e) The Battalion and the National Police shall abstain from taking any measure against police officer Víctor Hugo Arce Chávez in reprisal for the international complaint filed by him against the Bolivian State. Likewise, any present or future investigation and/or disciplinary procedure against police officer Víctor Hugo Arce Chávez shall be conducted under strict adherence to the guarantees of due process provided for by the internal rules of the National Police, the laws of the Nation, the Constitution, and the American Convention on Human Rights.
g) To add to the personal file of police officer Víctor Hugo Arce Chávez, a copy of Decision 359/2002, handed down by the Second Civil Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of La Paz, a copy of Constitutional Judgment 1239/2002-R, a copy of this compromise agreement, and a copy of the Report on Friendly Settlement that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights may approve. The first three documents shall be added to his personal file within five days of the signature of this agreement. The copy of the Report on Friendly Settlement of the IACHR shall be added to the file within ten days of its notification to the Bolivian State by the IACHR.
On November 3, 2008, the Commission requested the parties to provide information on compliance with the friendly settlement agreement. By means of a communication received on December 5, 2008, the petitioner indicated that he agreed with the compliance agreement that had been reached by his representatives and the Bolivian State. As for the State, it requested an extension to respond, which was granted by the IACHR. By means of a communication dated January 2, 2008, the State indicated that true fulfillment with each one of the commitments made in the light of Article 49 of the American Convention had been checked.
On November 10, 2009, the Commission requested both parties to provide updated information on the progress being made in fulfilling the commitments made by the State by virtue of the friendly settlement agreement. At the time of the drafting of the present chapter, none of the parties had responded to this request for information.
As a result of the above, the Commission concludes that the friendly agreement has been totally complied with.
Case 12.051, Report No. 54/01, Maria da Penha Maia Fernandes (Brazil)
In Report No. 54/01 of April 16, 2001, the Commission concluded that (a) the Federative Republic of Brazil was responsible for violating the rights to judicial guarantees and judicial protection, guaranteed by Articles 8 and 25 of the American Convention, in keeping with the general obligation to respect and ensure the rights provided for in Article 1(1) of that instrument, due to the unwarranted delay and negligent processing of this case of domestic violence in Brazil; (b) the State had taken some measures aimed at reducing the scope of domestic violence and state tolerance of it, although those measures have not succeeded in significantly reducing the pattern of state tolerance, in particular in the wake of the ineffectiveness of police and judicial action in Brazil, with respect to violence against women; and (c) the State had violated the rights and failed to carry out its duties as per Article 7 of the Convention of Belém do Pará to the detriment of Ms. Fernandes; and in connection with Articles 8 and 25 of the American Convention and in relation to its Article 1(1) for its own omissions and tolerance for the violence inflicted.
The IACHR made the following recommendations to the Brazilian State:
1. Complete, rapidly and effectively, criminal proceedings against the person responsible for the assault and attempted murder of Mrs. Maria da Penha Fernandes Maia.
2. In addition, conduct a serious, impartial, and exhaustive investigation to determine responsibility for the irregularities or unwarranted delays that prevented rapid and effective prosecution of the perpetrator, and implement the appropriate administrative, legislative, and judicial measures.
3. Adopt, without prejudice to possible civil proceedings against the perpetrator, the measures necessary for the State to grant the victim appropriate symbolic and actual compensation for the violence established herein, in particular for its failure to provide rapid and effective remedies, for the impunity that has surrounded the case for more than 15 years, and for making it impossible, as a result of that delay, to institute timely proceedings for redress and compensation in the civil sphere.
