Case 11.500, Report No. 124/06, Tomás Eduardo Cirio (Uruguay)
In Report No. 124/06 of October 27, 2006, the Inter-American Commission concluded that: (a) The Uruguayan State has breached its obligation to respect and ensure the right to be heard by a competent, independent, and impartial court, previously established by law (Article XXVI American Declaration) and judicial protection (Article 25 American Convention), the freedom of expression (Article IV American Declaration), his right to dignity and honor (Article 5 of the Declaration and Article 11 of the Convention), the right to equality before the law (Article 24 of the Convention), and the right to compensation (Article 10 of the American Convention); and (b) that by virtue of the violations mentioned, the Uruguayan State has breached its obligations to respect and ensure human rights, imposed by Article 1(1) of the American Convention, and to adopt provisions of domestic law, imposed by Article 2.
The Commission made the following recommendations to the State:
1. Nullify forthwith and to rescind retroactively Executive Resolutions Nos. 46.202 and 46.204 of January 2, 1973, Ministry of Defense Resolution No. 6.540 of December 20, 1973, and the ruling of the Tribunal of Honor that harmed him. Restore all the rights, benefits, honors and other prerogatives pertaining to him as a retired member of the Armed Forces of Uruguay.
2. To adopt all necessary measures for reparation and compensation, so as to restore the honor and reputation of Mr. Tomás Eduardo Cirio.
3. To promote measures that lead to the adoption of domestic legislation in conformity with the norms of the American Convention with respect to freedom of expression and due process under military jurisdiction.
On November 13, 2009, the Commission requested the parties to provide updated information on the status of compliance with the recommendations.
By means of a note dated December 9, 2009, the State reported to the Commission that it had complied with the recommendations made in Report No. 126/06 of October 27, 2006. Regarding the first two recommendations, the State indicated that the reparations granted to Major Ciro involved promoting him to the rank of General as of February 1, 1996, increasing his retirement pay, and paying compensation equivalent to 24 times the corresponding retirement assets, paid at values for July 2005. Likewise, in the framework of comprehensive reparation, the State pointed out that enjoyment of the benefits of his rank and honors pertaining to his position was reinstated, military health services restored, and all references based on incidents of the past were deleted from his personal files. The details of the reparations that were granted were provided by the State in its note of December 6. 2007, as indicated in the IACHR Annual Report for 2007.
Regarding the third recommendation, the State mentioned the draft Law for National Defense, which as reported in due time was submitted by the Executive Branch of Government to Parliament and was adopted by the Senate of Uruguay on December 29, 2008. Regarding this, the State warned that, although the above-mentioned law was adopted by Parliament in August 2009, at the date of its report, it had not been enacted “because of a veto by the Executive Branch aimed at one of the articles that have nothing to do with the articles referring to military jurisdiction.” The State provided the Commission with the text of the Law adopted by Parliament, except that it has not yet entered into force because of the reasons indicated above.
As for the petitioner, in December 2007, he informed the Commission about compliance with the first two recommendations as set forth in Report No. 124/06. In his note of December 4, 2007, the petitioner indicated that, by means of Resolution No. 83.329 issued by the Executive Branch on December 28, 2005, resolutions Nos. 46.202 and 46.204 of January 2, 1973 were repealed retroactively, all the rights, benefits, honors and other privileges that would have pertained to his rank as a retired officer were reinstated, and the legal repercussions of his censure for severe offense were annulled. In this same communication, the petitioner indicated that, as moral redress, he was awarded the highest rank in the Armed Forces as of February 1, 1986, by Executive Resolution No. 83.805 of September 4, 2006.
On the basis of the information provided by the parties, the Commission observes that the State has complied with both the first and the second recommendations, as set forth in its Report No. 124/06. As for the third recommendation, the Commission appreciates the efforts made by the Uruguayan State to adjust domestic legislation to the standards of the American Convention with respect to freedom of expression and due process of law in military jurisdictions. In this regard, it takes note of the adoption by Parliament of the National Defense Law, as well as the objection made by the State on the basis of which its entry into force is pending because of the veto imposed by the Executive Branch of Government. The IACHR encourages the Uruguayan State to continue its efforts to ensure full compliance with the recommendations made by the Commission in the present case.
Based on the above-mentioned, the IACHR concludes that the State has partially complied with the recommendations set forth in the report. As a result, the Commission shall continue to monitor the items that are pending.
