University of Minnesota




Inter-Am. C.H.R., OEA/Ser.L/V/II.43, Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Paraguay, Doc. 13 corr. 1 (1978).


 

 

CHAPTER III

PHYSICAL LIBERTY OF THE PERSON, HABEAS CORPUS AND RECURSO DE AMPARO

American Declaration, Article I


Every human being has the right to life, liberty and the security of his person.

American Declaration, Article XXV


No person may be deprived of his liberty except in the cases and according to the procedures established by preexisting law.


No person may be deprived of liberty for nonfulfilment of obligations of a purely civil character.


Every individual who has been deprived of his liberty has the right to have the legality of his detention ascertained without delay by a court, and the right to be tried without undue delay, or, otherwise to be released. He also has the right to humane treatment during the time he is in custody.[1]

1. Under the uncertain legal situation stemming from the indefinite period of the sate of siege in Paraguay, a number of individuals have been detained for no apparent motive and have been held in prison or have been unjustifiably detained for lengthy periods of time.

2. Concerned with the constant repetition of occurrences of this kind, which tend to become a common practice in various regions of the hemisphere, the Commission has taken a stand against such practices on a number of occasions. Specifically, it made the following reference to this point in its Annual Report for 1974:[2]

The Commission has given particular attention to the apparently exaggerated use that is being made in some of our of our republics of the constitutional power granted to the Executive Branch –generally under supervision of Congress—to imprison, remove or expatriate persons on grounds of political security, in exceptional situations. It is striking to find that, by these means, men and women have been deprived of their liberty for many months without the slightest charge having been formulated against them and without their having been brought to trial. With respect to these persons, at least in some of the countries they are not entitled to request the assistance of an attorney nor is the possibility recognized that, in their behalf, a writ of habeas corpus can be successfully introduced.[3]

3. Cases of lengthy periods of detention, incommunicado and without trial, have also been frequently denounced to the Commission, together with cases of arrest without concrete charges and without due process. The Commission has already stated its position on the practice of holding persons incommunicado, unnecessary in most cases, and which makes the arbitrary detention crueler. In this Third Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Chile, for example, the Commission said the following in this regard:[4]

Unlawful detention incommunicado is, moreover, an encouragement to other crimes, particularly that of torture. For if the Officials in charge of detention facilitate need not produce the detainee in a short time, they may with impunity employ brutal means, whether for purposes of interrogation or intimidation. The detention can be prolonged until the signs of torture have disappeared or, if the detainee is permanently injured, he or she may be liquidated and the very fact of detention denied.

4. According to figures from a number of sources, the number of individuals deprived of freedom in Paraguay between 1970 and 1977 without any concrete charge having been filed against them, if from 300 to 500.

5. In the last four years, the Commission has adopted eight resolutions whereby it has presumed the confirmation of 170 cases of arbitrary detention in Paraguay.[5] Of these individuals, five were held under detention since 1958, three since 1959, one since 1960, one since 1961, one since 1962, one since 1963, six since 1964, eleven since 1965, five since 1966, two since 1967, six since 1968, three since 1969 and thirteen since 1970.[6]

6. Using information from various sources, the Commission has also been able to draw up a list of individuals who, according to the claimants, have spent more than five years under detention in prison for political reasons.[7]

The list reads as follows:

19 years (since 1959) Ananías Maidana Palacios

16 years (since 1962) Napoleón Ortigoza

Victoriano Centurión

Bernardo Cardozo

15 years (since 1963) Vicente Duarte Mareco
Rafael Espínola

14 years (since 1964) Feliciano Franco
Virgilio Bareiro

Severo Acosta Aranda

13 years (since 1965) Calixto Ramírez

Idalina Gaona

Emilio Barreto Dávalos

10 years (since 1968) María Saturnina Almada de Gimenez

Felipe Vera Baez

María Lina Rodas

Alfonso Silva Quintana

8 years (since 1970) Herminio Stumft Arévalo

Total: 17 individuals

7. The Commission has obtained a number of lists, published by the Ministry of Interior of Paraguay, of political prisoners being held in Emboscada Prison and other jails. Adding to the names that appear on those lists and to those of individuals being held in the Third Precinct and omitting the individuals since released, the following list of 219 persons has been drawn up:

A

1. ABENTE BRUN, Diego

2. ACEVEDO, Euclides

3. ACOSTA ARANDA, Severo

4. ACOSTA GOMEZ, Dimas

5. ACOSTA Vda. De GONZALEZ, Petrona de Jesús

6. ALEGRE PORTILLO, Alberto

7. ALFONSO RAMIREZ, Bonifacio

8. ALMADA de GIMENEZ, María Saturnina

9. ALMADA, Miguel

10. ALMADA, Valentín

11. ALONSO MASARE, Melquíades Albino

12. ALVAREZ, Feliciano

13. ALVAREZ RAMIREZ, Bonifacio

14. ALVAREZ, Zacarías

15. AMARILLA PEREIRA, Justo Eduardo

16. AMARILLA, Raúl

17. ARCE AVILA, Migdonio

18. ARCE SCHAERER, Eduardo

19. AYALA GONZALEZ, René

20. AYALA GIMENEZ, Víctor Manuel

B

21. BAEZ BRITEZ, Pablo

22. BALBUENA, Juan Marcelo

23. BAREIRO RODAS, Fulgencio

24. BAREIRO, Virgilio

25. BARRETO DAVALOS, Emilio

26. BENITEZ FERREIRA, Miguel

27. BENITEZ GALEANO, Pedro

28. BENITEZ GONZALEZ, Eladio

29. BENITEZ LEGUIZAMON, Lázaro

30. BENITEZ MAIDANA, Eulogio

31. BENITEZ PAEZ, Rafael

32. BENITEZ VILLALBA, Silverio

33. BLANCO, Juvencio Veridio

34. BOGADO GONDRA, Juan Félix

35. BOGADO TABAGMAN, Eduardo

36. BOGARIN, Prudencio Vidal

37. BOYD JARA, Marcos Aníbal

38. BRAÑAS GADEA, Carlos Guillermo

39. BRITOS FERREIRA, Marcial

40. BUSTOS COLMAN, Julio

C

41. CABRERA BENITEZ, Crescencio

42. CABRERA MAIZ, Esteban

43. CABRERA de LOPEZ, Vicenta

44. CAMPOS RUIZ, Daniel

45. CANESSE, Jorge Humberto

46. CARDENAS, Enrique

47. CARDOZO BRIZUELA, Macario

48. CARDOZO GIMENEZ, Bernardo

49. CARDOZO RODAS, Carlos Amado

50. CASCO SPEZZINNI, Carlos Ernesto

51. CENTURION, Andrés

52. CENTURION, Victoriano

53. CERDAN de RODRIGUEZ, María Ester

54. CESPEDEZ FERNANDEZ, Silverio

55. COLMAN PINTOS, Julio César

56. COLMAN NUÑEZ, Emigdio

57. CORONEL CABALLERO, Andrés Eliodoro

58. CORONEL CANO, Hilarión

59. CORONEL ZORRILLA, Corcino

60. CORONEL ZORRILLA, Eugolio Constantino

61. CUBAS, Emilio

D

62. DELGADO CONTI, Teodoro Victoriano

63. DELGADO, Severo

64. DIAZ, Domingo

65. DUARTE MARECA, Vicente

66. DUARTE SEGOVIA, Hipólito Ramón

E

67. ESCOBAR, Zacarías

68. ESPINOLA, José Sisinio Alén

69. ESPINILA, Rafael

70. ESPINOZA, Eleuterio

71. ESPINOZA QUIROGA, Pedro Sergio

72. ESTIGARRIBIA VELASQUEZ, Carlos

73. ESTRAGO, Gloria

F

74. FALCON ESCOBAR, Eulogia

75. FALCON ESCOBAR, Vicente

76. FARINA INSFRAN, Gladis María Beatriz

77. FERNANDEZ, Juan Antenor

78. FERNANDEZ LLANO, Emigdio

79. FERNANDEZ, Silvio Ramón

80. FERREIRA, Luis

81. FERREIRA, Pedro

82. FERREIRA, Seferino

83. FLEITAS RIOS, Sixto

84. FLORENTIN DUARTE, Andrés

85. FLORES, Bonifacio

86. FLORES, Serafín

87. FONTCLARA BAEZ, Carlos

88. FRANCO, Feliciano

89. FRANCO, Lydia Ester Cabrera M. de

90. FRANCO, Sotero

91. FRETES MAIDANA, Pedro

92. FUNES FERNANDEZ, Erasmo

93. FUNES FERNANDEZ Mariano

G

94. GALEANO ROTELA, María Magdalena

95. GAONA de ACOSTA, Anastacia Idalina

96. GIMENEZ LOPEZ, Angel

97. GOMEZ GALEANO, Victoriana

98. GONZALEZ BAEZ, José Tomás

99. GONZALEZ BALCARCE, Alberto

100. GONZALEZ GONZALEZ, Justianiano

101. GONZALEZ OCAMPOS, Eulogio

102. GONZALEZ, Petrona de

H

103. HERMOSA, Quirino

I

104. IBARRA DE LA CRUZ, Regino

J

105. JARA LOPEZ, Dionisio Abel

K

106. KAN MUN, Hwa

107. KING, Kon-Gu

108. KING de, Monica

109. KYU KIN, Biun

L

110. LEQUIZAMON ZORRILLA, Juan

111. LOPEZ, Angel

112. LOPEZ BRITEZ, Pastor

113. LOPEZ ESTIGARRIBIA, Jacinto

114. LOPEZ ESTIGARRIBIA, Juan Carlos

115. LOPEZ ESTIGARRIBIA, Laurentino

116. LOPEZ ESTIGARRIBIA, Luis

117. LOPEZ ESTIGARRIBIA, Pedro

118. LOPEZ, Nestor

119. LOPEZ PERITO, Miguel Angel Ignaio

120. LOPEZ, Teodoro

121. LOPEZ ZACARIAS, Porfirio

122. LOPEZ, Vicenta Cabrera de

LL

123. LLORES, INZAURRALDE, Arnoldo Teodoro

M

124. MAIDANA PALACIOS, Ananías

125. MAIDANA SOSA, Santiago

126. MARTINEZ BRITOS, Anastacio

