The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights prepared its first Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Uruguay as a result of the increasing number of serious denunciations of alleged violations of human rights in that country since 1973. This decision was taken during its Thirty-Ninth Session (October-November 1976). At that same session, the Commission also decided to inform the Government of Uruguay of this decision and to request that Government to allow a Special Committee of the IACHR to conduct an in loco observation, to complete the data already in the Commission’s hands. In response to the overtures made by the Chairman of the IACHR, Dr. Andrés Aguilar, to obtain permission from the Uruguayan authorities for a visit by the Special Commission, the Government repeatedly answered no.


          The Uruguayan Government’s refusal to permit the in loco observation did not prevent the Commission from carrying out is statutory duties. Thus, at its 41st session (May of 1977), based on the Uruguayan Government’s reply to its request for information in connection with individual cases, and on data received from claimants and other sources, the Commission prepared the first version of its Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Uruguay, which was transmitted to the Government of that country. The Government in turn made observations on the Report. After considering those observations, at its 43rd session the Commission approved the final version of the Report on February 3, 1978. This Report was presented to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States.


          The first Report of the Commission on the Situation of Human Rights in Uruguay established the following conclusions and recommendations:




         1. After a careful and objective analysis of the information at its disposal, the Commission has reached the conclusion that a regime exists in Uruguay under which rights, recognized in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, have been violated.


         2. The numerous denunciations received from Uruguay and from any other sources which the Commission considers to be reliable, and the Uruguayan Government’s responses to the Commission’s request for information and recommendations, enable the Commission to affirm that there have been serious violations of the following human rights in Uruguay: the right to life, to liberty, and to personal security; the right to freedom of opinion; expression and dissemination of ideas; the right to a fair trial; the right to due process of law; the right of assembly and association, and the right to vote and to participate in government.




         In light of these conclusions and other observations made in this Report, and without prejudice to the action which may be appropriate with regard to the individual cases to which reference has been made, the Commission, in exercise of the powers granted by its Statute, reiterates to the Government of Uruguay that:


         1. It adopt the appropriate measures to cooperate with the Commission in a more effective manner, by providing it with the documents and information mentioned above, and any other information that the Commission may request in the exercise of its authority.


         2. It order a thorough and impartial investigation in order to determine those responsible for the deaths of certain persons who died as a result of torture while being held under detention or arrest, and that it duly inform the Commission of the results of such investigations.


         3. It establish the prison or case visits made by the Supreme Court, which were suspended by Law Nº 14,493 of December 29, 1975.


         4. It exempt, in accordance with its Laws, minors of 18 years or younger from application of the Prompt Security Measures and, should they be involved in an allegedly illegal act or acts incompatible with public order, that it immediately place them at the disposition of the competent Juvenile Court Judge and confine them in quarters separate from those housing adult detainees.


         5. It release, at the earliest possible date, all detainees against whom no charges have been filed, including those detained in application of the Prompt Security Measures, or else immediately submit them to a fair trial and due process of law, should there be legal grounds for such action.


         6. It adopt the measures necessary to prevent and curb any abuses committed against detainees.


          At its eighth regular session, held in June 1978, the General Assembly of the OAS adopted the following Resolution (AG/RES. 369 (VIII-O/78)).




         HAVING SEEN the Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the Situation of Human Rights in Uruguay (AG/doc.919/78) and the Uruguayan Government’s observations on that Report (AG/doc.928/78 and AG/doc.928/78 add.1), and




         That the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, as the result of its analysis based on numerous denunciations received, affirms in this Report that there have been serious violations of human rights;


         That the protection and effective exercise of human rights is one of the main purposes of the Organization of American States and the observance of those rights is a source of good relations and solidarity among the member states as a guarantee of respect for human life and the dignity of man;


         That the opinions expressed during the discussions on this subject show the concern of the member states over the effective exercise and protection of human rights in the hemisphere, and


         That the principal purpose of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is to promote the observance and protection of human rights in all the member states,




         1. To make an earnest appeal to the Government of Uruguay to adopt and put into practice the necessary methods and measures recommended by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in its Report, in order effectively to preserve and ensure the complete enjoyment of human rights in Uruguay.