Case 12.555 (Petition 562/03), Report No. 110/06, Sebastián Echaniz Alcorta and Juan Víctor Galarza Mendiola (Venezuela)
On October 27, 2006, by means of Report No. 110/0650, the Commission approved a friendly settlement agreement in the case of Sebastián Echaniz Alcorta and Juan Víctor Galarza Mendiola. The case deals with the deportation, from Venezuela to Spain, of Juan Víctor Galarza Mendiola on June 2, 2002, and of Sebastián Echaniz Alcorta on December 16, 2002, both of whom are Spanish nationals of Basque origin.
In the friendly settlement agreement, the Venezuelan State accepted its responsibility for violating the human rights of Juan Víctor Galarza Mendiola and Sebastián Echaniz Alcorta, by illegally deporting them and illegally handing them over to the Spanish State. The Venezuelan State also acknowledged its violation of the following articles of the American Convention: Right to Humane Treatment, Right to Personal Liberty, Right to a Fair Trial, Right to Privacy, Rights of the Family, Freedom of Movement and Residence, Right to Equal Protection, and Right to Judicial Protection, in accordance with the general obligation to respect and guarantee rights. It also admitted the violation of Article 13 of the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture, it undertook to provide, inter alia, pecuniary damages and guarantees of non-repetition.
On November 21, 2006, the Commission adopted Report No. 110/06, in which it applauded the efforts made by both parties in reaching the friendly settlement and, in addition, clarified that the agreement referred to a series of matters beyond the jurisdiction of the Commission and/or that were not addressed in the case before it. The Commission therefore deemed it was necessary to state that the adopted report in no way implied a ruling on the individuals not named as victims in the case before the Commission, on the citizenship of Messrs. Juan Víctor Galarza Mendiola and Sebastián Echaniz Alcorta, nor on the treatment they may have received in third countries not subject to the IACHR’s jurisdiction.
On November 13, 2009, the Commission asked the parties for up-to-date information on the state of compliance with the agreement, but did not receive a response.
Based on the foregoing, the IACHR concludes that compliance with the friendly settlement agreement remains pending. Therefore, the Commission will continue to monitor the pending items.
E. Petitions and cases submitted to the Inter-American Court of
1. Provisional measures
Article 63(2) of the American Convention on Human Rights provides that in cases of extreme gravity and urgency and when necessary to avoid irreparable damage to persons, the Court shall adopt such provisional measures as it deems pertinent in matters it has under consideration. With respect to a case not yet submitted to the Court, it may act at the request of the Commission.
The following is a summary of the 41 provisional measures in force during the period covered by this report, according to the country ordered to implement them. The number of measures required from the states does not tally with the number of persons those measures were intended to protect.
a. Argentina Millacura Llaipén et al.
On June 20, 2006, the Commission submitted a request to the Inter-American Court seeking provisional measures to require the State protect the life and humane treatment of María Leontina Millacura Llaipén, her children Marcos and Valeria Torres, her son-in-law Juan Pablo Caba; Gerardo Colín; Patricio Oliva; Tamara Bolívar; Walter Mansilla; Silvia de los Santos; Verónica Heredia; Miguel Ángel Sánchez; and Viviana and Sonia Hayes. Mrs. Millacura Llaipén is a petitioner in a case submitted to the Commission and at the time of the acts alleged in her petition and in her quest for justice, she, her next of kin and her attorneys have been the targets of intimidation and aggression.
Over the year 2009, the Commission periodically submitted its observations on the State’s reports regarding these measures.
In 2009, the Commission presented information and comments related to these provisional measures ordered by the Court on November 22, 2004. The main purpose of those measures is to protect the life and integrity of all persons held in custody in the Mendoza Provincial Prison and those in the Gustavo André Unit at Lavalle, as well as every person found within the walls of those facilities.
Over the year 2009 the Commission submitted observations on the State’s reports regarding these measures. In addition, in November 2009 the Commission submitted a report on the visit made to the prisons by the Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty.
b. Barbados Tyrone DaCosta Cadogan
On October 31, 2008, the Commission submitted a request to the Court seeking provisional measures to protect the life and physical integrity of Mr. Tyrone DaCosta Cadogan, a prisoner on death row in Barbados, until such time as the Inter-American Court rules on the violations alleged by the Commission in the application it filed with the Inter-American Court that same day. On November 4, 2008, the President ordered urgent measures on Mr. Cadogan’s behalf and asked the State and the other parties to submit their comments, which have been reported in due course. On December 2, 2008, the Court en banc confirmed the President’s order and ordered provisional measures on behalf of Mr. Cadogan.
