CASE 6717


October 4, 1983




1.          In a communication of March 6, 1980, the following complaint was made to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights:


On February 26, 1980, at 6:30 a.m., military forces occupied the rural villages of El Rosario, Plan de Ojos de Agua, La Laguna, El Terrero, El Común and Caserio La Lomona, Dulce Nombre de María, Chalatenango (70 kilometers north of the capital), set fire to the homes of the campesinos and brutally murdered Mrs. Antonia Guardado and her daughter María Guardado (7 years), Rafael Navarro (20 years)--who after being murdered was decapitated and his body cut into two parts--Berta Lidia Landaverde, a campesina who was found burned to death, and Luisa Abrego, together with her six-month old baby girl.


2.          In a note of March 31, 1980, the Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of this complaint to the Government of El Salvador, requesting that it provide the relevant information.


3.          Upon receiving no reply, the Commission again addressed the Government of El Salvador in a note of May 18, 1982, repeating its request for information and announcing the possible application of Article 39 of its Regulations, on the presumption that the facts reported were true.


4.          On May 26, 1983, the Commission once more repeated its request for information of the Government of El Salvador, referring to its past note of May 18, 1982.




1.          That to date the Government of El Salvador has not replied to the Commission's request for information, contained in its notes of March 31, 1980, May 18, 1982, and May 26, 1983; and


2.          That Article 39 of the Regulations establishes as follows:


Article 39


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 31 paragraph 5, the government has not provided the pertinent information, as long as other evidence does not lead to a different conclusion.




1.          Based on Article 39 of the Regulations, to presume to be the events reported in the communication of March 6, 1980, concerning the burning and destruction of the rural villages of El Rosario, Plan Ojos de Agua, La Laguna, El Terrero, El Común and Caserio de Lomona, Dulce Nombre de Maria, Chalatenango, on the part of Salvadorian troops, who also murdered Antonia Guardado, Maria Guardado, Rafael Navarro, Berta Lidia Landaverde and Luisa Abrego and her six-month old infant daughter.


2.          To declare that the Government of El Salvador is responsible in this case for the violation of Articles 4 (Right to Life) and 7 (Right to Personal Liberty and Security) of the American Convention on Human Rights.


3.          To recommend to the Salvadorian Government that it investigates the acts denounced and informs the Commission within a period of 60 days.


4.          To transmit this resolution to the Salvadorian Government and to the claimants.


5.          If after the 60 days have passed the Government of El Salvador has not presented information on the measures taken, the Commission shall include this resolution in its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, in accordance with Article 59 (g) of the Regulations of the Commission.


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