         2. To state its satisfaction over the declared spirit of cooperation manifest at the eighth regular session of this General Assembly and to ask the Government of Uruguay, in the same spirit, to consider the possibility of inviting the Commission to pay an in loco visit and to take appropriate measures to provide the Commission with any cooperation that may be necessary for it to carry out its work, to continue to provide the Commission with such information as it may request in the discharge of its duties, and at the same time to grant the appropriate guarantees to those individuals and institutions that may provide information, testimony, or evidence of any other kind to the Commission.


         3. To thank the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for its Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Uruguay, and to request it to continue to observe the exercise of human rights in that country and to report on the matter to the General Assembly at its next regular session.


          Pursuant to this Resolution, the Commission has prepared this Report, which does not pretend to be a thorough analysis of the situation of human rights in Uruguay but merely a brief evaluation of the steps taken by the Commission in connection with alleged violations of human rights denounced to it during 1978.


          The General Situation of Human Rights in Uruguay during 1978


          According to information in the hands of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the situation of human rights in Uruguay has not changed significantly, although the number of denunciations received concerning alleged violations during 1978 has dropped considerably in comparison with previous years. However, during the period under consideration, the Commission has received denunciations of 215 cases of illegal arrests, a number of them involving incommunicado detention for time periods longer than what the law allows, mistreatment and torture of varying intensity, and deaths. When it transmitted the pertinent parts of these denunciations to the Government of Uruguay, in accordance with its Regulations, the Commission requested information in connection with these violations.


          Generally, the Government’s replies have been evasive, generic in nature or incomplete; further, must of them are such that it is impossible to determine whether the prescribed legal standards have been enforced, and whether the individuals detained or held have been allowed to effectively exercise the rights guaranteed in Uruguay’s Constitution and the American Declaration.


          In view of this situation, the IACHR has, in numerous communications, requested information that it considers necessary to continue its work. Some of the information needed has been:


          a) the result of the proceedings conducted in connection with the individual in question;

          b) if a guilty verdict has been handed down, a copy of the sentence; and

          c) the individual’s current status.


          In almost all its responses, the Government of Uruguay uses the Spanish term procesado to report the initiation of the legal proceedings in accordance with the laws in force. However, on the basis of the denunciations and testimony and even the replies from the Government, it can be said that the judicial process initiated follows its normal course up to the court’s final decision only in a relatively small number of cases. The court’s decision is at times arbitrarily objected to by the military authorities, as demonstrated in the cases denounced to the Commission involving a number of individuals who remain under arrest despite a judicial order to the contrary, (Cases: 3699 of Carlos Hugo Peluffo Mazzari; 3100 of Washington de Vargas). In most cases, the information provided by the Government ends with notification of the proceedings or of referral of the case to the Military Court.


          In all these cases, in accordance with Articles 42 and 9 bis © of the Regulations of the Commission and of Resolution 369 of the General Assembly of the OAS, the Commission has requested the Government of Uruguay to provide specific supplementary information. To date, for all practical purposes the Government has not replied to the Commission’s request. According to statistics compiled by the Secretariat of the Commission, there are a total of 80 cases, which involve 587 alleged victims, where either the Government of Uruguay has not responded to the request for information submitted by the Commission or the replies provided are incomplete. For this reason, and because many detainees continue in jail after many years—in some cases despite a contradictory judicial decision, and also because of the great difficulty or even impossibility of determining whether the remedies of internal law have been exhausted and the authenticity of the facts denounced and of the statements made by the Government,--Dr. Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches, in accordance with Resolutions 365 of the General Assembly and pursuant to the decision taken by the Commission at its 613 Meeting (held during its 46th session on March 9, 1979) in a letter to the Government of Uruguay dated April 16, 1979, transmitted the operative part of the resolution quoted above and requested the following information:


         1. Means and measures the Government of Uruguay has adopted to implement the recommendations formulated by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in its Report on the Situation of Human Rights, designed to preserve and ensure effective and complete respect of human rights in that country.


         2. The possibility of the Uruguayan Government’s inviting the Commission to conduct an in loco observation.


         3. Any other information in connection with the situation of human rights in Uruguay which, in the opinion of Your Excellency’s Government, may be useful to the Commission in preparing its Report for the next session of the General Assembly.


