This report covers the activities carried out by the Commission in 1995.



          1.          SESSIONS


          The IACHR held its 88th Regular Session on February 6-17, 1995; its 89th special session on April 18-19, 1995; and its 90th regular session on September 11-21, 1995.



          a.          88th Session


          During this session, the Commission elected its Executive Board consisting of Dr. Alvaro Tirado Mejía, Chairman; Dean Claudio Grossman, First Vice Chairman; and Ambassador John S. Donaldson, Second Vice Chairman.  The other members of the Commission are Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza, Dr. Patrick Robinson, Dr. Oscar Luján Fappiano, and Professor Michael Reisman.


          The Commission considered and adopted the Annual Report submitted to the General Assembly at its twenty-fifth regular session.  It also approved a Special Report on the Human Rights Situation in Haiti.


          The Commission continued its analysis of the observance of economic, social, cultural, and women's rights in the Americas.


          The Commission adopted a decision to include in the Annual Report for 1994, reports on the general situation of human rights in Colombia, El Salvador, Cuba and Guatemala[1].


          The Commission continued to examine the human rights situation in Brazil.


          The Commission received information on the human rights situation in Chiapas, Mexico, and agreed to continue to monitor developments there.


          The Commission deplored the armed conflict between Ecuador and Peru.

       During this session, the Commission held hearings during which it received information from Permanent Representatives of governments accredited to the OAS, from non-governmental organizations and individuals, and listened to their testimony and declarations regarding the overall human rights situation in different states and specific cases currently being handled by the Commission.


          The Commission also received a visit from the Chairperson of the Truth and Justice Commission of Haiti, Dr. Francoise Boucard.


          Finally, during this session the Commission also reviewed the proposed text of a draft inter-American instrument on the rights of indigenous peoples.



          b.          89th special session


          Taking part in this special session were Dr. Alvaro Tirado Mejía, Dean Claudio Grossman, Ambassador. John S. Donaldson, Dr. Leo Valladares, Professor Michael Reisman, and Dr. Patrick Robinson.


          The Commission discussed matters relating to the draft declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples and agreed to certain changes taking into account the comments and observations put forward by the members during the discussions.


          On that occasion, the Commission met with representatives of the Human Rights Foundation and decided to publicize the project among members of the legal community in OAS member countries.


          The Commission analyzed specific cases in various countries, as well as a communication from a non-governmental organization regarding independent representation of petitioners before the Court and certain aspects of their pleading before the Court.


          The Commission also held a retreat during which it examined a number of pending human rights issues.  These included its own procedural practices.



          c.          90th session


          Taking part in this session were the Chairman, Dr. Alvaro Tirado Mejía; First Vice Chairman, Dean Claudio Grossman; Second Vice Chairman, Ambassador John S. Donaldson; and Dr. Patrick Robinson, Dr. Leo Valladares, Dr. Oscar Luján Fappiano, and Professor Michael Reisman.  During this session, the Commission received visits from representatives of governments, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals interested in the observance and protection of human rights.  It heard testimony regarding the overall situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in various states as well as regarding specific cases currently before the Commission.


          The Commission was also visited by three representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, who offered to collaborate with the IACHR.


          The Commission approved various reports on specific cases in different countries and confirmed its intention to carry out an on site visit to Brazil in December 1995 and to Venezuela in the first half of 1996, having received invitations from the Governments of those two member states.  The Commission also accepted the invitation by the Government of Mexico.


          The Commission approved the preliminary draft Inter-American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  This document has been sent to the governments of OAS member states, indigenous organizations, and other entities interested in the subject for comments and observations.


          During this session, the Commission adopted amendments to articles 12 and 13, paragraphs 2 and 3; article 19, paragraph 2, letter a; and to article 47, paragraph 6 of its Regulations.  The new texts read as follows:



            Article 12



                   The Secretariat of the Commission will consist of an Executive Secretary, two Assistant Executive Secretaries, and such professional, technical and administrative staff as are needed to comply with the Commission's tasks.



            Article 13


                   2.       One of the Assistant Executive Secretaries shall stand in for the Executive Secretary in his absence or because of some impediment.



                   3.       The Executive Secretary, Assistant Executive Secretaries, and Secretariat staff shall exercise the utmost discretion regarding all matters that the Commission considers confidential.





            Article 19


                   2.       Commission members may not take part in the discussion, investigation, assessment or decision regarding an issue submitted to the Commission if


         a. They are nationals of the country under the general or specific review of the Commission or if they are accredited with that country or are members of a diplomatic mission to it.  Permanent residents in the state under review may abstain from taking part  if they consider that appropriate.



