REPORT OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION
RESOLUTION Nº 9/89
April 14, 1989
background of this case, namely, the following:
1. On September
17, 1986, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights received the following
NAMES: ELEODORO LOPEZ BALLARDO, RUBEN LOPEZ LOYOLA, AND
BAUTISTA RODRIGUEZ ARCE. According to reports, the three men were detained by
members of the Republican Guard on March 1, in the village of Pichincha, near
Yanahuanca. On March 1986, the Armed Forces Command of Cerro de Pasco issued a
communique (number 12/CCFFAA-RRPP) reporting the occurrence of an armed clash
the previous day and the capture of three “subversives”, including one who
was identified in the communique as Walter Lopez Loyola. The others referred to
were believed to be Eleodoro Lopez Ballardo, father of the above and Bautista
Rodriguez. Since then however, no further information on the three or their
whereabouts have been made public by the armed forces, and the continued
detention of the three has reportedly been denied to relatives and members of
local human rights groups. The Provincial Prosecutor has not been informed of
the arrests, and the prisoners have not been brought before a court, charged
with a crime, or released. Their whereabouts remain unknown.
note of October 17, 1986, the Commission requested the relevant information from
the Government of Peru, conveying to it the pertinent parts of the complaint in
accordance with Article 34 of the Regulations. The request was reiterated in
letters dated January 17, 1988, June 7, 1988, and February 17, 1989.
a. That the
Government of Peru has not replied to the request for information made by the
Commission in regard to this case.
b. That the nature
of the events described in the complaint precludes application to this case of
the friendly settlement procedure provided for in Article 48 (1) f of the
American Convention on Human Rights, to which Peru is a party.
should be kept in mind in this connection, that the Inter-American Court of
Human Rights, in its opinion of June 26, 1987, concerning Preliminary Objections
in the Velasquez Rodriguez case, interpreted Article 48 (1) f as follows:
Taken literally, the wording of Article 48 (1) f
(...) would seem to establish a compulsory procedure. Nevertheless, the Court
believes that, if the phrase is interpreted within the context of the
Convention, it is clear that the Commission should attempt such friendly
settlement only when the circumstances of the controversy make that opinion
suitable or necessary, at the Commission’s sole discretion.
on, the Court confirms the practice followed by the Commission in cases of
forced disappearance, adding:
That (...) when the forced disappearance of a person at the
hands of a State’s authorities is reported and that State denies that such
acts have taken place, it is very difficult to reach a friendly settlement that
will reflect respect for the rights to life, to humane treatment and to personal
c. That Article 42
of the Regulations of the Commission provides as follows:
The facts reported in the petition whose pertinent parts
have been transmitted to the government of the State in reference shall be
presumed to be true if, during the maximum period set by the Commission under
the provisions of Article 34 paragraph 5, the government has not provided the
pertinent information, as long as other evidence does not lead to a different
d. In its reports
on the situation of human rights, the Commission has vehemently condemned this
grievous phenomenon of forced disappearance of persons, stating in various
documents that ... this procedure is cruel and inhuman and that such
disappearance is not only an arbitrary deprivation of liberty but also an
extremely serious threat to the integrity, the safety and the very life of the
victim (Annual Report 1978, 1980-1981, 1982-1983, 1985-1986, 1986-1987 and
special reports by country, such as OEA/Ser.L/V/II.49 doc. 19, 1980 (Argentina),
OEA/Ser.L/V/II.66 doc. 17, 1985 (Chile), and OEA/Ser.L/V/II.66, doc. 16, 1985
its part, the General Assembly of the OAS has in various resolutions (see RES.
443 (IX-0/79), 510 (X-0/80), 543 (XI-0/81), 618 (XII-0/82), 666 (XIII-0/83), and
742 (XIV-0/84)) stressed the need for an immediate end to this practice in
countries where forced disappearances have occurred, urging governments to take
the necessary steps to ascertain the fate of those persons. In addition, as
proposed by the Commission, the General Assembly of the OAS has declared that
the forced disappearance of persons in the Americas is a crime against humanity
(see Resolutions 666 (X-III-0/83), and 742 (XIV-0/84).
deciding the Velasquez Rodriguez case on July 29, 1988, the Inter-American Court
of Human Rights, in turn, held as follows:
The practice of disappearances, in addition to directly
violating many provisions of the Convention, such as those noted above,
constitutes a radical breach of the treaty in that it shows a crass abandonment
of the values which emanate from the concept of human dignity and of the most
basic principles of the inter-American system and the Convention.
(Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Judgment of July 29, 1988, Series C., Nº
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, RESOLVES:
1. To presume the
truth of the events reported in the communication of September 17, 1986, with
regard to the arrest and subsequent disappearance of Mr. Eleodoro Lopez Ballardo,
Mr. Ruben Lopez Loyola, and Mr. Bautista Rodriguez Arce.
2. To declare that
the events described in the complaint constitute an extremely serious violation
of the right to life (Article 4), the right to security and integrity of the
person (Article 5), and the right to personal liberty (Article 7) under the
American Convention on Human Rights, to which Peru is a party.
3. To recommend to
the Government of Peru that it proceed with all possible speed to investigate
the facts and to sanction with the severest penalties those responsible for the
arrest and disappearance of Mr. Eleodoro López Ballardo, Mr. Ruben Lopez
Loyola, and Mr. Bautista Rodriguez Arce.
4. To ask the
Government of Perú to advise the Commission within 90 days of the measures it
has taken in conformity with this resolution. Should the Government of Peru fail
to present its comments within that time, the Commission, in accordance with
Article 63 g of its Regulations, shall include this resolution in its
Annual Report to the General Assembly of the OAS.
5. To convey this resolution to the Government of Peru and to the complainant.