez Rodríguez of the Executive
Secretariat, represented the IACHR at the Regional Preparatory Meeting for
Latin America and the Caribbean in San José, Costa Rica for the World
Conference on Human Rights.
of the rights of indigenous populations
In compliance with the recommendation contained in resolution
AG/RES. 1022 (XIX-O/89) concerning preparation of an inter-American legal
instrument on the rights of indigenous populations, the Commission
conducted the initial round of consultations of governments and
institutions with respect to the content of the instrument to be prepared.
Seven governments and 11 indian organizations and intergovernmental
institutions have replied to date. A
summary of the replies will be found in Chapter V of this Annual Report.
In accordance with the accepted methodology, the Commission will
prepare a preliminary draft in the course of 1993 to serve as the subject
of a second consultation of governments and indian institutions.
In May 1992, Dr. Marco Tulio Bruni Celli, Chairman of the IACHR,
reported to the OAS General Assembly in Nassau, The Bahamas, on
developments and the ongoing observation of the human rights situation in
At the Executive Secretariat, Dr. Edith Márquez Rodríguez
received visits from: Mr. Claude Jean-Francois, Minister of Health in the
Cabinet of President Aristide, on June 9, 1992; Monsignor Willy Romélus,
Bishop of Jéremie and Chairman of Haiti's Commission for Justice and
Peace, on September 11, 1992; and Mr. Leslie Voltaire, Minister of
Education in the Cabinet of President Aristide, on November 13, 1992.
During its 82nd regular session, the Commission received a visit
from the Mayor of Port-au-Prince, Mr. Paul Evans.
During the course of its 83rd session, the Commission received Jean
Bertrand Aristide, Constitutional President of Haití.
The Commission also received Lic. Dante Caputo, the Special Envoy
of the UN Secretary General and the OAS Secretary General for Haití.
During the period covered by this report, the Commission has
dispatched some forty communications to the de facto
government, all of which have gone unanswered, on reports of specific
human-rights violations by the forces of order of Haiti and by the
infamous tontons macoutes, ranging from extrajudicial
executions to acts of torture, extrajudicial detentions, intimidation of
distinguished personages such as the Bishop of Jéremie, Monsignor Willy
Romélus, and others, destruction of homes, and widespread acts of
repression against the civilian population, including notably repression
of the rights of assembly and free speech.
Given this complex situation, the IACHR has visited Haiti twice
since the coup d'etat of September 30, 1991 to examine in
situ the voluminous information on human-rights violations and
abuses being committed in Haiti by the de facto authorities
and their sympathizers against the civilian population and followers of
deposed President Aristide. The
IACHR, represented by its Chairman, Dr. Marco Tulio Bruni Celli, and
assisted by its Assistant Executive Secretary, Dr. David Padilla, was last
in Haiti from August 18 to 21, 1992, with the mission of the Secretary
General of the Organization of American States, Ambassador João
Clemente Baena Soares, accompanying him on the joint visit by a number of
Permanent Representatives to the OAS along with representatives of the
United Nations, the European Community, CARICOM and other important
Development and Codification of the International Law of Human Rights
During the period covered by this report various member states of
the Organization have ratified, adhered or accede to different
inter-American human rights instruments.
The Commission is pleased with the Government of Brazil's decision
to ratify the American Convention on Human Rights.
On September 25, 1992 Foreign Minister Celso Lafer, deposited his
country's instrument of accession to that treaty, a step that
significantly strengthens the inter-American Human Rights System and
hence deserves special recognition.
The Commission hopes that Brazil's example will be emulated by
other states which have yet to ratify the Convention as well
as other OAS human rights treaties.
The Commission also notes with satisfaction the Government of
Uruguay's ratification of the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and
Punish Torture. On November
11, 1992 the Minister of Foreign Relations of Uruguay, Dr. Hector Gros
Espiell, deposited Uruguay's instrument of ratification to this treaty
with the General Secretariat of the OAS.
In addition on February 18, 1993 the Ambassador of Panama, Lawrence
Chewning Fábrega deposited his country's instrument of ratification to
the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the
Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, "Pact of El
An updated ratification chart on the various Inter-American human rights treaties can be found in an annex at the end of this Report.