            Article 47


          6.       The report will be transmitted to the State concerned, which shall not be authorized to publish it.


          Regarding the special study on prisons, the IACHR resolved to reiterate to the governments of member states that have not yet done so that they should send their replies to the questionnaire drawn up by the Commission on this subject.


          The Commission expressed its concern regarding the increase in violence in the Urabá region of Colombia and issued an urgent call for peaceful coexistence in that part of Colombia, so as to avoid violations of the right to life.


          Finally, the Commission agreed to hold its next regular session from February 26 to March 8, 1996.





          The Commission attended the twenty-fifth regular session of the General Assembly in Montrouis, Haiti.  It was represented by IACHR Chairman, Dr. Alvaro Tirado Mejía; the First Vice Chairman, Dean Claudio Grossman, and the Second Vice Chairman, Ambassador John Donaldson, assisted by the Executive Secretary, Dr. Edith Márquez, Dr. Domingo Acevedo, and Dr. Bertha Santoscoy.  During the Assembly, the Ad Hoc Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs paid tribute to the work carried out by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  During the General Assembly, the IACHR met with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and discussed various matters relating to cases filed by the IACHR.


          Various resolutions were adopted at this Assembly, and, in particular, one on the Annual Report of the IACHR, which reads as follows:



         AG/RES. 1331 (XXV-0/95)






     (Resolution adopted at the ninth plenary session,

held on June 9, 1995)




                   HAVING SEEN the Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CP/doc.2561/95), the special report on the situation of human rights in Haiti (CP/CAJP-1004/95), the presentation of those reports by the Chair of the Commission, and the observations and recommendations of the Permanent Council of the Organization regarding those reports (AG/doc.3202/95); and




                   That the member states of the Organization of American States have proclaimed in their Charter as one of its fundamental principles respect for the rights of the individual without distinction as to race, nationality, creed, or sex;


                   That the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was established by the Fifth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, held in Santiago, Chile, in 1959, and that its principal function, according to the OAS Charter, is to promote the observance and protection of human rights and to serve as a consultative body of the Organization;


                   That the ideal of a free human being, unfettered by fear or poverty, can only be fulfilled if conditions are established which permit all individuals to enjoy their economic, social, and cultural rights as well as their civil and political rights;


                   That international protection of human rights reinforces or complements the protection afforded by the domestic laws of member states and is based upon the attributes of the human being;


                   That the heads of state and government attending the Summit of the Americas, held in December 1994, renewed their commitment to further strengthening the inter-American system for the protection of human rights;


                   That the return to constitutional order in Haiti has resulted in an improvement in the status of all human rights, even though problems remain in this area, highlighting once again the strong links that exist between democracy, development, and human rights as interdependent, mutually-supportive concepts;


                   That the effective exercise of representative democracy is the best guarantee that human rights will be fully respected; and


                   That the member states reaffirm their conviction as to the recognized inextricable ties between human rights, democracy, and development,




                   1.       To take note of the Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CP/doc.2561/95) and the special report on the situation of human rights in Haiti (CP/CAJP-1004/95).


                   2.       To receive the recommendations and observations presented by the Permanent Council for consideration by the General Assembly and to transmit them, along with those set forth in this resolution, to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.


                   3.       To take note of the comments and observations of the member state governments regarding the annual report and the steps the governments are taking to strengthen the promotion, observance, and protection of human rights.


                   4.       To urge those member states that have not yet done so to sign, ratify, or accede to, as the case may be, the American Convention on Human Rights, "Pact of San José," and the other inter-American instruments for the promotion and protection of human rights.


                   5.       To likewise recommend to the member states that they accept the competence of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to receive and examine communications from states concerning other states in accordance with Article 45.1 of the American Convention on Human Rights and that they recognize as binding the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.


                   6.       To urge member states to guarantee and exercise special vigilance with regard to the human rights of women, indigenous populations, children, refugees, persons with disabilities, migrant workers and their families, disenfranchised groups, minority groups, and victims of racial discrimination; to urge them to bring about conditions that will foster harmony and tolerance between those groups and all sectors of society; and to call upon the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to continue to give priority attention to these matters.


                   7.       To take note of the progress made in the effective observance of human rights in the region, especially the steps being taken by member states to enhance the promotion, observance, and protection of human rights in their own countries, and at the same time to express concern over the persistence of serious human rights violations.