The Court handed down its judgment on preliminary objections, merit, reparations, and costs on September 24, 2009, in which it lifted the provisional measures because “the State’s obligations within the framework [of same], particularly the obligation to refrain from executing Mr. DaCosta Cadogan, are superseded by those that ordered in the […] Judgment.”
c. Brazil Urso Branco Prison
In 2009, the Commission presented writings and comments in connection with the provisional measures ordered on June 18, 2002, on behalf of the persons held in custody in the José Mario Alves Detention Center –known as the “Urso Branco Prison”.
The President of the Court issued an order on August 17, 2009, convening the parties to a public hearing at the Court’s headquarters on September 30, 2009. The order is available at: http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/medidas/urso_se_07_portugues.pdf (in Portuguese) and at: http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/medidas/urso_se_071.pdf (in Spanish).
A public hearing was held on September 30, 2009, during the Court’s 84thregular session, to receive up to date information from the parties regarding the implementation of these measures; participating were the Commission, the beneficiaries’ representatives, and the State.
The Court issued an order on November 25, 2009 confirming the obligation on the part of the State with respect to these provisional measures. The order is available at: http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/medidas/urso_se_08_portugues.pdf (in Portuguese) and at: http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/medidas/urso_se_08.pdf (in Spanish).
d. Colombia 19 Merchants
Throughout 2009, the Commission submitted periodic comments on the reports that the State filed in connection with these provisional measures. The Court ordered these measures on September 3, 2004, in response to a request from the Commission and for the purpose of protecting the life and humane treatment of Mrs. Sandra Belinda Montero (next of kin of two victims in the case; see “Contentious Cases,” below) and her family.
The President issued an order on November 26, 2008 convening a public hearing for the purpose of informing the Court regarding the implementation and effectiveness of the provisional measures as well as regarding the request made by the State for them to be lifted. The aforementioned private hearing was held on January 20, 2009.
The Court issued an order on July 8, 2009, confirming the State’s obligation to comply with these provisional measures; it also declared them to be henceforth inapplicable to some of the beneficiaries, who had left the country. The order can be found (in Spanish) at: http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/medidas/comerciantes_se_061.pdf.
Álvarez et al.
In 2009 the Commission submitted to the Court its periodic comments on the reports presented by the Colombian State on the provisional measures ordered in this matter. The measures were ordered at the Commission’s request, for the purpose of protecting the humane treatment of the members of the Association of Relatives of Detainees-Disappeared Persons of Colombia. The Court originally ordered these provisional measures on July 22, 1997.
Caballero Delgado and Santana
Over the year 2009 the Commission submitted its observations on the reports made by the Colombian State regarding these measures.
It is worth noting that it was December 7, 1994 when the Court first ordered provisional measures in this case at the Commission’s request, to protect some of the witnesses who, in the case being litigated before the Court at the time (see below), were giving testimony concerning the responsibility of agents of the State.
The President of the Court issued an order on December 8, 2009 convening the parties to a public hearing to be held at the Court’s headquarters on January 29, 2010. The order can be found (in Spanish) at: http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/medidas/caballero_se_09.pdf
San José de Apartadó Peace Community
These measures were ordered by the President of the Court, at the Commission’s request, on October 9, 2000, to protect the humane treatment of the members of the San José de Apartadó Peace Community and of persons providing it services.
Over the year 2009, the Commission submitted its observations to the Court on the reports by the Colombian State and the representative of the beneficiaries regarding these measures.
Community Council of Jiguamiandó and the Curbaradó families
These measures were ordered by the Court on March 6, 2003, at the Commission’s request, for the purpose of protecting the rights to life and to residence in the territory of the members of the Community Council of Jiguamiandó and the Curbaradó families. Over the year 2009, the Commission submitted its observations to the Court on the reports by the Colombian State and the representatives of the beneficiaries. It also submitted a report on a working visit made in November 2008 by the Commissioner/Rapporteur for Colombia.
At the Commission’s request, the Court ordered measures in the matter of Giraldo Cardona on October 28, 1996, to protect the life and humane treatment of the members of the Meta Civic Committee of Human Rights and to enable them to continue their work. The beneficiaries were alleged to have been victims of threats, harassment and persecution. On November 29, 2006, the Court issued an order in which it reiterated that the provisional measures ordered for the beneficiaries remained in effect. That order is available at: http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/medidas/giraldo_se_09_ing.doc.
