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El Amparo Case, Letter from the State of Venezuela of October 14, 1997 received in the Secretariat of the Court on October 22, 1997 concerning compliance with the Judgment of the Court, reprinted in 1997 Annual Report of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights [243], OEA/Ser.L/V/III.39, doc. 5 (1998).




Minister of Foreign Affairs

Republic of Venezuela

Caracas, October 14, 1997


                I have the pleasure of referring to the compensation process which the Government of the Republic of Venezuela has initiated in connection with the "El Amparo" Case, in compliance with the Judgment on reparations of September 14, 199,7 by the Court over which you preside.

                In that regard, I would like to inform you that the commission appointed by my Government and entrusted with the functions involved in the compensation provided for in that Judgment made its second visit of the year to the town of Guasdualito, State of Apure, to make the payments awarded to the two (2) survivors and thirty-eight (38) adult beneficiaries.

                May I inform you that in order to effect the payments, the Commission decided to divide the beneficiaries into three groups: the first group comprising the adult beneficiaries; the second group composed of the survivors Wolmer Pinilla and José Augusto Arias; and a third group composed of the minor beneficiaries. During this second visit the Commission decided to pay the first two groups, inasmuch as the beneficiaries comprising the third group, as stated in the Judgment, must be paid in the form of trust funds, which are more complicated banking operations.

                The payments were made in two sessions, one on September 25, which was attended by, among others, Deputy Walter Márquez, who had brought the case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of the survivors and the relatives of the victims. The second payment session took place on September 26.

                Since only fourteen (14) of the forty (40) beneficiaries summoned appeared initially and since paragraph 47 of the Judgment on reparations of September 14, 1996, establishes the State's obligation to localize any persons who may be heirs of the victims, a delegation from the Commission -as it had done previously and will continue to be done in future- went to "Radio Frontera 91.9 FM" to summon all the beneficiaries to the BANFOANDES branch office.

                To conclude, the result of this second visit by the commission to the town of Guasdualito is as follows:


Héctor Fix-Zamudio

President of the

Inter-American Court of Human Rights

San Jose, Costa Rica

                All the agreed amounts were paid to thirty-four (34) of the forty-two (42) adult beneficiaries. The following adults were not paid:

1.             Ana Gregoria Araujo (mother of the victim Rigo Araujo) because she is not in possession of an identification document or other means of proving her identity.

2.             Jorge Luis Ceballos (son of the victim Julio Pastor Ceballos) who did not appear because he was serving in the army in Chiquinquirá, Colombia.

3.             María Aurelia Ceballos (daughter of Julio Pastor Ceballos), who did not appear either. There are reasons at present to doubt her existence.

4.             Ana Lucía Ochoa (daughter of José Indalecio Guerrero) who was not paid because there is some doubt as to whether she is really José Indalecio Guerrero's daughter.

5.             Ada Virginia Carrillo (daughter of José Indalecio Guerrero), who was in an identical situation to that of her sister, Ana Lucía Ochoa. (The Commission recently received a document confirming the relationship).

6.             Magín Alveiro Moreno (son of Rafael Magín Moreno), who was unable to attend because he was detained on the order of the Court of First Instance on a charge of homicide.

                On Saturday, September 27, the commission, once more in compliance with paragraph 47 of the judgment on reparations, decided to visit Magín Moreno in the Guasdualito Police Station, where he is detained. He was informed of the reason for the visit and the need to produce identification papers for the payment to be effected during the Commission's visits to the town of Guasdualito.

                The third visit will take place in four to five weeks' time at the latest, at which time the indemnities will be paid to the minor children, the adults who were not paid on this occasion -provided they clarify their situation-, and two other adults who reached the age of eighteen between the issue of the payment orders and the date of payment: they are Elluz Teresa Berrios (daughter of Luis A. Berrios) and Karina Josefina Coronel (daughter of Emeterio Marino Vivas).

                The preceding information is transmitted in a spirit of cooperation with the Honorable Court in its function of supervising fulfillment of the judgment on reparations of September 14, 1996.

Annex:             Table of thirty-four (34) beneficiaries who were paid (including the two survivors).

Table of seven (7) adult survivors who will be paid in five (5) weeks' time.

Table of sixteen (16) beneficiaries who will be paid through trust funds (including two special cases).

                Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration and esteem.



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