                   8.       To reiterate the recommendation made to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in resolution AG/RES. 1112 (XXI-0/91) that in its Annual Report it continue to refer to its activities to promote and extend the observance of human rights in the member states.


                   9.       To urge member states to continue to cooperate with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as it conducts on-site visits, in keeping with applicable provisions, because of their importance to the promotion and protection of human rights.


                   10.     To invite the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to provide cooperation and assistance, within the framework of strengthening democratic systems and at the request of the state concerned, in the promotion and protection of human rights, in coordination with other organs, agencies, and entities of the inter-American system where appropriate.


                   11.     To emphasize that the incorporation of new rights and freedoms in the system envisioned in the American Convention on Human Rights, and any other amendment thereto, must conform to its Articles 31, 76, and 77.


                   12.     To reiterate its most vehement condemnation of domestic and international terrorism in any shape or form and by any agent and repudiate the grave consequences of such acts, which, as stated at the Summit of the Americas, "...constitute a systematic and deliberate violation of the rights of individuals"; and to take note of the information presented to the member states by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in compliance with paragraph (c) of resolution AG/RES. 1112 (XXI-0/91) under "Recommendations to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights," recommending that it continue to provide such information, for which purpose it shall take account of information provided by the member states, among other sources.


                   13.     To urge the member states to continue to provide the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with assistance and support and with the resources it needs in order to properly perform its tasks.


                   14.     To express its appreciation to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for its unflagging efforts during the institutional crisis and the perilous human rights situation that existed in Haiti.


                   15.     To reiterate that freedom of speech prevails in any democratic society; it should not be subject to prior censorship but should entail subsequent liability for any abuse thereof, in accordance with such internal laws as the member states have legitimately established to guarantee respect for the rights and reputations of others and to protect national security, law and order, and public health and morals.


                   16.     To recommend that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights continue to consider, as a priority, adopting the necessary measures to remedy conditions in prisons and reduce to a minimum the number of detainees awaiting trial, and to request that it report thereon to the General Assembly at its next regular session.


                   17.     To ask the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to continue to report on action taken with regard to the Permanent Council's observations and recommendations forwarded by the General Assembly.


                   18.     To urge the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to continue attaching special importance to dialogue with the member states concerning progress made and difficulties encountered in the observance of human rights.


                   19.     To recommend that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in coordination with the General Secretariat, other OAS bodies, and the Inter-American Development Bank, consider the possibility of devising plans to promote, teach, and publicize human rights, both in general and specifically for law enforcement agents, to be submitted to the Permanent Council for consideration and placed at the disposal of those member states that so request, if appropriate.




          a.          On site visit to Haiti


          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights visited Haiti from March 20 to March 24 to observe the human rights situation in that country.  The IACHR's special delegation consisted of Dr. Patrick Robinson, a member of the IACHR, and Dr. Bertha Santoscoy, the lawyer in charge of Haitian affairs, assisted by Dr. Antonio Añez-García and Mrs. Cecilia Adriazola.


          During its stay in Puerto Príncipe, the Delegation met with Mr. Jean Bertrand Aristide, the President of Haiti.  It also saw the following government authorities:  Mrs. Claudette Werleigh, the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Jean Joseph Exume, the Minister of Justice; Mr. Maurice Lafortune, the Minister of Trade and Industry; and Mr. Evans Paul, the Mayor of Puerto Príncipe.


          The Delegation met Ambassador Colin Granderson, Director of the OAS/UNO Civilian Mission and Mr. Ian Martin, the Mission's Director of Human Rights; Mrs. Francoise Boucard, Chairman of the Truth and Justice Commission; Mr. Anselme Rémy and Mrs. Joselyn Lasségue, the representatives of the Provisional Electoral Committee; and Mr. Nguyen Dong, a United Nations staff member in charge of technical assistance and coordination of the election process.


          In addition the Delegation met Paul Dejean and Necker Dessables of La Plataforme, a human rights organization; Father Antoine Adrien, a longstanding representative of the Presidential Commission; and Serges Gilles and Philippe Sivencon, who represented the Partido Nacional Progresista Haitiano.





          b.          On site visit to Brazil


          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights accepted an invitation from the Brazilian Government to visit that country on December 4-8 in order to observe the human rights situation there. 