4. Continue and expand the reform process that will put an end to the condoning by the State of domestic violence against women in Brazil and discrimination in the handling thereof. In particular, the Commission recommends:
a. Measures to train and raise the awareness of officials of the judiciary and specialized police so that they may understand the importance of not condoning domestic violence.
b. The simplification of criminal judicial proceedings so that the time taken for proceedings can be reduced, without affecting the rights and guarantees related to due process.
c. The establishment of mechanisms that serve as alternatives to judicial mechanisms, which resolve domestic conflict in a prompt and effective manner and create awareness regarding its serious nature and associated criminal consequences.
d. An increase in the number of special police stations to address the rights of women and to provide them with the special resources needed for the effective processing and investigation of all complaints related to domestic violence, as well as resources and assistance from the Office of the Public Prosecutor in preparing their judicial reports.
e. The inclusion in teaching curriculums of units aimed at providing an understanding of the importance of respecting women and their rights recognized in the Convention of Belém do Pará, as well as the handling of domestic conflict.
f. The provision of information to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights within sixty days of transmission of this report to the State, and of a report on steps taken to implement these recommendations, for the purposes set forth in Article 51(1) of the American Convention.
The State did not submit information on compliance with those recommendations of the IACHR. The petitioners submitted information on compliance with those recommendations of the IACHR on December 14, 2009, and January 7, 200913.
Preliminarily, the IACHR notes that, in its 2008 Annual Report, the Inter-American Commission considered that there was full compliance with recommendations Nos. 1 and 3 supra14. Accordingly, the Commission will subsequently examine the degree of compliance with recommendations Nos. 2 and 4, pursuant to the information provided by the petitioners.
With respect to recommendation No. 2 supra, the petitioners observed that administrative proceeding No. 200820000002601, initiated before the National Council of Justice (CNJ), was rejected by said Council on February 13, 2009, without it having examined the alleged irregularities, since the convict was already serving the sentence imposed. According to the petitioners, due to the confidential nature of the proceedings before the CNJ, they and the victim only learned of said decision on December 9, 2009. Moreover, on this same date the petitioners became aware that a new proceeding based on the same grounds, administrative proceeding No. 200910000052964, had been initiated on September 25, 2009 before the CNJ, and was pending. The petitioners underscored the importance of implementing this recommendation, which would not only compensate the victim for all the years she spent seeking justice but also constitute a significant step toward eliminating discrimination by the police and the Judiciary against female victims of violence.
In terms of the different points of recommendation No. 4 supra, the petitioners acknowledged the progress achieved with the adoption of the “Maria da Penha Law” (Law No. 11,340 of August 7, 2006), and emphasized that the effective implementation of said law would signify compliance with the above-mentioned recommendation. However, the petitioners noted with concern that Brazil’s implementation of the Maria da Penha Law has been slow and uneven. In this regard, the petitioners point out that while some states of the Federation have made headway in implementing the mechanisms foreseen under said law—e.g., specialized courts, special precincts, and victim shelters—others still lack some or all such mechanisms. The petitioners also noted a lack of permanent, relevant, and effective educational measures or the inclusion within educational curricula of units to promote understanding of the importance of respect for women and their rights. Lastly, the petitioners noted that only some 20 out of 27 states of the Federation have signed the “National Pact to Curb Violence against Women”, confirming that advances in this regard have been uneven throughout Brazil.
In view of all the foregoing, the Commission reiterates that the State has significantly carried out the recommendations outlined, while recommendations Nos. 2 and 4 have only been partially carried out. The IACHR urges the State to continue implementing public policies so as to prevent, punish, and eradicate violence against women, in particular by effectively implementing the Maria da Penha Law nationwide. Accordingly, the Commission will continue to monitor the items still pending compliance.
Cases 11.286, 11.406, 11.407, 11.412, 11.413, 11.415, 11.416 and 11.417,
Report No. 55/01, Aluísio Cavalcante et al. (Brazil)
In Report No. 55/01 of April 16, 2001, the Commission concluded that the Federative Republic of Brazil was responsible for violating the right to life, integrity, and personal security (Article I of the American Declaration), the right to judicial guarantees and protections (Article XVIII of the Declaration, and Articles 8 and 25 of the Convention), and the obligation the State has to ensure and respect the rights (Article 1(1)) recognized in the American Convention on Human Rights, in relation to the homicide of Aluísio Cavalcanti, Clarival Xavier Coutrim, Delton Gomes da Mota, Marcos de Assis Ruben, and Wanderlei Galati, and in relation to the attacks on and attempted homicide of Claudio Aparecido de Moraes, Celso Bonfim de Lima, Marcos Almeida Ferreira and Carlos Eduardo Gomes Ribeiro, all by military police agents of the state of São Paulo, as well as the failure to investigate and impose an effective sanction on the persons responsible.
