No. 26/01


1.           On October 17, 2001, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (“the Commission” or the “IACHR”) concluded its 113th regular session.  The Commission is composed of Dean Claudio Grossman, President; Dr. Juan E. Méndez, First Vice-President; and, Ms. Marta Altolaguirre, Second Vice-President, in addition to the following members: Dr. Hélio Bicudo; Prof. Robert K. Goldman; Dr. Peter Laurie; and Dr. Julio Prado Vallejo. Dr. Santiago A. Canton serves as Executive Secretary of the Commission.


2.          The IACHR would like to express its strong solidarity with the Government and people of the United States of America in the wake of the criminal terrorist attack it suffered on September 11, 2001.  There is no doubt that this was an attack against humanity.  With its experience in protecting human rights, the IACHR would emphasize that there is no valid justification for acts of terrorism.




3.          The IACHR attaches great value to the adoption of the Inter-American Democratic Charter by the OAS member states on September 11, 2001, at the twenty-eighth special session of the General Assembly of the Organization in Lima, Peru. 


4.          The adoption of the Inter-American Democratic Charter is a significant step towards strengthening the indissoluble link between democracy and human rights.  In fact, the Preamble of that document states that “the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man and the American Convention on Human Rights contain the values and principles of liberty, equality, and social justice that are intrinsic to democracy.”  It goes on to reaffirm “that the promotion and protection of human rights are a basic prerequisite for the existence of a democratic society, and [to recognize] the importance of the continuous development and strengthening of the inter-American human rights system for the consolidation of democracy.”  Article 7 of the Charter states that “democracy is indispensable for the effective exercise of fundamental freedoms and human rights” and Article 8 refers to the intention of OAS member states “to strengthen the inter-American system for the protection of human rights for the consolidation of democracy in the Hemisphere.”


          5.          Failure to comply with the decisions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the IACHR will certainly be an important consideration in determining, in specific cases, whether the democratic order has been seriously impaired and whether democracy is at risk, situations which would activate the mechanisms established in the Inter-American Democratic Charter.


          II.             ANNUAL REPORT


6.           The Commission devoted a large part of its meetings to consideration of its Annual Report for this year, to be presented to the OAS General Assembly in Barbados in June 2002.  The organization and content of the different chapters comprising the report were approved.




7.           The Commission continued to review numerous individual communications alleging violations of human rights protected by the American Convention and/or the American Declaration, and adopted a total of 60 reports pertaining to these individual petitions and cases.  The 48 reports in which the IACHR’s decision is a public one are listed below:


A.             Decisions


i.           Inadmissibility

          -          Segundo Wenceslao Segura, P0344/97 - Report/01, Argentina

          -          Wilma Rosa Posadas, P0015/00 – Report 122/01, Argentina

-          Alberto Dahik Garzozi, P12.259 - Report 93/01, Ecuador

          -          Juan Fernando Cabrera Guerrero, P12.299 – Report 94/01, Ecuador

          -          Liliana Zambrano Pacheco, P12.203 – Report 95/01, Peru

          -          José Alberto Pérez Meza, P0019/99 – Report 96/01, Paraguay

          -          Atanasio Franco Cano, P0122/01 – Report 120/01, Paraguay


ii.           Admissibility


The reports declaring the admissibility of petitions refer primarily to compliance with the formal requirements pertaining to the admissibility of the complaint, and should not be construed as a prejudgment regarding the truth of the events of the case or as a decision by the Commission on its merits.