          The IACHR delegation consisted of Dr. Alvaro Tirado Mejía, Chairman of the Commission; Dean Claudio Grossman, First Vice Chairman;  Ambassador John Donaldson, Second Vice Chairman; Dr. Patrick Robinson; and Dr. Oscar Luján Fappiano.  They were assisted by Ambassador Edith Márquez Rodríguez, Executive Secretary; Dr. David J. Padilla, Assistant Executive Secretary; Dr. Domingo Acevedo, Legal Adviser; Dr. Martha Braga; Dr. Osvaldo Kreimer; Dr. Milton Castillo; and Dr. Felipe Sánchez.  Administrative support was provided by Mrs. Gabriela Hageman, Mrs. Ana Cecilia Adriazola, Mrs. Martha Keller, and Ms. Tania Hernández.


          In order to carry out its observation tasks, the Commission divided itself into four groups.  The first visited Brasilia and Río de Janeiro; the second worked in Sao Paulo and Río de Janeiro; the third group visited the states of Bahía and Pernambuco; while the fourth worked in Pará and Roraima.  All the groups met at the end in Río de Janeiro to evaluate their findings and held a press conference on Saturday, December 9.


          In Brasilia the IACHR met with the President of the Republic, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, and a large number of other federal state authorities in Brazil.


          Thanks to this monitoring and the contacts established, as well as the Commission's usual review of the human rights situation in Brazil, it was possible to obtain an overall assessment of the current state of affairs, in respect of human rights, in that country.  The IACHR also gathered valuable information to be used in the report it will draw up regarding this trip.


          c.          Visit to the United States


          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights by invitation of the United States Government visited a number of so-called Marielito prisoners in various penal institutions throughout the country.  These included the Lompoc Correction Center in California, and  Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas.


          The IACHR delegation in the visit to Califronia consisted of Ambassador John Donaldson, a member of the Commission; Dr. David Padilla, Assistant Executive Secretary,  Dr. Relinda Eddie, a lawyer specializing in human rights issues; and Ms. Janet Pahlmeyer Davies, an interpreter.


          Its delegation to Leavenworth consisted of Dr. Patrick Robinson and Ambassador John Donaldson; Drs. Relinda Eddie and Milton Castillo, lawyers specializing in human rights issues; and Marjorie Buergenthal and Ronnie Rodríguez, interpreters.


          At both institutions the Commission received information regarding the prisoners it interviewed and made inquiries concerning the overall accommodation facilities.  The main aspects addressed were the medical installations and facilities available to Cuban refugees (Cubanos del Mariel):  lodging; educational opportunities available in the institutions; vocational training and recreational programs; arrangements for annual reviews of the detention of already sentenced inmates; the availability of legal advisory services for inmates; difficulties with respect to visits by relatives living far from the institution; and disciplinary methods applied at these institutions.


          e.          Visit to Colombia


          Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza, member of the Rapporteur Committee for Colombia and Dr. Manuel Velasco Clark, the Commission Secretariat's lawyer responsible for that country visited Santafé de Bogotá on December 11-13, 1995.


          The purpose of their trip was to observe how the Government of Colombia and the petitioners in cases 11.007, 11.141, 11.101, and 11.020 were meeting the commitments assumed in agreements of understanding signed before the IACHR in Washington during its 90th session.


          During their visit, the IACHR representatives held various working sessions with the Colombian authorities, with nongovernmental human rights organizations backing the denunciations, and with relatives of the victims.  They also met with members of

the Follow-Up Committee responsible for monitoring compliance with the recommendations of the Commission Investigating the Violent Occurrences in Trujillo, as well as with members of the Committee to promote the Administration of Justice in the case of the massacres in the Villatina district of Medellín (case 11.141), on the El Nilo estate in Caloto (case 11.101), and in Los Uvos (case 11.020).


          The visit ended with an interview with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia.


          f.          Special mission to Guatemala


          Dr. David Padilla, Assistant Executive Secretary, made a special trip to Guatemala on July 5-10, 1995, to seek protection for the prosecuting attorney whose life had been threatened by paramilitary groups.  This involved a case currently pending before the Commission.






          In respect of case 11.009 regarding Mr. Adolfo Garrido and Mr. Raúl Baigorria who were arrested by the Mendoza Province police on April 28, 1990 and whose whereabouts has been a mystery since then, the Commission filed a complaint with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on May 29, 1995.  On September 11, 1995 the Court received a note from the Government of the Republic of Argentina admitting the events described in the complaint and the legal consequences deriving from them.  The Court summoned the parties to a hearing on February 1, 1996 in order to discuss the law in the case.