127. MARTINEZ CANTERO, Roberto

128. MARTINEZ de VELAZCO, Claudelina

129. MARTINEZ IRALA, José del Rosario

130. MARTINEZ, José del Carmen

131. MARTINEZ MOREL, Víctor

132. MENDIETA PEREZ, Constancia

133. MORA, Rogelio

134. MOREL MARTINEZ, Salomón

135. MORINIGO, Antonio

136. MORINIGO, José Nicolás

137. MORINIGO, Miguel

138. MORINIGO PAREDEZ, Bernardo

139. MORINIGO PEDROZO, Leopoldo

O

140. OBELAR, Juan Leonor

141. OJEDA FELCAN, José Gill

142. OLMEDO MONTANIA, José María

143. ORTIGOZA MAIDANA, Milciades

144. ORTIGOZA, Napoleón

145. OSORIO COLMAN, Epifanio

146. OSORIO PEREZ, Epifanio

147. OSORIO PEREZ, Eugenio

148. OSORIO PEREZ, María Eustacia

149. OTAZO, Adrián

150. OTEIZA, Carlos Alberto

151. OVANDO, Crispín

152. OVANDO, Escolástico Guillermo

153. OVIEDO DUARTE, Amílcar María

154. OVIEDO, Odón

P

155. PAREDES MARTINEZ, Edmundo

156. PENAYO VALLEJOS, Bernabé

157. PEÑA, Ángel

158. PEÑA CASCO, Ramón

159. PEÑA, Eligio

160. PIETRAFESA CRECO, Pablo Julián

161. PORTENOCHE, Gunter

162. PORTILLO, Fermín Taurín Francisco

163. PORTILLO SERVIN, Gerónimo

R

164. RAMIREZ BLANCO, Carlos o Rodolfo Feliciano

165. RAMIREZ FERNANDEZ, Celsa

166. RAMIREZ SANCHEZ, Calixto

167. RAMIREZ VILLALBA, Benjamín de Jesús

168. RAMIREZ VILLALBA, Rodolfo

169. RIOS, Andrés

170. RIQUELME, Esteban

171. RIVAK, Juan Mariano

172. RIVAS, Andrés

173. RIVEROS, Florencio

174. RIVEROS SILVA, Máximo

175. RODAS, María Lina

176. RODRIGUEZ, Campuzano Oscar

177. RODRIGUEZ GONZALEZ, Humberto Fulvio

178. RODRIGUEZ, María Esther de

179. RODRIGUEZ, Olegario

180. RODRIGUEZ, Petrona Regalada

181. ROODRIGUEZ, Simón Mario

182. ROJAS CACERES, Aurelio Neonicio

183. ROJAS, Constancia Mendienta de

184. ROLON CENTURION, Domingo

185. ROLON CENTURION, Melchor

186. ROLON CENTURION, Santiago

187. ROMERO; Rodolfo

188. RUIZ BALBUENA, Julián

189. RUIZ DIAZ, Rodrigo Salomón

S

190. SALABERRY, Carlos José

191. SALAZAR VILLAGRA, Juan Manuel

192. SALDIVAR CARDOZO, Juliana

193. SALDIVAR Julio

194. SANABRIA IREPA, Miguel Angel

195. SANCHEZ GARCIA, Juan Miguel

196. SANTUCHO, Amilcar

197. SILVA, Hermenegildo

198. SILVA QUINTANA; Alfonso

199. SILVA, Saturnina de

200. SOLER, Juana Samudio de

201. SOTO, Waldina

202. SPIRIDONOFF BARRESI, Nicolás

203. STUMPS AREVALOS, Herminio

204. STUMPF, Nercio

T

205. TORALES, Carmelo

V

206. VALENZUELA CANDIA, Antonio

207. VALENTE, Emilio

208. VARGAS ARANDA, Susana

209. VARGAS FERREIRA, Aquilino

210. VELAZCO, Claudelina de

211. VELAZCO, Rosalino

212. VERA, Amadeo

213. VERA BAEZ, Cástulo

214. VERA BAEZ, Felipe

215. VERA, Francisco

216. VERA GONZALEZ, Sotero

217. VERA MORINIGO, Ignacia

218. VERDUN, Feliciano

219. VILLALBA, Antolina Amalia

8. The Commission has noted with singular concern the repeated denunciations involving the number of pregnant women who have been detained and have given birth in prison, as well as women detained with small children. Of the approximately 18 babies born in these circumstances, two have spent two years in jail together with their mothers.

9. On March 29, 1977, the Commission requested of the Government of Paraguay a copy of some of the most recent decrees issued by the Executive Branch ordering detentions in exercise of the special powers of the state of siege. This communication, like many others, went unanswered.

10. Almost all of the denunciations on detentions received by the Commission indicate that the detentions are, as a general rule, conducted late at night by officials who neither wear uniforms nor present any identifications or written order whatever, who generally use violence and refuse to specify the reason for the arrest or the place where the individual apprehended is to be held.