          By note dated May 21, 1979, Mr. Francisco Bustillo del Campo, Ambassador of Uruguay to the OAS, replied to the Chairman of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches, as follows:


         Mr. Chairman:


         I have the honor of addressing you in order to transmit the communication addressed to you by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of my country, Don Adolfo Folle Martínez.


         The communication transcribed below is a telex addressed to the Commission, received today. It is being transmitted to you via de Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the Organization of American States:


         “… I have the honor to address you in connection with your note of April 16 last, concerning Resolution 369, adopted by the General Assembly of the OAS at its eighth regular session.


         As for the information contained in paragraph 1 of your note, at the appropriate time the observations that the Government considered pertinent in this regard were sent to the General Assembly. Those observations were as follows:


         1. The Government of Uruguay has demonstrated its willingness to cooperate with the Commission, and will continue to do so in the future. The observations made in the present document are evidence of the government’s interest in this respect, and the suggestions it makes for carrying out coordinate work with the Commission will undoubtedly result in greater efficacy of the common effort. We should make it clear that this broad unreserved cooperation in no way contradicts the strict legal framework within which relations between the IACHR and the member states of the Organization are conducted, which as a matter of principle the Government of Uruguay is not prepared to abandon.


         2. There is no evidence that any deaths by physical torture have occurred. Nor can it accept that any possible deficiencies in information or in very rare cases, lack of information can give rise to anything more than a formal presumption of assigning responsibility. Rather, the Commission has detailed evidence of the investigations carried out by the government, and of the particular concern the authorities have shown ever since the outset of anti-subversive activity to prevent and repress all abuses of authority. The government will thus continue to cooperate with the Commission within the limit set by the legal provisions that govern its operations.


         3 The operation of the system has been clearly explained: this includes visits to penal establishments by the highest judicial authorities, commutation of sentences and generally, everything that would tend to interrupt or shorten sentences. Information was also provided on the suspension of these visits during 1976, for which reason their reinstatement as recommended by the Commission is totally irrelevant.


         Due to the liberal and broad ideas, the government has even consented to some requests such as those coming from certain foreign ambassadors asking to interview citizens of other nations, with regard to whom an interest legally protected under international law cannot be invoked.


         4. The functioning of the Uruguay system has also been explained in detail, as have the broad guarantees it affords minors. The recommendation makes sense, since the most advanced practices for the treatment of minors have been used in Uruguay for many years, and it has in no way been proven that there have been any cases or practices contrary thereto.


         5. The government has limited detentions under the Prompt Security Measures in strict compliance with the applicable constitutional provisions. It should be pointed out that in the majority of cases, internment under the Prompt Security Measures was followed by the alleged crime being brought before the courts, their decisions being final.


         The most salient characteristic of this legal institution, which derives from the 1830 Constitution (Article 81) and which is set forth in similar terms in the present Constitution (Article 178 Nº 17), is that it differs from declarations of state of emergency, alarm, or state of siege described in comparative law, by being unquestionably more being. On the other hand, it is not within the power of the government to renounce a constitutional system that protects domestic security and order to deal with situations of public disturbances and guarantee the peaceful coexistence of its people.


         6. Positive law contains numerous safeguards to prevent abuse of detainees, and the authorities have shown repeated evidence of their continual vigilance to see that such laws are strictly observed.


         With regard to paragraph 2 of your note, the Uruguayan Government’s position on that topic is clear and has been forwarded to the Commission.


         Given the continuing concern on the part of the Government regarding the matter of human rights, the question posed is being reanalyzed, although the possibility of conducting an in loco observation continues to appear to be unjustified in light of developments in the national situation.


         With regard to paragraph 3 of your note, and confirming the statement made in the preceding paragraph, we would like to bring the following to your attention:


         A) A series of visits by important international agencies and foreign individuals who were given an extensive introduction to the Uruguayan situation, beyond that required by virtue of any international commitment on the matter.


         Mention can be made of the mission conducted by the National Academy of Science of the United States (March 1978), the visit by the American Bar Association (April 1978) and by the Agency known as “Médicos sin fronteras” (August 1978).