The IACHR made the following recommendations to the Brazilian State:
1. That it carry out a serious, impartial, and effective investigation into the facts and circumstances of the deaths of Aluísio Cavalcanti, Clarival Xavier Coutrim, Delton Gomes da Mota, Marcos de Assis Ruben, and Wanderlei Galati, and of the assaults on and attempted homicides of Cláudio Aparecido de Moraes, Celso Bonfim de Lima, Marcos Almeida Ferreira, and Carlos Eduardo Gomes Ribeiro, and that it duly prosecute and punish the persons responsible.
2. That such investigation include the possible omissions, negligence, and obstructions of justice that may have resulted from the failure to convict the persons responsible in a final judgment, including the possible negligence and mistakes of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and of the members of the judiciary who may have decided to waive or reduce the corresponding sentences.
3. That the necessary measures be taken to conclude, as soon as possible and in the most absolute legality, the judicial and administrative proceedings regarding the persons involved in the above-noted violations.
4. That the Brazilian State makes reparation for the consequences of the violations of the rights of the victims and their families or those who hold the right for the harm suffered, described in this report.
5. That the necessary measures be taken to abolish the jurisdiction of the military justice system over criminal offenses committed by police against civilians, as proposed by the original bill, introduced in due course, to repeal Article 9(f) of the Military Criminal Code, and to approve, to take its place, the single paragraph proposed in that bill 27.
6. That the Brazilian State take measures to establish a system of external and internal supervision of the military police of São Paulo that is independent, impartial, and effective.
7. That the Brazilian State present the Commission, within 60 days of transmittal of this report, a report on compliance with the recommendations, for the purpose of applying the provision at Article 51(1) of the American Convention.
The State did not submit information concerning compliance with the recommendations issued by the IACHR. On the other hand, the petitioners provided information regarding the judicial proceedings related to this case on December 9, 2009.
In this regard, the petitioners noted that the criminal proceedings regarding victims Aluísio Cavalcanti and Marcos de Assis Ruben are still pending final decisions; that the criminal proceedings regarding victims Clarival Xavier Coutrim and Delton Gomes da Mota have been closed due to the acquittal of the accused military police; and that the criminal proceedings regarding victims Wanderlei Galati, Celso Bonfim de Lima, Marcos Almeida Ferreira, and Carlos Eduardo Gomes Ribeiro have been closed due to expiration of the statute of limitations for the crimes allegedly committed by the military police.
Based on the foregoing, the Commission reiterates that the State has partially carried out the recommendations. Accordingly, the Commission will continue to monitor the items still pending compliance.
Case 11.517, Report No. 23/02, Diniz Bento da Silva (Brazil)
In Report No. 23/02 of February 28, 2002, the Commission concluded that the Federative State of Brazil was responsible for violating the right to life (Article 4) of Mr. Diniz Bento da Silva, which occurred in the state of Paraná on March 8, 1993, and for violating the right to judicial guarantees (Article 8), the right to judicial protection (Article 25), and the right to obtain guarantees and respect for the rights spelled out in the Convention (Article 1(1)).
The IACHR made the following recommendations to the Brazilian State:
1. Conduct a serious, effective, and impartial investigation through the ordinary justice system to determine and punish those responsible for the death of Diniz Bento da Silva, punish those responsible for the irregularities in the investigation by the military police, as well as those responsible for the unjustifiable delay in conducting the civil investigation, in accordance with Brazilian law.
2. Take the necessary steps to ensure that the victim’s family receives adequate compensation for the violations established herein.
3. Take steps to prevent a repetition of such events and, in particular, to prevent confrontations with rural workers over land disputes, and to negotiate the peaceful settlement of these disputes.