11. The Commission received information from a number of sources on the transfer in mid-September 1976 of political prisoners to a former correctional institution for minor in Emboscada. We do not know the precise number of individuals who were taken to Emboscada but, according to lists and other information received by the Commission, the number may be as high as 360, including men, women and children (some 14 infants). According to the information received, the conditions in the new quarters represent a marked improvement over those found in police stations where political prisoners had always been held. The Emboscada prison, according to knowledgeable sources, is a healthier environment; visits are allowed and there are no rooms for torture.[11] Nevertheless, we should point out that we have also received communications denouncing serious problems in Emboscada, such as overcrowding, lack of potable water and adequate food, and inadequately ventilated cells. Furthermore, we cannot fail to mention the denunciations expressing deep concern and alarm over the appointment as Director of the Prison of Colonel José F. Grau, to whom serious crimes have been imputed. We have also received information from a number of sources indicating the possibility that political prisoners are still being held in a concentration camp know as Peña Hermosa, located on the Río Paraguay.

12. The Commission feels it important to point out that, according to information received, during 1976 and 1977 the Government of Paraguay opened proceedings against a certain number of individuals who have been deprived of their freedom for some time now, under the special powers granted by the state of siege. The Commission has received with prudent optimism this news, which would seem to indicate that the Government of Paraguay recognizes the duty to bring before the competent courts, those individuals suspected of participating in acts that threaten the security of the State.

APPENDIX TO CHAPTER III

CASE 1741[1]

WHEREAS:

A communication of April 10, 1972, denounced that:

By judicial decision of October 10, 1961, Luis F. Garbarino, judge of the city of Asunción, ordered the release of Paraguayan Professor Antonio Maida; and

Notwithstanding that decision, the above-mentioned professor continues to be detained in the Third Police Station of Asuncion;

The same communication claims that Mr. Silvano Morinigo Gaona, a Paraguayan Citizen, who accused of plotting to kill the President of the Republic, General Alfredo Stroessner, has been detained for six years without trial;

The Commission, in a note of April 19, 1972, requested information from the Government of Paraguay, pursuant to Articles 42 and 44 of the Regulations, and by letter of April 20 of the same year, informed the claimant of the steps taken with respect to the complaint;

Article 51,1 of the Regulations reads as follows:

The occurrence of the events on which information has been requested will be presumed to be confirmed if the government referred to has not supplied such information within 180 days of the request, provided always, that the invalidity of the events denounced is not shown by other elements of proof;

In view of the time that has transpired without the Government of Paraguay having furnished the information requested to the Commission,

THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGTHS

RESOLVES:

1. To consider the occurrence of the events denounced in the communication of April 10, 1972 to be confirmed, through the application of Article 51,1 of the Regulations.

2. To request the Government of Paraguay to order the release of Antonio Maidana, inasmuch as he was ordered to be released from detention by Judge Luis F. Garbarino on October 10. 1961.

3. To request the Government of Paraguay to inform the Commission of the measures it has taken, or in the event that it released Professor Maidana prior to this resolution, that it notify the Commission of the circumstances thereof, and to request that this information be sent so that these reports may be considered at its next session.[2]

In its observations on the Report of the Commission, the Government of Paraguay stated the following with regard to this case:

Case 1741

Antonio Maidana was detained on August 10, 1958. Antonio Maidana, Julio Rojas and Alfredo Alcorta were together the principal founders of the communist Party which 11 years ago provoked the bloody Civil War that ravaged Paraguay. In 1958, they clandestinely plotted a massive workers’ strike and instigated a military uprising that caused a crisis that year and was about to claim new victims to add to the already lengthy list of individuals who died in Paraguay in fratricidal conflicts. Second Secretary General of the proscribed Paraguayan Communist Party, decorated ‘in absentia’ by the Government of the Soviet Union, until that time Antonio Maidana has devoted all his energies to impairing the political, social and economic development of the country so as to gain advantage thereby for an insignificant minority. On January 27, 1977, he was released together with Alfredo Alcorta and Julio Rojas, who were engaged in the same line of criminal activity.

The Government provided these three individuals all the guarantees and prepared passports for them when they expressed a desire to travel abroad. At present, continuing their policy of creating incidents, that three gained entry into the Embassy of Peru thereby creating a situation ‘sui generis’ inasmuch as the Government is not persecuting them. There is nothing to prevent them from traveling anywhere they wish at any time, and the necessary arrangements are being made with the Embassy of Peru.