         B) The decision to continue to maintain ties with the International Red Cross, analyzing at this time the means best suited of carrying out the plans for the visit, which were also conducted in years past, during the most difficult times of the crisis.


         C) The release, during this past year, of more than 500 individuals being prosecuted, which was a decision adopted by the Uruguayan Judiciary.


         D) In this connection, and as testimony to the proper and efficient functioning of the courts, when the appeal of a French citizen, Frank Conchon Oswald, was being processed, the stages of his public trial were followed by a French lawyer, Dr. Francois Cheron, who came to Uruguay expressly for that purpose.


         The statements of the above mentioned lawyer, who also visited detention centers, are well known, since they had significant international impact. They express a positive opinion of the present situation of the judicial system and prisons in Uruguay, given by an objective observer unaffected by the ideological and propagandist distortion of the facts.


         E) The continuing and fruitful contacts with the ILO through the recent presentation of the trade union bill and the positive results acknowledged in the recommendations that the Committee on Trade Union Freedom of the ILO brought before the council of the organization in March of this year and which it accepted.


         F) Strict compliance on the part of the national authorities with the schedule that led to prompt restoration of political rights, as contained in the plans made public by the Uruguayan Government in August 1977; we feel it is sufficient to underscore the number of occasions on which the government has publicly reiterated the above mentioned goals.


         G) The cordial and efficient relations being maintained with the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).


         H) The close and continuing cooperation with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the Covenants Committee, as well as the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations of the Executive Board of UNESCO which is that branch of UNESCO that deals with the subject of human rights.


         I) Public discussion of such important topics as the following, during the process of normalization in our Republic:


         The Statute of the political parties;

         The lifting of certain proscriptions against political figures;

         The lifting of limitations, which, as a defense measure against internal and external acts of aggression committed against national institutions, were imposed at that time upon the exercise of certain guarantees and rights.


         My Government seeks to maintain a fruitful dialogue with the Commission, whose commitment to safeguard human rights in our hemisphere it supports so that the Commission’s efforts do not become a sterile confrontation with states.


         To better implement the cooperation which our Government wishes to extend to the Commission, the President would like to know that he could do to help improve the system of information now in operation.


          In the Commission’s opinion, the guarantees protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms contained in domestic law, the adoption of the Universal Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, as well as ratification of the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights, and on Economics, Social and Cultural Rights, should be applied to everything done by the government which wishes to demonstrate its respect for the Constitution and the international treaties and conventions that form part of Uruguay’s legal system.


          These statements are relevant in the analysis of the situation of human rights in the Republic of Uruguay, and are significant for the study of the government’s actions in applying measures which threaten protection of individual guarantees, which are in open conflict with the spirit of the international agreements and its own Constitution.




          In its First Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Uruguay, the Commission presented a detailed analysis of the major legal provisions enacted by the Government and of their consequences in terms of the protection of human rights guaranteed both by the Constitution and by the international conventions to which Uruguay is party.


          With regard to the right to life, the security and integrity of the individual, the Commission recommended in its Report to the Government of Uruguay that “it order a thorough and impartial investigation in order to determine those responsible for the deaths of those individuals who died as a result of torture” and that “id adopt the measures necessary to prevent and curb any abuses committed against detainees.”


          In its note of May 21, 1979, transcribed above, the Government of Uruguay stated that “there is no evidence that any deaths by physical torture have occurred” (paragraph 2 of that Note) and that Uruguayan laws contain “numerous safeguards to prevent abuse of detainees, and the authorities have shown repeated evidence of their continual vigilance in order that such laws be strictly observed.”


          This response indicates that the Uruguayan Government has not taken and does not plan to take measures of any kind to carry out the IACHR’s recommendations. The foregoing is confirmed by the content of the denunciations received by the Commission, which indicate that despite the existence of adequate laws in the area of protection of human rights, the Government continues to act in violation of those laws.