Over the year 2009, the Commission submitted periodically its observations on the State’s reports regarding these measures.
Over 2009, the Commission periodically submitted its observations on the State’s reports regarding these measures, ordered by the Court on March 11, 2005 for the purposes of: a) protecting the life, humane treatment and personal liberty of Mr. Ricardo Gutiérrez Soler and his next of kin, i.e., his mother, Ms. María Elena Soler de Gutiérrez; his children, Luisa Fernanda Gutiérrez Reyes, Paula Camila Gutiérrez Reyes, Leonardo Gutiérrez Rubiano, Leydi Caterin Gutiérrez Peña, Sulma Tatiana Gutiérrez Rubiano, Ricardo Alberto Gutiérrez Rubiano and Carlos Andrés Gutiérrez Rubiano, and Ms. Yaqueline Reyes, and b) protecting the life, humane treatment and personal liberty of Mr. Wilson Gutiérrez Soler and his son Kevin Daniel Gutiérrez Niño, should they return to Colombia. See contentious cases, infra.
On December 3, 2009, the President issued an order convening a hearing for the Inter-American Court to be informed on the implementation and effectiveness of the provisional measures. The aforementioned private hearing was held on January 20, 2009.
The Court issued an order on July 9, 2009, confirming the obligation on the part of the State regarding these provisional measures. The order can be found (in Spanish) at: http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/medidas/gutierrez_se_03.pdf
On October 24, 2009 the victims’ representatives submitted to the Court a request for provisional measures, for Colombia to protect the life and humane treatment of Esperanza Uribe Mantilla, Luz Nelly Carvajal, and Paola Martínez Ortiz and their next of kin, who are victims in the Rochela Massacre (see infra). The request for measures was based on the following facts: (i) AUC pamphlets were delivered at the homes of Mmes. Paola Martínez Ortiz, Nely Carvajal Londoño and Esperanza Uribe Mantilla threatening them and declaring that they were a military objective, and (ii) that said mmes. had been subject to threats and harassment.
On November 19, 2009, the Court handed down an order for the State to adopt provisional measures in favor of the aforementioned persons. The order is available (in Spanish) at: http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/medidas/rochela%20_se_02.pdf.
Over the year 2009 the Commission periodically submitted its observations to the State’s reports regarding the measures originally ordered by the President of the Court on February 4, 2005 to protect the life and humane treatment of Carmen Johana Jaramillo Giraldo, Esther Pinzón López, Sara Paola Pinzón López, María Teresa Pinzón López, Yur Mary Herrera Contreras, Zully Herrera Contreras, Maryuri Caicedo Contreras, Nadia Marina Valencia Sanmiguel, Yinda Adriana Valencia Sanmiguel, Johana Marina Valencia Sanmiguel, Gustavo Caicedo Contreras, Rusbel Asdrúbal Martínez Contreras, Roland Andrés Valencia Sanmiguel, Ronald Mayiber Valencia Sanmiguel, Luis Guillermo Pérez, Nory Giraldo de Jaramillo, Marina San Miguel Duarte, Viviana Barrera Cruz, Luz Mery Pinzón López, and Mariela Contreras Cruz. See contentious cases, infra.
On November 26, 2008, the President of the Court issued an order in which she convened the Inter-American Commission, the Colombian State and the representatives of the victims’ next of kin for a private hearing, to be held at the seat of the Inter-American Court on January 20, 2009. At the hearing, the Court will hear the State’s report concerning compliance with the judgment delivered in the contentious case and the comments of the Inter-American Commission and the representatives of the victims’ next of kin on the State’s report. It will also receive information on the implementation and effectiveness of the provisional measures it ordered and the possibility of their being lifted.
On January 19, 2009, the Court held a private hearing with the purpose of obtaining information from the State on compliance with the judgment in the instant case, and to hear related observations of the Inter-American Commission and the representatives.
Mery Naranjo et al.
By an order dated July 5, 2006, the Court required the State, inter alia, to adopt the measures necessary to protect the rights to life and to humane treatment of Mery Naranjo Jiménez and her family and to investigate the acts perpetrated against her and Mrs. María del Socorro Mosquera Londoño. Mrs. Naranjo and Mrs. Mosquera are human rights defenders and community leaders in the city of Medellín. Because of the work they do, the two women have been threatened and attacked by agents of the State and civilians identified with paramilitary groups.
Over the year 2009, pursuant to the Court’s mandate, the Commission submitted information and observations regarding these provisional measures.