Atanasio Franco Cano v. Paraguay, Petition 0122/01, Report No. 120/01, OEA/Ser./L/V/II.114 Doc. 5 rev. at 400 (2001).
I. Processing by
the IACHR: The petition was received on February 26, 2001. Receipt of
the petition was acknowledged and notice that it was being studied was sent
on March 14, 2001.
II. Alleged Violations:
Articles 1 and 8(1) of the Convention.
Allegations and Arguments:
The petitioner appeared before the Paraguayan courts to request the inheritance
to which he believed himself entitled following the death of Mrs. Cornelia
Franco de Centurión. The petitioners complaint was that although he
was Mrs. Francos brother, the courts failed to recognize him as an heir.
According to the petitioner, the Court mistakenly declared that the deceaseds
heir was her nephew, Luciano Centurión Cano, who had presented two different
birth certificates. In addition, the petitioner questioned the recognition
of Lucía Franco Cano as an heir, since she had signed a number of documents
contained in the case file despite being illiterate. Finally, the petitioner
claimed that his right of standing was annulled in the case documents and
that he was consequently excluded from the proceedings once Mr. Centurión
Cano and Mrs. Franco Cano had been recognized as the heirs.
Analysis: The IACHR believes there is no element tending to establish a violation
of Articles 8 and 25 of the Convention. What the petitioner has brought before
the IACHR is his disagreement with the Paraguayan courts interpretation
of certain domestic procedural rules. He also wanted the IACHR to reassess
the evidence submitted to the domestic court, to determine the validity of
birth certificates or the authenticity of signatures on legal documents. The
IACHR is not competent to review evidence that has been assessed by local
courts, unless the reported irregularities are of such gravity as to constitute
a violation of the Convention. The petitioner has neither argued nor proven
such allegations, and a reading of the court proceedings fails to indicate
such a situation. Moreover, national courts are responsible for interpreting
national procedural laws, and the IACHR is not competent to determine the
correct interpretation of local provisions unless the interpretation in itself
constitutes a violation of the Convention. In the instant case, the Commission
does not believe that the interpretation of Paraguayan procedural and substantive
provisions made by the Paraguayan judicial authorities constitutes a violation
of the American Convention.
The IACHR concludes that the petition is INADMISSIBLE in that the alleged
facts do not tend to establish a violation, as required by Article 47(b) of
the American Convention.
and signed at the headquarters of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
on the tenth day of October, 2001. (Signed): Claudio Grossman, President;
Juan Méndez, First Vice-President; Marta Altolaguirre, Second Vice-President;
Commissioners Robert K. Goldman, Peter Laurie, and Julio Prado Vallejo.