          The policy pursued by the Government of Uruguay under the terms of the Institutional Acts, and of laws and decrees considered partially unconstitutional or contrary to the principles of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, has apparently become less severe during 1978. Arbitrary detentions still occur, but a greater number of those detained are submitted to due process of law, at least during the initial phases of that process. In a note of February 1978, the Government informed the Commission of the final, provisional, conditional, temporary or expected release of more than 500 people. Due to a decision of the military authorities, however, others remain in prison even after completing their sentences, in spite of a court decision ordering their release.


          The case of Washington de Vargas is an example of the above. The denunciation is as follows:


          CASE 3100


         Washington de Vargas was detained on May 21, 1972, a leftist student leader, 20 years of age, he was sentenced to two years in prison for his political associations (illegal organization). Having completed his sentence, his release papers were signed, but in spite of this and the payment of 150.00 pesos for prison expenses, he has not been released and has continued in detention for almost 4 years; that is, his release papers have been signed but he has not been released. I enclose testimony from former political prisoners who recount the torture and inhumane treatment received by Washington during those 4 years.


         During that time, evidence was fabricated as a basis for a second trial. He was tried and sentenced to 6 years, this time for “Crimes Against the Constitution.” A year before completion of the sentence, a third case was being prepared against him. Washington, desperate after being tortured, attempted suicide twice.


         Domestic and international public opinion has been concerned with the case, and his release was requested for May 21, 1978, date of the completion of his sentence. On March 16, 1978, the Supreme Military Court confirmed the length of his term, and assured his release scheduled for May 21, 1978.


         Washington was then brought before a “military officer serving as judge,” Dr. Carmelo Betancour (Col.), who threatened to deliver him to the OCOA if he did not sign the “statements” that had already been drawn up for the third trial.


         He refused, and a few days later entered the Military Hospital with loss of reflexes, disfigured face, and his body covered with marks inflicted by five officers under the command of officer Nieves who beat him with iron chains.


         Twenty days in a coma followed by a light recovery were sufficient to cause a unit of the Armed Forces to have him “disappear from the Military Hospital and appear” a month later, with the statements signed.


         In these “statements,” Washington is accused of having killed 2 police officers. There are 5 other charges.


         Now the Supreme Military Court states that the 6-year sentence does not end on May 21, 1978 but rather May 21, 1982, since the 4 years that he was in prison with his release papers signed are not counted towards the sentence.


          According to information provided by the Government of Uruguay and published in the press, there are 1,670 persons detained in Uruguayan prisons. The figures published by a religious organization in its report of June, 1979, indicate, however, that between 2,500 and 2,800 political prisoners and prisoners of conscience are held in military and civil detention centers in the country. Other private and international organizations indicate between 4 and 6 thousand political prisoners.


          In connection with the decrees and laws whose spirit and application are contrary to the fundamental principles of the American Declaration, dealt with in the first Report of the Commission, the latter does not at present have information as to whether that legislation has been revoked or amended.




          The Commission has received several denunciations of alleged operations of a specialized police force in Uruguay in foreign countries, apparently with the authorization and alleged participation of the foreign authorities. According to these denunciations, the purpose of these operations is to suppress any form or manifestation of opposition to the military government of Uruguay and to eliminate any person suspected of such opposition. These operations have been carried out in Argentina (Case 2731 of Raúl Gambaro Nuñez mentioned above and Henrique Rodríguez Larreta, Case 2155), in coordination with the Armed Forces of Argentina, and in Brazil with the cooperation of the Social and Political Police Force (DOPS).


          The following cases illustrate the situation:


          CASE 3902


         Asdrúbal Moreira Cardoso, an Uruguayan citizen, was arrested on the grounds of the security of the Uruguayan Government, in Santana do Libramento, Brazil, and later moved to Uruguay; no information has been provided as to his present whereabouts.


         This act was carried out without charges being brought and without his being brought before a court competent in matters of extradition.


         The Government of Uruguay has not replied to the Commission’s request for information.