          From March 9 to March 12, 1995, Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza, a member of the Commission and rapporteur for Colombia, and Dr. Manuel Velasco Clark, the IACHR Secretariat's lawyer in charge of Colombian affairs, travelled to Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia and subsequently to Bucaramanga in the Department of Santander, in order to represent the Commission in a judicial procedure ordered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.  On that occasion they recorded the testimony of a former Colombian soldier, Gonzalo Arias Alturo, regarding his part in the detention and subsequent disappearance of the trade unionist Isidro Caballero and of María del Carmen Santana in February 1989.


          The witness, Arias Alturo, testified in the offices of the Technical Enquiries Unit (Cuerpo Técnico de Investigaciones - CTI) of the Attorney General's Office before the Magistrate commissioned by the Court, Dr. Armando Sarmiento Mantilla.


          During their stay in Colombia, the Commission's delegates also interviewed the Presidential Advisor on Human Rights, the Ombudsman (Defensor del Pueblo), and other Colombian authorities, as well as the representatives of some nongovernmental organizations specializing in human rights.


          At its Eighteenth Special Session the Court discussed the substantive issue in the case of Isidro Caballero Delgado and María del Carmen Santana and pronounced judgment on December 8, 1995.  Its verdict was:


                   1.       That the Republic of Colombia had violated the rights to personal freedom and to life of the above-mentioned persons.


                   2.       That the Republic of Colombia had not violated the right to personal integrity.


                   3.       That the Republic of Colombia had not violated the obligation to take steps to implement effectively the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Convention, nor to provide judicial guarantees and protection during the process.


                   4.       That the Republic of Colombia had not violated Articles 51.2 and 44 of the Convention.


                   5.       That the Republic of Colombia is obliged to continue criminal proceedings in connection with the disappearance and presumed death of the above-mentioned persons and to insist on the sanctions contemplated under domestic law.


                   6.       That the republic of Colombia is obliged to pay just compensation to the relatives of the victims and to reimburse them for the expenses they have incurred in pursuing this matter with the Colombian authorities.


                   7.       That the type and quantity of compensation and the reimbursement of expenses will be established by this Court and that the appropriate proceedings to this effect are now open.




          On December 22, 1995, the Commission filed a complaint against the Republic of Ecuador in case 11.273 regarding Rafael Iván Suárez Rosero.  Mr Suárez has been under preventive arrest since June 23, 1992 without being tried or informed of the charges against him.  The Commission has requested the Court to determine whether the Republic of Ecuador is responsible for violating articles 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights.




          In a resolution dated June 4, 1995, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered urgent measures to be taken to protect the lives and personal integrity of witnesses María Elena Arrivillaga de Carpio, Karen Fischer de Carpio, Mario López Arrivillaga, and Angel Isidro Girón Girón, as well as those of Abraham Méndez García, the attorney in the case investigating the death of Jorge Carpio Nicolle in case 11.333.  These measures were later extended in favor of Lorraine Maric Fischer Pivaral.


          At its Thirty-Third Regular Session, the Inter-American Court heard the arguments of the Commission and of the Government of Guatemala with regard to the above-mentioned provisional measures.


          After listening to the statements of the parties, the Court resolved:


          1.       To ratify the provisional measures previously ordered by the Court.


         2. To require that the parties inform the Court periodically concerning the implementation of those measures.


          At the same session, the Court heard the arguments of the parties regarding the preliminary exceptions interposed by the Government of Guatemala in the Paniagua Morales case, known as the "Panel Blanca" case, in which alleged members of the Estate Police (Guardia de Hacienda) kidnapped and murdered several civilians in 1987 and 1988.


          On August 3, 1995 the Commission submitted for consideration by the Court a complaint against the Republic of Guatemala related to case 11.219, which deals with the forced disappearance, brought about by Guatemalan security forces, of Mr. Nicholas Chapman Blake, a United States journalist whose disappearance took place in 1985.  His remains were discovered in 1992.


          The Guatemalan Government has interposed three preliminary exceptions. For its part, the Court convoked a public hearing on January 28, 1996 to deal with the preliminary exceptions put forward by that Government.





          At its Eighteenth Special Session, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights began its examination of the merits in the Genie Lacayo case.  Thereafter the Court received the testimony of three witnesses presented by the Commission.  They were:  Mr. Raymond Genie Peñalba, Ms. Alicia Duarte Bojorge, and Mr. Hernal­do Zúñiga Montenegro, presented by the Commission.