CASES 1758, 1759, 1762 and 1763[3]

WHEREAS:

The arbitrary arrest of Professor Julio Rojas was denounced by a communication dated July 8, 1972, supplemented by one dated February 27, 1973, and by a communication dated December 19, 1972, supplemented by one dated February 7, 1973; according to the denunciations, Professor Rojas has for political reasons, been held prisoner in Paraguay since 1958 under deplorable conditions, without having been tried or serving a sentence;

In a communication dated December 27, 1972, the following denunciations were made: a) that Mr. Ignacio Chamorro has been under arrest in Paraguay since December 1959, supposedly for subversive activities, and has not been tried; and b) that Miss Idolina Anastasia Gaona has been under arrest in that country since July 1965, without having been tried or knowing the reasons for her arrest;

By communication dated January 16, 1973, a denunciation was made to the effect that 87 persons (whose names are listed and include those of Professor Rojas, Mr. Chamorro and Miss Gaona) have been imprisoned without trial in Paraguay, for political reasons. According to the denunciation, five of these persons have been imprisoned since 1958, three since 1959, one since 1960, one since 1961, one since 1962, one since 1963, six since 1964, eleven since 1965, five since 1966, two since 1967, six since 1968, three since 1969 and thirteen since 1970. The denunciation indicates the places of imprisonment:

In a cable dated February 1, 1973, the denunciation was made that Mr. Aníbal Florentín Peña, after suffering barbaric torture and serving two years in prison, was in danger of death because of a prolonged hunger strike;

In a cable dated February 1, 1973, concerning the situation of Mr. Peña, and by a note dated February 16, 1973, regarding the other cases mentioned in the foregoing paragraphs of this preamble, the Commission requested the Paraguayan government to provide the appropriate information (Art. 42 of the Regulations);

At its 30th session (April 1973), in view of the seriousness of the acts denounced and the prompt action required by the circumstances, the Commission decided to request the Paraguayan government once again that it provide information previously requested within a period not to exceed 60 days. This decision was transmitted to the Government of Paraguay by note date June 15, 1973;

The Paraguayan government’s only reply to the Commission, dated July 6, 1973, was that it had “taken the pertinent action” on the note of June 15 and its appendices and had “referred them to the competent national agency”;

Article 51,1 of the Regulations of the Commission provides as follows:

The occurrence of the events on which information has been requested will be presumed to be confirmed if the government referred to has not supplied such information within 180 days of the request, provides always, that the invalidity of the events denounced is not shown by other elements of proof”; and

In view of the time that has elapsed, during which the Paraguayan government has not furnished the Commission with the information it requested,

THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

RESOLVES:

1. To apply Article 51,1 of the Regulations and presume the occurrence of the events indicated in the preamble of this resolution to be confirmed.

2. To recommend to the Government of Paraguay that the persons mentioned be immediately freed.

3. To call the attention of the Government of Paraguay to the fact that these acts constitute very serious violations of the right to liberty and personal security, the right of protection from arbitrary arrest, the right to a fair trial and the right to due process of law, set forth in Articles I, XXV, XVIII and XXVI of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.

4. To include this resolution in its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (Art. 9 (bis), c. iii of the Statute).[4]

With regard to these cases, the Government reported the following in its observations of 7 August 1977:

Case 1758

The case of Julio Rojas is directly related to the preceding case.

Case 1759

Ignacio Chamorro was detained on December 31, 1959, after a savage assault perpetrated by a band of marauders of which he was a member, which attacked all other quiet community of Coronel Bogado in the early morning hours, causing the death of a number of police officers and citizens from that community, which is near the Argentine border.

Case 1762

Idalina Gaona de Acosta, also known as ‘Comrade Alicia’. A leader of the Paraguayan Communist Party and the High Command’s chief expert in liaison with all other organizations of that proscribed group. She is an active participant in the guerrilla activities conducted by the so-called “Mcal. Lopez Column” and is responsible for the death of Official Inspector Asunción Mustafá Abdala. She also served as an aide to Arturo López, alias Commander Agapito Valiente, a sinister assassin who for a number of years ravaged the Paraguayan countryside.

Case 1763

Aníbal Florentín Peña, principal collaborator of Agustín Giburú, an agitator and mastermind of the first skyjacking, committed many years before it become fashionable. He was released on May 29, 1973.

CASE 1843[5]

WHEREAS:

1. On May 29, 1975 this Commission resolved to recommend to the Government of Paraguay that it take the necessary measures so that the basic rights of Captain Napoleón Ortigoza be fully and immediately reestablished.

2. According to the allegations –presumed to be confirmed by application of Article 51,1 of the Regulations—Captain Ortigoza has been detained since 1962 in the Central Police Prison of Asunción without ever having been brought to trial;

3. The recommendation mentioned in the first clause of this resolution was made known to the Government of Paraguay by note of August 8, 1975, addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, a copy of which was sent to the Acting Representative of Paraguay to the Organization of American States on August 18, 1975;

4. Notwithstanding the terms of the recommendation and the time that has transpired since it was communicated to the Government, there is no record that the Government of Paraguay has complied with that recommendation;

5. For this reason, the provision of Article 57, 1 of the Regulations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights should be applied.

THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

RESOLVES:

1. To call the attention of the Government of Paraguay to the fact that the acts denounced constitute a serious violations of Article XXV of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and,

2. To include this resolution, together with an account of the case, in the Annual Report that the Commission presents to the General Assembly of the Organization, in accordance with Article 9 (bis) c if its Statute.

In its observations, the Government of Paraguay states the following:

Case 1843

In December 1962 Captain Napoleón Ortigoza, together with Guillermo Ovando and others, perpetrated a military coup which, when discovered by Cadet Alberto Anastacio Benítez, culminated in the cruel murder of Benítez. Both have been tried and sentenced by the Military Court of First Instance and the case is now before the Military Court of Appeals.