         CASE 4529


         Kidnapping in Brazil of 4 persons later taken to Montevideo. On November 12, 1978, members of the coordinating Office for Antisubversive Operations of the Uruguayan Armed Forces (OCOA), with the aid and support of members of the Porto Alegre branch of the Social and Political Police Force of Brazil (DOPS), without a court order or legal motive, detained Universindo Rodríguez Díaz, Lilian Celiberti de Casariego and their two children, Camilo and Francesca Casariego, ages 8 and 3, respectively, at their apartment in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and then took the four Uruguayan citizens to agents of the Uruguayan Government who forced them to return to Uruguay, where Rodríguez and Mrs. Celiberti de Casariego were arrested, indicted and taken prisoner by Uruguayan military authorities; their two children, after being kept incommunicado for three days, were given to their maternal grandparents by order of an Uruguayan judge.


         The essential facts of this occurrence which constitute, prima facie, a grave violation of the rights of the victims, all set forth in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and guaranteed in the American Convention on Human Rights, have been corroborated in all material aspects by the Investigative Committee of the Brazilian Bar Association, Office of Rio Grande do Sul, composed of Marcur Melzor, Mariano Beck, Octavio Caruso Branchado de Rocha, and Omar Ferri, who visited Montevideo, Uruguay, from January 2 to 6, 1979, and by the results of an in loco mission in Porto Alegre, Brazil, from December 6 to 12, 1978, carried out by Jean Louis Weil, lawyer to the Court of Paris, France, for the two organizations presenting this complaint and Le Mouvement International des Juristes Catholiques (France), and by eyewitnesses to the detention of the abovementioned victims.


          On the basis of the material evidence gathered by these reliable sources, the following sequence of events and other facts pertinent to the detention, kidnapping and return of the four victims to Uruguay, can be ascertained:


         --That on November 12, 1978, Mr. Rodríguez Díaz and Mrs. Celiberti de Casariego and their children, Camilo and Francesca, were kidnapped and detained in their apartment at 521 Rua Botafogo, Porto Alegre, Brazil, by Uruguayan agents acting in cooperation with members of the Porto Alegre branch of the “DOPS” of Brazil.


         --That on the night of November 12, 1978, Camilo and Francesca were taken to DOPS headquarters in Porto Alegre, where they were placed in the custody of members of the Uruguayan police. Later that same night, they were taken from Porto Alegre, accompanied by Uruguayan and Brazilian personnel, to the Uruguayan border, where they were transferred to another automobile and handed over to the Uruguayan personnel in Uruguayan territory. The two children were detained, incommunicado, in various places, where there were other children, from November 12 to 25, 1978, at which time they “reappeared” in Montevideo and were given to their material grandmother by court order.


         --That Mr. Rodríguez Díaz and Mrs. Celiberti de Casariego were detained by force in their apartment in Porto Alegre for approximately 5 days, November 12 to 17, prior to their forced return to Uruguay. During this period of incommunicado detention, they were in the custody of members of the DOPS and the OCOA of Uruguay.


         --That at 11:00 a.m., on November 17, 1978, Luis Claudio Cunha, editor of “VEJA” in Porto Alegre, received a telephone call from an anonymous source in Sao Paulo, who told him that the four victims were being detained in their apartment and would be kidnapped. In response to this information, Cunha, accompanied by a photo journalist, Joao Baptista Alcalco, went that same day at 4:00 p.m. to the Rodríguez Casariego residence on Rua Botafogo to investigate. The two newspapermen knocked on the door, which was opened by a woman who seemed to be frightened, and who, speaking in Spanish, identified herself as Lilian Celiberti de Casariego. Upon informing her that they had come to verify that she was safe, two men dressed as civilians came from the apartment and forced Cunha and Scalco at gunpoint to enter. For several hours, Cunha and Scalco were interrogated at gunpoint by various people before being allowed to leave. Cunha later identified one of the armed interrogators as Orandir Portassi Lucas, also known as “Didi Pedalada” a former soccer player and member of the Porto Alegre branch of the DOPS.


         --That at some point between November 18 and 24, 1978, Mr. Rodríguez Díaz and Mrs. Celiberti were secretly returned to Uruguay.


         --That on November 25, 1978, the Armed Forces of Uruguay issued a communiqué, Nº 1,400. declaring that four victims had been captured on November 12, 1978, crossing the border together, and that they had “subversive material” in their possession.