          -          Juan Angel Greco, Case 11.804 – Report 72/01, Argentina

          -          MZ, Case 12.350 – Report 73/01, Bolivia

          -          Humberto Palamara Iribarne, Case 11.571 – Report 77/01, Chile

          -          Giacommo Turra, Case 11.662 – Report 74/01, Colombia

          -          El Aro, Ituango, Case 12.266 – Report 75/01, Colombia

          -          Wilson Gutiérrez Soler, Case 12.291 – Report 76/01, Colombia

          -          Rigoberto Acosta Calderón, Case 11.620 – Report 78/01, Ecuador

          -          Marco Antonio Molina Theissen, Case 12.101 – Report 79/01, Guatemala

          -          Franz Britton a.k.a. Collie Wills, Case 12.264 – Report 80/01, Guyana

-          Alfonso Martín del Campo Dodd, Case 12.228 – Report 81/01, Mexico

-          Zoilamérica Narváez Murillo, Case 12.230 – Report 118/01, Nicaragua

-          Aníbal Miranda, Case 12.000 – Report 82/01, Paraguay

-          Zulema Tarazona Arriate et al, Case 11.581 – Report 83/01, Peru

-          Ricardo Manuel Semoza Di Carlo, Case 12.078 – Report 84/01, Peru

-          Workers, Municipality of Lima, Case 12.084 – Report 85/01, Peru

-          Maritime and Port Workers, Case 12.319 – Report 86/01, Peru

-          Radyo Koulibwi, Case 11.870 – Report 87/01, Saint Lucia

-          Winston Caesar, Case 12.147 – Report 88/01, Trinidad and Tobago

-          Balkissoon Roodal, Case 12.342 – Report 89/01, Trinidad and Tobago

-          Tomás Eduardo Cirio, Case 11.500 – Report 119/01, Uruguay

-          Oscar José Blanco Romero, Case 12.256 – Report 90/01, Venezuela

-          Roberto Javier Hernández Paz, Case 12.258 – Report 91/01, Venezuela

-          José Francisco Rivas Hernández, Case 12.307 – Report 92/01, Venezuela


          iii.          Friendly Settlement

-          María Merciadri de Morini, Case 11.307 – Report 103/01, Argentina

-          Rodrigo Muñoz Arcos et al, Case 11.441 – Report 104/01, Ecuador

-          Washington Ayora, Case 11.443 – Report 105/01, Ecuador

-          Marco Vinicio Almeida Calispa, Case 11.450 – Report 106/01, Ecuador

-          Angel Reinerio Vega Jiménez, Case 11.542 – Report 107/01, Ecuador

-          Wilberto Manuel Mansano, Case 11.574 – Report 108/01, Ecuador

-          Vidal Segura Hurtado, Case 11.632 – Report 109/01, Ecuador

-          Pompeyo Andrade Benítez, Case 12.007 – Report 110/01, Ecuador


          iv.          Merits


–           Milton García Fajardo, Case 11.381 - Report 100/01, Nicaragua

-        Extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances, Case 10.247 and 24 other cases– Report 101/01, Peru


          B.             Files Closed


          8.           Pursuant to Articles 48(1)(b) of the American Convention and 35(c) of its Regulations, the IACHR reviewed various case files and decided to close the files pertaining to the following petitions:


          -          10.927, Isaac Bustos Bermúdez, Ecuador

          -          11.454, Luzmila Coral Manya, Ecuador

          -          11.464, Alberto Augusto Zalles Cueto, Ecuador

          -          12.120, Foro Democrático, Peru

          -          12.039, Mario Pedro, Trinidad and Tobago

          -          10.740, Joseph Fitzpatrick, Trinidad and Tobago

          -          11.629, Angela Thompson, United States

          -          12.340, John Paul Penry, United States  



9.           Since the 110th regular session, Mexico has signed the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons on May 4, 2001.  On June 5, 2001, Chile signed the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, the “Protocol of San Salvador.”  It also signed the Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty on September 10, 2001.


10.          It should also be noted that the following states ratified the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities: Brazil, on August 15, 2001; Peru, on August 30, 2001; and, Uruguay on July 20, 2001.


          11.          The Commission would highlight these advances and urge all member states that have not yet done so to ratify the American Convention on Human Rights and other instruments, with a view to reinforcing the legal protection for the fundamental rights of the inhabitants of this Hemisphere.




          12.          On October 11, 2001, the Paraguayan Chamber of Deputies elected Manuel María Páez Monges as the Ombudsman and Héctor Raúl Marín Peralta as the Deputy Ombudsman.  The Commission would like to point out the importance of this decision on the part of the Paraguayan legislature, since the position of ombudsman was instituted by the National Constitution of that country in 1992, but has remained vacant every since.  On various occasions, the Commission has voiced its concern over the delay in designating an ombudsman, such as in a report published in Chapter IV of the IACHR Annual Report for 1999, and in the “Third Report on the Status of Human Rights in Paraguay," published in March 2001.


          13.          The Commission regards this appointment as a move towards consolidating democratic institutions in Paraguay and is fully prepared to give its cooperation to the ombudsman as he performs his delicate duties.


VI.            ON-SITE VISITS


          14.          The IACHR pursued its consideration of the details related to invitations received to visit Colombia in early December of this year.  It also looked into the possibility of moving forward on pending invitations to make observation visits to other OAS member states.

          VII.            MEETINGS AND HEARINGS


15.          In the course of its regular session, the IACHR met with the Secretary-General of the OAS, Dr. César Gaviria.  In so doing, it followed the practice of recent years to engage in a frank dialogue with the General Secretariat.  There was complete agreement on the need to strengthen the administrative independence of the IACHR and to prevent any interference in its delicate functions as the primary organ of the OAS working for the protection of human rights.


          16.          In addition, on October 17, 2000, the Commission held a meeting with representatives of the Pan American Health Organization.  They took that opportunity to discuss matters related to the status of the human rights of mentally disabled persons in the hemisphere.


            17.          The hearings to be held in conjunction with the 113th regular session at the headquarters of the IACHR will take place November 12-16, 2001.


Washington, D.C., October 18, 2001