The State provided information regarding compliance with the recommendations issued by the IACHR on June 29, 2009. The petitioners submitted information on compliance with said recommendations on September 3, 2009 and December 10, 2009.
With respect to recommendation No. 1 supra, both parties noted that the police investigation is still pending before the 15th Civil Police Subprecinct of Guaraniacú, Paraná. The IACHR notes with concern that more than 16 years after the death of the victim, the corresponding criminal proceeding is still in the initial stage of police investigation.
With respect to recommendation No. 2 supra, both parties agree that civil lawsuit No. 30798, filed by the victim’s widow for reparations, has resulted in a final judgment in her favor. The foregoing notwithstanding, both parties state that payment of these reparations has not yet been made, owing to the deaths of the victim’s widow and son. Consequently, said payment is due to the victim’s daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
With respect to recommendation No. 3 supra, the State pointed out a series of programs and measures implemented to prevent violence associated with agrarian conflict, through the creation of the Ouvidoria Agrária Nacional (OAN), an ombudsman for rural affairs, tasked with preventing, mediating, and reducing agrarian conflict. Important in this regard are the National Program to Combat Rural Violence, the Rural Peace Program, and the creation of the National Commission to Combat Rural Violence. With particular regard to the state of Paraná, the State emphasized the establishment in 2007 of the Office of the Special Coordinator to Mediate Agrarian Conflict (COORTERRA).
Despite the adoption of the aforementioned measures, the State concedes and regrets those deaths associated with agrarian conflict that have yet to be adequately resolved. Moreover, and despite the measures adopted by the State in this regard, the petitioners pointed out that no significant reduction has been observed in the number of agrarian conflicts that would indicate such measures have been effective. In this regard, the petitioners noted that, according to the Pastoral Land Commission, 731 agrarian conflicts were registered between January and November 2009, resulting in 20 deaths, and that 11 of such conflicts occurred in the state of Paraná. Furthermore, the petitioners underscored that the impunity observed in most cases of deaths due to agrarian conflict continues to be the primary obstacle to reducing rural violence.
In view of the above-mentioned considerations, the Commission concludes that the recommendations noted have been partially carried out. Accordingly, the Commission will continue to monitor the items still pending compliance.
Case 10.301, Report No. 40/03, Parque São Lucas (Brazil)
In Report No. 40/03 of October 8, 2003, the IACHR concluded that the Brazilian State violated the human rights of Arnaldo Alves de Souza, Antonio Permoniam Filho, Amaury Raymundo Bernardo, Tomaz Badovinac, Izac Dias da Silva, Francisco Roberto de Lima, Romualdo de Souza, Wagner Saraiva, Paulo Roberto Jesuíno, Jorge Domingues de Paula, Robervaldo Moreira dos Santos, Ednaldo José da Fonseca, Manoel Silvestre da Silva, Roberto Paes da Silva, Antonio Carlos de Souza, Francisco Marlon da Silva Barbosa, Luiz de Matos, and Reginaldo Avelino de Araújo, enshrined in Articles I and XVIII of the American Declaration and Articles 8 and 25 of the American Convention, and that it did not carry out the obligations established in Article 1(1) of the same Convention.
The IACHR made the following recommendations to the State:
1. That it adopt the legislative measures needed to transfer to the regular criminal courts the trial of common crimes committed by military police officers in the performance of their public order functions.
2. That use of the cells designed for solitary confinement (celdas fortes) be discontinued.
3. That it punish, in keeping with the gravity of the crimes committed, the civilian and military police officers involved in the facts that gave rise to the instant case.
4. In those cases in which it has not done so, that it pay fair and adequate compensation to the victims’ next-of-kin for the harm caused as a result of the breaches of the above-mentioned provisions.