CASE 1988[6]

WHEREAS:

A denunciation dated October 31, 1975 alleged that Bienvenido Argüello and Alberto Alegre, Paraguayan citizens, were being held in the Asunción Jail, after having been kidnapped by Paraguayan Officials in the town of Clorinda, Formosa Province, Republic of Argentina.

According to the denunciation, the kidnapping took place on May 12, 1975 and the two individuals were taken to the police station in the border town of Falcón, where they were tortured.

The denunciation also makes reference to the status of Paraguayan citizens Julio César Colman, Luis Cano, Pablo Brítez Báez, Hilario Villalba, Hugo Godoy Mernes, Víctor Salinas, Rodolfo Heinrich, Miguel Arnaldo Fleitas and Nélida Paredes, who, it is claimed, were also being held arbitrarily in Paraguayan jails.

In a note dated December 12, 1972 the Commission transmitted to the Government of Paraguay, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the pertinent parts of the denunciation and requested that it provide information on the allegations as well as any other data that would enable the Commission to determine whether the domestic legal remedies had been exhausted. A copy of that communication was sent that same day to the Permanent Representative of Paraguay to the Organization of American States.

Despite the time elapsed since that request, the Government of Paraguay has not provided any information, even though the period established in Article 51,1 of the Regulations has passed.

On the 12th of this month the 180-day period elapsed, after which, according to Article 51 of its Regulations, the Commission can, in the event that the Government of Paraguay fails to respond, presume the occurrence of the events denounced, as long as there is no evidence to the effect that the denunciation is unfounded.

THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSIONON HUMAN RIGHTS

RESOLVES:

1. In application of Article 51,1 of the Regulations, to presume as confirmed the occurrence of the events denounced.

2. To call the attention of the Government of Paraguay to the fact that these acts constitute a serious violation of the right to liberty and personal security (Article I of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man) and to recommend that the Government adopt the necessary measures to see to it that the individuals named in the denunciation regain their freedom immediately and that those responsible be penalized in accordance with Paraguayan Law, and that these measures be reported to this Commission within a maximum period of 60 days;

3. To transmit this resolution to the Government of Paraguay and to the claimants.[7]

With regard of this case, in its observations the Government of Paraguay reported on the situation of the eleven individuals cited as follows:

Case 1988

Alberto Alegre was detained in May 1975 for engaging in criminal activities in the so-called MOPOCO (Movimiento Popular Colorado), a small group of Marxists who conduct their activities in border areas. There is unequivocal proof of the fact that the members of the “Movimiento Popular Colorado” have made trips to Cuba and other Communist countries on repeated occasions. The other individuals mentioned in this case were never detained in Paraguay but were detained in the Republic of Argentina on the occasion of a Marxist meeting held in the city of Buenos Aires; thus it would be difficult to impute any form of physical mistreatment to the Paraguayan police, as they never had contact with those persons. Alegre is being held in Emboscada Prison, not incommunicado.

Summarized below are four Resolutions adopted by the Commission during its 41st session (May 1977), which are now being processed; the occurrence of the acts denounced were presumed to be confirmed in application of the Article 51,1 of the Regulations, in light of the Government’s silence:

Case 2006[8]

i. In a number of communications, the first of which is dated December 17, 1975, it was denounced to this Commission that Professor Miguel Chase Sardí, Victorio Suárez, Mauricio Schwartzman, a sociologist and Marilyn Rehnfelt –all from the Marandú project—as well as Gloria Estragó, an employee of the Indian Bureau of Paraguay, had been detained at the beginning of December;

ii. According to the claimants, Marilyn Rehnfeldt was detained for a number of days and Professor Chase Sardí for 7 months, without any charges being brought against them;

iii. It was also alleged that Gloria Estragó was deprived of her freedom for approximately one year before charges were brought against her;

iv. According to the claimant, Miguel Chase Sardí, Victorio Suárez and Gloria Estragó were brutally tortured; Chase Sardí suffered a number of fractured ribs, which made it difficult for him to move his arms, and an ear infection; but did not receive the necessary medical attention;

v. Mr. Suárez and Mr. Schwartzman allegedly remained under detention without charges having been brought against them;

vi. In notes dated February 10 and June 2, 1976, the IACHR transmitted to the Government of Paraguay the pertinent parts of the denunciation and requested that it provide the corresponding information (Article 42 of the Regulations), but no reply has been received;

vii. As a consequence, the Commission decided to call the attention of the Government of Paraguay to the fact that these acts constitute very serious violations of the right to liberty and personal security (Article I of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man); of the right to a fair trial (Article XVIII); of the right of association (Article XXII); of the right of protection from arbitrary arrest (Article XXV), and of the right to due process of law (Article XXVI).

With regard to this case involving the detention of the leaders of the Marandú Project and the denunciation of torture of some of these individuals, the Government of Paraguay stated the following in its observations on this Report:

Case 2006

Miguel Chase Sardí, Victorio Villalba Suárez, Mauricio Schwartman (sic), Marilyn Rhenfeldt y Gloria Estragó, all of whom are linked to Communist infiltrations in the Marandú Project. All now enjoy complete freedom, with the exception of Estragó who is being held under house arrest for reasons of health. She had journeyed to the Soviet Union to receive instructions in order to carry out her objective. Miguel Chase Sardí, alias Comrade Gato, a well-known Communist agitator in university and literary circles, was apprehended in 1947 during the Civil War while a combat group, and has been the chief leader of this movement.