          The Court had previously held a public hearing to deal with a refusal to appear and objections to various witnesses in the case.  During that hearing, the Court heard the arguments presented by the Government of Nicaragua and by the Inter-American Commission.  On November 28, 1995, the Court resolved on this as follows:


                   1.       To reject the refusal to appear and objections presented by the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua to the above-mentioned witnesses.


                   2.       To authorize the President of the Court to convoke a public hearing whenever he should deem it appropriate to receive the witnesses' statements.  The date chosen is September 5, 1996.




          On January 19, 1995, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights passed judgment in the Neira Alegría and Others case and declared, inter alia, that Peru is obliged to pay the relatives of the victims in this case just compensation and to reimburse them for expenses incurred in the actions they undertook before the Peruvian authorities.  The Court also established that "the form and amount of the compensation and reimbursement of expenses shall be fixed by Peru and the Commission in common accord within six months of notification of the sentence."


          Due to the Peruvian State's failure to reply, the Commission has not been able to conduct any kind of negotiation regarding this matter.  In Resolution 1 of August 1, 1995, the Court granted the Commission until September 30 to provide and present a document and evidence substantiating appropriate reparation and expenses in this case.  On September 30, in compliance with this Court order, the Commission submitted to it a document calling for the payment of compensation and expenses in accordance with the Court's resolution.


          Complying with a decision taken by the Commission at its Eighty-seventh session, on January 11, 1995 the Commission submitted for consideration by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights two complaints against the Peruvian State.


          The first refers to case 11.154 (María Elena Loayza) and the other to case 10.733 (Ernesto Castillo Páez).  Both complaints are being processed and the Government has been formally notified.  On September 23, 1995 a hearing took place at the Court's headquarters in order to hear the arguments of the parties concerning the preliminary exceptions interposed by the Peruvian State.





          From October 23 to 27, 1995 a special IACHR delegation was in Venezuela for a meeting with Deputy Walter Márquez, the legal representative of the victims in the "El Amparo" case.  The purpose of the meeting was to arrive at a joint agreement on reparations and indemnifications to the families of the victims and survivors of the "El Amparo" killings, which case is pending in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.  The IACHR delegation consisted of Dr. Oscar Luján Fappiano, member of the Commission and delegate for the case before the Court, and Dr. Milton Castillo, lawyer of the Executive Secretariat.  The delegation had the administrative support of Mrs. Cecilia Adriazola.






          In 1995 the Inter-American Commission supported the National Commission  on Truth and Justice in Haiti (CNVJ).  The Truth Commission has Haitian and inter­national mem­bers, and established by Presidential Decree on March 28, 1995, to determine the truth regarding the gravest violations of human rights committed between September 29, 1991, and October 15, 1994.


          As part of the support provided, the Commission sent the CNVJ the Special Reports on the Human Rights Situation in Haiti that had been prepared during the tenure of the de facto regime, and inform­a­tion that the com­plain­ants had duly authorized for transmission.  In addition, the Secretariat appointed Dr. Bertha Santoscoy as legal adviser to the Commission.


          According to the reports presented by Dr. Santoscoy, who served as Director of the CNVJ's Investigative Unit for the first four months, the first stage of the investigation began in July with the participation of 50 investigators assigned to gather information on human rights abuses in every part of the country.  Also in this initial stage, the locations were identified at which victims might be buried so that preparations could be made for the work of the group of forensic experts.


          It had been agreed that the second stage, that of examination of com­plaints, would be carried out at the end of September.  Later the CNVJ will prepare its final report for presentation to the Pre­si­dent of the Republic so that he may decide on its pub­lication.


          6.          OTHER MATTERS


          During this period the Commission received a grant from the Canadian Government of approximately $30,000 to expedite the computerized follow-up of cases and denunciations, streamline procedures, to make registration of events and exchanges of documents more reliable, and to facilitate supervision of tasks.  The Commission is working in cooperation with the Center for Research and Development of Human Rights of the University of Ottawa and with the Canadian Commission of Human Rights (a government body).


          In the OAS's public information home page on the Internet, the IACHR is including the basic documents of the Inter-American system and all the annual and special reports, and reports on individual cases, that the Commission has produced.  This ensures electronic access to these materials and makes it possible to carry out subject searches.


          As part of the work of promoting human rights, several members of the Commis­sion and staff of the Secretariat participated in meetings, conferences and seminars on human rights arranged by different institutions in member states of the OAS and in other countries.

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    [1] See Annual Report of the IACHR, (1994) OEA/Ser.L/V/II.88; Doc. 9, Chapter IV., page 129.