In the same Report, the Commission stated the extent of compliance with those recommendations at that time in the following terms:
[T]he Commission considers that the recommendation that Brazil “adopt the legislative measures needed to transfer to the regular criminal courts the trial of common crimes committed by military police in the performance of their public order functions” has met with partial compliance. In effect, the IACHR reiterates that although Law No. 9,299/96 represents major progress in this respect, it is insufficient, as it merely transfers to the regular courts crimes against life committed by military police in the performance of their functions, and keeps jurisdiction over all other crimes committed by members of the Military Police under the Military Police.
Neither the State nor the petitioners furnished information regarding compliance with the above-mentioned recommendations of the IACHR for inclusion in this Annual Report. However, the IACHR notes that the petitioners furnished information on compliance with IACHR recommendations on January 7, 2009, in response to the Commission’s request in 200815.
With respect to recommendation No. 1 supra, the petitioners emphasized that compliance with this recommendation was still pending, along the same lines considered by the IACHR in Report No. 40/03 (see supra).
With respect to recommendation No. 2 supra, the petitioners reiterated the points raised by the IACHR in its 2008 Annual Report, in the sense that solitary confinement cells continue to be used in the state of Roraima, and that no information is available on said recommendation regarding the states of Amapá, Ceará, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso, Paraíba, Paraná, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Rondônia, Sergipe, or the Federal District.
As regards recommendation No. 3 supra, the petitioners indicated that no significant progress has been made in the last year with respect to the criminal proceedings. The petitioners also pointed out that they have no information on compliance with this recommendation as regards the military police involved in the events.
With respect to recommendation No. 4 supra, the petitioners noted that according to the recent report of the Working Group formed to identify the beneficiaries and the amount of compensation, it has not been possible to indentify and/or locate the next-of-kin of some of the victims. In this regard, the IACHR urges the parties to overcome the remaining obstacles so as to comply with this recommendation and locate the family members of all the victims.
In view of the foregoing, the IACHR concludes that the State has partially carried out the recommendations indicated. Accordingly, the Commission will continue to monitor the items still pending compliance.
Case 11.289, Report No. 95/03, José Pereira (Brazil)
On October 24, 2003, by Report No. 95/03, the Commission approved a friendly settlement agreement in the case of José Pereira. By means of this agreement, the State recognized its international responsibility in the case, given that “the state organs were not capable of preventing the occurrence of the grave practice of slave labor, nor of punishing the individual actors involved in the violations alleged.”
Pursuant to that agreement, the State undertook to:
1. Publicly recognize its responsibility by the solemn act of creating the National Commission for the Eradication of Slave Labor – CONATRAE (created by Presidential Decree of July 31, 2003), which will take place on September 18, 2003.
2. Keep under reserve the identity of the victim at the moment of the solemn act recognizing State responsibility and in public declarations about the case.
3. Continue with the efforts to carry out the judicial arrest warrants against the persons accused of the crimes committed against José Pereira. To this end, the friendly settlement agreement will be forwarded to the Director-General of the Department of the Federal Police.
4. Compensate José Pereira for material and moral damages suffered.
5. Implement the actions and proposals for legislative changes contained in the National Plan for the Eradication of Slave Labor, drawn up by the Special Commission of the Council for the Defense of Human Rights, and initiated by the Government of Brazil on March 11, 2003, in order to improve the National Legislation aimed at prohibiting the practice of slave labor in Brazil.
6. Make every effort to secure the legislative approval (i) of Proposed Law No. 2130-A, of 1996, which includes among the violations of the economic order the use of “unlawful means of reducing production costs such as the non-payment of labor and social taxes, exploitation of child, slave, or semi-slave labor”; and (ii) the version presented by the Deputy Zulaiê Cobra to take the place of the proposed law No. 5,693 of Deputy Nelson Pellegrino, which amends Article 149 of the Brazilian Criminal Code.
7. Defend the establishment of federal jurisdiction over the crime of reduction to conditions analogous to slavery, for the purpose of preventing impunity.
8. Strengthen the Public Ministry of Labor; ensure immediate compliance with the existing legislation, by collecting administrative and judicial fines, investigating and pressing charges against the perpetrators of the practice of slave labor; strengthen the Mobile Group of the MTE; take steps along with the Judiciary and its representative entities to guarantee that the perpetrators of the crimes of slave labor are punished.