         --That on December 2, 1978, the Armed Forces of Uruguay issued a second communiqué, Nº 1,401, which did not coincide with the first, declaring that: (1) Lilian de Universindo, upon attempting to secretly enter Uruguay as part of an invasion force, was captured by members of the Uruguayan security police (after a skirmish during which shots were fired), in a place between Bage-Acegua and the Uruguayan-Brazilian border; (2) that the vehicle in which Universindo and Lilian were traveling contained “subversive material,” and (3) that Camilo and Francesca Casariego were simultaneously detained in a separate vehicle, driven by an “unidentified person”, and containing a “hidden cache of weapons.” Furthermore, the Armed Forces have refused to supply any details concerning the manufacture, registration or license number of the vehicles of persons traveling with Camilo and Francesca.


         --That on December 25, 1978, the Armed Forces of Uruguay issued another communiqué, indicating that Mrs. Celiberti de Casariego had been tried and sentenced by the military courts for “aiding subversive elements,” under the terms of the National Security Law of 1973.


          Furthermore, the following information was gathered by the Brazilian Bar Association during its visit to Montevideo and by other reliable sources:


         --That Lilian Celiberti and Universindo Rodríguez have been kept incommunicado by the military authorities and have been seen by no one since November 17, 1978.


         --That the military authorities confiscated the identification documents of Camilo and Francesca Casariego, making it impossible for them to travel.


         --That the maternal grandparents of the children are under constant surveillance by personnel of the Uruguayan army, who have pressured them not to “talk.”


         --That Camilo, in interviews with Brazilian reporters and with the investigation group of the Brazilian Bar Association, also from Brazil, gave explicit details of his kidnapping and clandestine transfer to Uruguay, together with his sister, on November 12, 1978. In this connection, he confirmed the participation of the DOPS personnel and that of Uruguayan agents in the joint operation. Specifically, Camilo identified “Didi” Pedalada, as had Cunha, and Pedro Selig, chief of the Security Division of DOPS in Rio Grande do Sul, as being among those who detained his mother, sister, and Mr. Rodríguez Díaz at their apartment in Porto Alegre on November 12, 1978, and


         --That in spite of the clearly contradictory explanations given in the communiqué issued by the Uruguayan Armed Forces concerning the detention of the four victims, no official of the Uruguayan Government consented to meet with the members of the investigative committee of the Brazilian Bar Association, nor were members of that group allowed to see Mr. Rodríguez Díaz or Mrs. Celiberti de Casariego.


          The Commission has in its possession information and denunciations of alleged violations by the Government of Uruguay during 1978 of the right to life and personal security that have not been officially submitted or which do not fulfill the requirements of its Regulations. These cases are pending receipt of further information so that the Commission may process them officially.




          Political rights are not duly guaranteed. The right of Uruguayan citizens to participate in decisions in the area of public affairs (Article XX of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man) were suspended by Institutional Act Nº 4 of September 1, 1976. According to information published by the press, the military government has announced that in 1981 presidential elections will be held for the “future government of the Republic.” The country has been informed also that there “will be a single candidate approved by the Armed Forces.” The National Party, or Partido Blanco, commented on that statement as follows: “No political solution is feasible without the full and open participation of all political parties.” Two days later the Directorship of the Party was disbanded by the military government and replaced by a Committee appointed by the Government.




          The Commission, considering: a) the nature of the official statements of the Government of Uruguay concerning the presidential elections announced for 1981; b) the refusal of the Government to supply important information requested by the IACHR, such as copies of autopsy reports; c) the denunciations received by the Commission regarding illegal arrests, arbitrary detention, kidnapping and disappearances carried out by the Uruguayan police during the period covered in this Report, both within and outside of the country, with the alleged collaboration of police authorities in other countries; and d) the death of persons detained as a result of mistreatment at the hands of the police, has no other alternative but to conclude that the situation which justified its First Report persists; as do the reasons for obtaining the consent of the Government of Uruguay for an in loco observation by a Special Committee of the IACHR.


          Furthermore, the Commission observes that the number of denunciations and violations of basic human rights has dropped, although the Government has not acted to adopt appropriate measures to curb the abuses committed in the past or to prevent those which may be committed in the future by its agents in application of the Prompt Security Measures and other legal provisions.



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