Case 2021[9]

i. A communication dated March 10, 1976 denounced the detention of 53 individuals –whose names are listed—and further denounced that a number of them had disappeared;

ii. According to the denunciation, this list included only part of the approximately 200 individuals who were detained in Paraguay during November and December 1975;

iii. The claimant reported that a number of residences were broken into and some private property was confiscated;

iv. According to the claimant, in some instances, if the individual sought was not found, either the spouse or some other members of the family were detained, that no charges have been brought against the individuals detained;

v. The denunciation alleges various cases of torture involving women, the sick and the elderly, and that the authorities have not informed the members of their families of the whereabouts or the prison where the individuals detained are to be found;

vi. In a note dated March 29, 1976, the Commission transmitted to the Government of Paraguay the pertinent parts of the denunciation and requested that it provide the corresponding information (Article 42 of the Regulation), but no reply has been received;

vii. Therefore, the Commission decided to call the attention of the Government of Paraguay to the fact that these acts constitute very serious violations of the right to liberty, personal security and integrity (Article I of the Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man); of the right to protection of the family (Article VI); of the right to the inviolability of the home (Article IX); of the right to a fair trial (Article XVIII); of the right to protection from arbitrary arrest (Article XXV), and of the right to due process of law (Article XXVI)

In its observations of August 7, 1977, the Government of Paraguay reported the following on the case in question:

Case 2021

Some of the individuals named in this case were detained and later released, thus making this similar to the previous case. The charges that they have disappeared are false.

Case 2029[10]

i. A communication dated March 1, 1976 denounced to this Commission a number of deaths, disappearances, illegal detentions and torture, especially of women;

ii. According to the claimant, Oílda Recalde, the mother of four children, has spent nine years in prison; Gilberta Verú, 65 years of age, who spent “almost 10 years in prison for having attempted to defend her husband who was decapitated in her presence,” has again been arrested and is being held incommunicado in the Department of Investigations; Agripina Portillo has spent more than one year incommunicado in the Investigations Department; Teresa Asilvera entered “prison with a two-year-old child and left prison when the child was six years old, and throughout this period her child was subjected to the same treatment as that given adult prisoners;” Rosa Goiburú “was arrested in an advanced stage of pregnancy, had her child in jail, alone, and before leaving spent approximately three years there with her small child; Gladys de Mancuello, “arrested in 1974 very late in her pregnancy, had her child in prison and is still there with her child;” María Candelaria Ramírez “lost her unborn child under torture, did not receive medical attention, and was released only when she was near death;”

iii. Allegedly, no charges have been brought against any of these individuals;

iv. In a note date April 29, 1976, the Commission transmitted to the Government of Paraguay the permanent parts of the denunciation and requested that it provide the corresponding information (Article 42 of the Regulations); in a note dated February 4, 1977, the Commission repeated its request for information, extending the deadline for a response by 90 days, but no reply has been received;

v. Therefore, the ICHAR decided to call the attention of the Government of Paraguay to the fact that these acts constitute very serious violations of the right to liberty and personal security and integrity (Article I of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man); of the right of protection of the family (Article VI); of the right to protection for mother and children (Article VII); of the right to preservation of health and well being (Article XI); of the right to a fair trial (Article XVIII); of the right to protection from arbitrary arrest (Article XXV), and of the right to due process of law (Article XXVI).

The Government stated the following in connection with this case:

Case 2029

Gilberta Verdún de Talavera, a terrorist arrested while serving as a nurse among the armed hordes who invaded the country in 1960 under the label of “guerrillas”. She was released on July 1, 1968. In 1974 she was again detained on suspicion of having been involved in the criminal attack to which reference was made, and was again released.

All the individuals mentioned in this case have already been released. One of them, Rosa Mujica Goiburú, was the chief organizer of the escape of a number of criminals who were being held in the Seventh Precinct. With respect to the alleged mistreatment and the unhealthy conditions, regarding that lie, reports can be obtained at the International Red Cross, which conducts periodic visits to the penitentiaries in Paraguay and other countries.

Case 2076[11]

i. A communication dated June 7, 1976 denounced the detention of Mrs. Aída Angélica Ortiz in Asunción, together with her 11 month-old baby girl, Aída Alejandra, around Mid-March of 1976;

ii. According to the denunciation, Mrs. Ortiz is being held incommunicado under subhuman conditions and the whereabouts and fate of her child are unknown.

iii. According to the claimant, at the time of her detention, Mrs. Ortiz was under strict medical care for chronic asthma, a cardiac condition, and nervous system and liver problems; thus, according to the claimant, her life was in jeopardy;

iv. By cable dated August 12, 1976, the Commission transmitted to the Government of Paraguay the pertinent parts of the denunciation and requested that it provide the corresponding information (Article 42 of the Regulations); by cable dated November 5, 1976, the Commission repeated its request for information to the Government of Paraguay, but no reply has been received;

v. Consequently, the Commission decided to call the attention of the Government of Paraguay to the fact that these acts constitute very serious violations of the right to liberty and personal security and integrity (Article I of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man); of the right to protection of the family (Article VI); of the right to protection of children (Article VII); of the right to a fair trial (Article XVIII); of the right to protection from arbitrary arrest (Article XXV) and of the right to due process of law (Article XXVI).