9. Revoke, by the end of the year, by means of the appropriate administrative acts, the Cooperation Agreement signed between the owners of estates and authorities of the Ministry of Labor and Public Ministry of Labor, signed in February 2001, and which was denounced in this proceeding on February 28, 2001.
10. Strengthen gradually the Division of Repression of Slave Labor and Security of Dignitaries (STESD), established under the Department of the Federal Police by means of Administrative ruling (Portaria)-MJ No. 1,016, of September 4, 2002, so as to give the Division adequate funds and human resources for the proper performance of the functions of the Federal Police in the actions to investigate reports of slave labor.
11. Take initiatives vis-a-vis the Federal Public Ministry to highlight the importance of Federal Prosecutors according priority to participating in and accompanying the actions to perform inspections for slave labor.
12. Undertake in October 2003 a national campaign to raise awareness of and oppose slave labor with a particular focus on the state of Pará. On this occasion, through the presence of the petitioners, publicity will be given to the terms of this Friendly Settlement Agreement. The campaign will be based on a communication plan that will include the preparation of informational materials geared to workers, inserting the issue in the media through the written press, and through radio and TV spots. In addition, various authorities are to make visits to the targeted areas.
13. Evaluate the possibility of holding seminars on the eradication of slave labor in the state of Pará no later than the first half of 2004, with the presence of the Federal Public Ministry, ensuring that the petitioners are invited to participate.
With respect to items 1, 2, and 4 supra regarding the friendly settlement agreement, the Commission has previously considered that said obligations had been fully discharged.16
The State submitted information on the implementation of the friendly settlement agreement on December 14, 2009. The petitioners submitted information on the implementation of the friendly settlement agreement on December 11, 2009.
With respect to compliance with the judicial arrest warrants against the accused for the crimes committed against José Pereira (supra item 3), both parties noted that these are still pending.
With respect to the legislative changes proposed in the National Plan for the Eradication of Slave Labor (supra item 5), the petitioners made reference to several proposed legislative reforms that are still pending. As concerns Proposed Law (PL) No. 2,667/2003 (combined with DL No. 5,016/2005), which would include the crime of “reduction to conditions analogous to slavery” under the category of heinous [hediondos] crimes, the petitioners alleged that said proposed law continues to be in the preliminary study stage after six years before Congress. For its part, the State noted that this proposed law was rejected and replaced with PL No. 3,283/2004 and the latter was combined with PL No. 5,016/2005, which is being studied by the Commission of Agriculture, Livestock, Supply, and Rural Development. As concerns PL No. 1,985/2003, which establishes the fines imposed on those responsible for slave labor, and would amend the Rural Labor Law, both parties noted that the Commission for Constitutional Affairs, Justice, and Citizenship issued a favorable opinion about said draft law, and that its inclusion on the voting docket of the Chamber of Deputies has been pending since May 2009.
As regards PL No. 207/2006, which would compile a “dirty list” of landowners with recurring violations of the crime of reduction to conditions analogous to slavery, the petitioners noted that no significant progress has been made thus far. However, the State underscored that said “dirty list” already exists since the approval of Administrative Decision (Portaria) No. 540 of October 15, 2004, and that the most up-to-date version of the list (December 4, 2009) includes the names of 163 individuals. Both parties acknowledged that Proposed Constitutional Amendment (“PEC” from the Portuguese original) No. 438 of 2001, regarding the expropriation of lands for which proof of the practice of slavery has been established, is awaiting a second-round plenary vote before the Chamber of Deputies, and, if approved, it would need to be voted on in the second round by the Senate. Likewise, both parties concur that approval of PL No. 2.022/1996 would still be pending. This proposed law would ban companies that use slave labor, whether directly or indirectly, from receiving public contracts or participating in public bidding processes. On another point, both parties noted that the State continued to fund the budget of the Program for the Eradication of Slave Labor for the 2008-2011 period.