Finally, with regard to the situation of Aída Angélica Ortiz and her child, the Government of Paraguay limited itself to the following remarks:

Case 2076

The same remarks may be made in connection with Case 2076 (as those made in reference to Case 2029).

 

 

Notes___________________________

[1] American Convention on Human Rights

Article 7

1. Every person has the right to personal liberty and security.

2. No one shall be deprived of his physical liberty except for the reason and under the conditions established beforehand by the constitution of the State Party concerned or by a law established pursuant thereto.

3. No one shall be subject to arbitrary arrest or imprisonment.

4. Anyone who is detained shall be informed of the reasons for his detention and shall be promptly notified of the charge or charges against him.

5. Any person detained shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to be released without prejudice to the continuation of the proceedings. His release may be subject to guarantees to assure his appearance for trial.

6. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty shall be entitled to recourse to a competent court, in order that the court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his arrest or detention and order his release if the arrest or detention is unlawful. In States Parties whose laws provide that anyone who believes himself to be threatened with deprivation of his liberty is entitled to recourse to a competent court in order that it may decide on the lawfulness of such treat, this remedy may not be restricted or abolished. The interested party or another person in his behalf is entitled to seek these remedies.

7. No one shall be detained for debt. This principle shall not limit the orders of a competent judicial authority issued for nonfulfillment of duties of support.

[2] Annual Report for 1974 of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to the General Assembly. OEA/Ser.P/AG/doc.520/75, 31 March 1975, pp. 35 36.

[3] Emphasis added.

[4] OEA/Ser.L/V/II.40, doc.10, 11 February 1977, p. 44

[5] See the Appendix to this chapter.

[6] The Commission later received information to he effects that some of these individuals had been released. Among these, mention should be made of Antoliano Cardozo and Ignacio Chamorro who were held for 19 years without any charge ever having been brought against them, according to the denunciation received by the Commission (See page 45).

[7] In this report the expression “political prisoners” is used to refer to individuals detained under an accusation of an infraction of the internal laws on the Security of the State and other similar concepts.

[11] However, it should be noted that, according to information received by the Commission, approximately one thousand relatives of political prisoners being held in Emboscada spent approximately 12 hours outside the prison on December 25, 1976, without being allowed to see the prisoners.

 

 

[1] OEA/Ser.L/V/II.30, doc. 40, rev.1, 27 April 1973.

[2] It is worth noting that while the Commission received with satisfaction the news that the Government of Paraguay had released Antonio Maidana on January 27, 1977, along with Julio Rojas (see case 1758) and Alfredo Alcorta, it must mention the fact that Mr. Maidana was deprived of his freedom for more than 15 years after a judicial decision ordering his release had been handed down. According to information received by the Commission, Mr. Maidana, Mr. Rojas and Mr. Alcorta, after spending a number of weeks under house arrest, sought political asylum in an embassy in Asunción. After spending a number of months in asylum, the Government of Paraguay finally granted them safe-conducts and they left the country.

[3] OEA/Ser.L/V/II.31, doc. 42, rev.1, 23 October 1973.

[4] Mr. Julio Rojas was held under detention for 18 years, without ever being persecuted. See our note at the bottom of page 45.

[5] OEA/Ser.L/V/II.36, doc. 29, rev.1, 16 October 1975.

[6] OEA/Ser.L/V/II.38, doc. 20, 2 June 1976.

[7] It is pertinent to point out that this Resolution was published in its entirety in Asunción, in the newspaper El Radical (an official organ of the Radical Liberal Party), during the second week of January 1977. It was accompanied by the following editorial note: “Thanks to the intervention of the Commission, sometime later the students Luis Cano, Hilario Villalba, Hugo Godoy Mermes, Víctor Salinas, Rodolfo Heinrich, Miguel Arnoldo Fleitas and Nélida Paredes were released from Paraguayan jails, according to unofficial information received by us. Of the prisoners mentioned in the Commission’s Resolution, it would seem that Julio César Colman and Pablo Brítez Báez are still being held prisoner, their whereabouts unknown. It would appear that the citizens kidnapped in the city of Clorinda, also cited in the Resolution adopted by the IACHR, Bienvenido Argüello and Alberto Alegre, are still imprisoned.”

[8] OEA/Ser.L/V/II.41, doc.10, 13 May 1977.

[9] OEA/Ser.L/V/II.41, doc.8, 12 May 1977.

[10] OEA/Ser.L/V/II.41, doc.9, 12 May 1977.

[11] OEA/Ser.L/V/II.41, doc.11, 13 May 1977. This Resolution is being processed in accordance with Articles 56 and 57 the Regulations of the Commission.

 



Home || Treaties || Search || Links