With respect to legislative approval of Proposed Law No. 2130-A of 1996, which includes among the violations of the economic order the use of “unlawful means of reducing production costs such as the non-payment of labor and social taxes, exploitation of child, slave, or semi-slave labor” (supra item 6(i)); the petitioners maintained that this proposed law was set aside on January 31, 2007. In a different way, the petitioners endorsed the position advocated by the State since 2008, regarding amendment of Article 149 of Brazil’s Criminal Code (supra item 6(ii)).
With respect to the establishment of federal jurisdiction to prosecute the crime of “reduction to a condition analogous to that of a slave” (supra item 7), the petitioners acknowledged the decision of the Federal Supreme Court which, in 2006, established the jurisdiction of the federal judiciary to try a case of the aforesaid crime in the state of Pará, opening the doors to more effective prosecution against the impunity associated with these cases. In this regard, on March 5, 2009, a Marabá federal judge, state of Pará, handed down 26 judgments against 27 individuals, most of whom were large-scale estate owners in southern and southeastern Pará. However, the petitioners emphasized that these judgments were not final decisions, thus mean merely a first step toward eliminating the impunity associated with cases of slave labor.
With respect to the adoption of immediate measures related to the strengthening of the Public Ministry of Labor and of the Mobile Group of the MTE, as well as initiatives along with the Judicial Branch and its representative entities (supra item 8), the petitioners regretted that despite the efforts of the Mobile Group of the MTE, this organ was only able to respond to some 21% of slave labor complaints submitted by the Pastoral Land Commission in 2009—the lowest percentage rate of the last 15 years. The petitioners allege that insufficient inspection operations in the Amazon is of particular concern, especially taking into account new sources of slave labor in the South and Southeast regions of the country associated with ethanol production. In counter to this claim, the State maintained that significant progress can be observed in the performance indicators of the Mobile Group during the 2003-2008 period, and that since November 2009 the Mobile Group has carried out 85 operations, inspected 200 estates, and rescued 2,216 workers.
Furthermore, the petitioners emphasized the lack of transparency associated with the dissemination of data and information regarding the response of the Judicial Branch, especially on criminal proceedings associated with slave labor uncovered through inspections of the Mobile Group. The petitioners also maintained that more coordination is needed between the Public Ministry of Labor (MPT) and the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE). The State did not provide specific or up-to-date information on this point.
On revocation by the applicable administrative acts of the Cooperation Agreement signed between estate owners and authorities of the Ministry of Labor and the Public Ministry for Labor (supra item 9), the petitioners reiterated that said cooperation agreement has not yet been revoked, meanwhile the State underscored it had entirely abandoned its use.
With respect to items 10 and 11 supra, the petitioners noted they have no access to up-to-date information on coordinated action with the Federal Police, and emphasized that a number of inspections had to be canceled in 2009, owing to lack of participation of the Federal Police. Furthermore, the petitioners indicated that Federal Prosecutors do not ordinarily participate in operations of the Mobile Group, with the exception of operations carried out in the state of Mato Grosso. The State did not provide detailed information regarding this point.
With respect to raising awareness of and opposition to the practice of slave labor, (supra item 12), the petitioners are unaware if any publicity on the friendly settlement agreement was carried out during the launch of the “Slave Labor: We Must Abolish this Scourge” campaign. The State indicated that the Second National Plan for the Eradication of Slave Labor was launched on September 10, 2008. Furthermore, the State emphasized that according to the International Labor Organization (ILO), 68.4% of the targets included in the First National Plan had been met.
Finally, with regard to item 13 supra, the petitioners noted their frustration with the State’s Campaign for the Eradication of Slave Labor and Anti-Slavery Commission, particularly regarding the meager progress made and the fact that said Commission has not met since March 2009. The State did not offer specific or up-to-date information on this item.
In view of the foregoing, the IACHR concludes that the State has carried out the friendly settlement agreement in part. Accordingly, the Commission will continue to monitor the items still pending compliance.