In January and February, 1997, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights will hold its XXXV Regular Session and its XXI Special Session.
During the XXI Special Session, to be held from January 22 to January 25, 1997, the Court will hear the following matters:
1) Genie Lacayo Case: According to the Inter-American Commission's application, this case is motivated, by the events that occurred as of July 23, 1991, when agents of the State caused the death of Jean Paul Genie-Lacayo, in the city of Managua, Nicaragua, on October 28, 1990, and originated a systematic denial of justice resulting in the filing of case No. 10.792 by the Commission. The Commission requested that the Court find that the Government of Nicaragua violated Articles 8 (Right to a Fair Trial), 24 (Right to Equal Protection of the Law) and 25 (Right to Judicial Protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights, all in relation to Article 1(1) of the Convention which establishes the obligation of parties to the treaty to respect and guarantee the rights protected therein, such as the denial of the Judiciary to process and punish those responsible and that they order the payment of reparation for the damages caused. The Commission also requests that the Court declare that Nicaragua violated Articles 51(2) of the American Convention by not complying with the recommendations formulated by the Inter-American Commission and 2 of the same by not adopting the dispositions of internal law necessary to make these rights effective and avoid the occurrence of similar events in the future.
The composition of the Court for this case will be the following: Héctor Fix-Zamudio (Mexico), President; Hernán Salgado Pesantes (Ecuador), Vice President; Rafael Nieto Navia (Colombia); Alejandro Montiel Argüello (Nicaragua) and Máximo Pacheco Gómez (Chile). The Secretary of the Court, Manuel E. Ventura Robles, and the Interim Deputy Secretary, Víctor Manuel Rodríguez Rescia, will also be present.
During the XXXV Regular Session, held from January 27 to February 7, 1997, the Court will hear the following matters:
1) Caballero Delgado y Santana Case: The Court will deliberate and study the possibility of dictating a judgment on the reparations and costs in this case. This decision will be in conformity with that decided in the December 8, 1995 Court Judgment that decided, by four votes against one, that the Government of Colombia must pay fair compensation to the victims' families and that the form and amount of such compensation will be established by the Court.
This case was submitted by the Inter-American Commission on December 24, 1992, for acts that occurred on February 7, 1989, in Guaduas, a municipality of San Alberto, Department of Cesar, Republic of Colombia. The acts consisted of the illegal, arbitrary, and forced detentions and posterior disappearance of Isidro Caballero Delgado and María del Carmen Santana. According to the Judgment on the merits, the Colombian Government violated, to the detriment of the aforementioned citizens, Articles 4 (Right to Life), and 7 (Right to Personal Liberty) of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, both in relation to Article 1(1) of the same Convention which establishes the obligation to respect these rights.
The composition of the Court for this case will be as follows: Hector Fix-Zamudio (Mexico), President; Hernán Salgado-Pesantes (Ecuador), Vice President; Alejandro Montiel-Argüello (Nicaragua); Máximo Pacheco-Gómez (Chile); Alirio Abreu-Burelli (Venezuela) and Antônio A. Cançado Trindade (Brazil). Also, Judge ad hoc Rafael Nieto-Navia, appointed by the Government of Colombia, will participate in this case. Also present will be the Secretary of the Court, Manuel E. Ventura-Robles, and the Interim Deputy Secretary, Victor Manuel Rodríguez-Rescia.
2) Garrido and Baigorria Case: The Court will study the possibility of the homologation of an agreement between the parties on the reparations in this case. The agreement is a result of the Court's Judgment of February 2, 1996 where it unanimously took note of the acceptance made by Argentina of the acts stated in the application and of Argentina's acceptance of international responsibility for those acts. In that same Judgment, the Court granted the parties a time period in which to reach an agreement on reparations and compensation and it reserved the authority to examine and approve that agreement. It further reserved that in the event the parties did not reach an agreement, it would continue the proceedings on reparations.
The complaint refers to events that occurred as of April 28, 1990, when uniformed personnel of the Mendoza Province Police detained Adolfo Garrido and Raúl Baigorria. Their whereabouts are since unknown. At approximately 4 p.m. on April 28, Mr. Garrido and Mr. Baigorria were traveling in a vehicle belonging to the Garrido family, when they were detained by uniformed personnel of the Mendoza Police inside the General San Martín Park, in front of the Eva Perón Home School, in the city of Mendoza. The petition states that various witnesses saw the victims while they were being interrogated (or detained) by at least four uniformed police officers wearing black berets, which are worn by the motorized division of the Mendoza Police. The Police used automobiles belonging to said security force. These cars had the markings, lights, and sirens unique to the police.
3) Bámaca Velásquez Case: The Court will study the procedural actions relevant to the Bámaca Velásquez Case against Guatemala. The application refers to events that occurred as of March 12, 1992, when agents of the armed forces of Guatemala allegedly captured Mr. Efraín Bámaca-Velásquez after an armed confrontation, proceeding to keep him alive in military installations of the armed forces where he was tortured and later executed by members of the Guatemalan armed forces. The Commission also requests that the Court declare that Guatemala has violated the American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture, that it must investigate these events and sanction those responsible for them, inform the next-of-kin on the whereabouts of Mr. Bámaca and return his remains, reform the training of the armed forces of Guatemala and pay fair compensation to the victim's family and the costs of procedure.
4) Loayza Tamayo Case. On February 5, 1997, at 10:00 a.m., the Court will hold a public hearing at its seat in order to hear testimony of the witnesses Iván Bazán, Víctor Alvarez and the experts Nigel Rodley, Julio Maier, Carlos Arslanian and Héctor Faúndez.
According to the application, this case originated with events that occurred as of February 6, 1993, when which Ms. María Elena Loayza Tamayo was allegedly illegally and arbitrarily deprived of her liberty, tortured, and treated in a cruel, inhuman and degrading manner. The application also alleges the violation of judicial guarantees and double jeopardy in relation to the same events. As a result, the application alleges the violation of Articles 1.1 (Obligation to Respect Rights), 5 (Right to Humane Treatment), 7 (Right to Personal Liberty), 8 (Right to a Fair Trial), 25 (Right to Judicial Protection) and 51(2) of the American Convention on Human Rights. The Commission requests that the Court decide on the above-mentioned violations of the Convention, order Peru to pay full reparation to Ms. Loayza Tamayo for the damages suffered and to pass a decree granting her immediate freedom.
5) Castillo Páez Case: On February 6 and 7, 1996, at 10:00 a.m., the Court will hold a public hearing at it seat in order to hear the testimony of the witnesses María Esther Aguirre-Vera, Erika Katherine Vera de la Cruz, María Elena Castro-Osorio, Joe Roberto Ruiz-Huapaya, Cronwell Pierre Castillo-Castillo, Elba Minaya-Calle, Augusto Zúñiga-Paz, Luis Delgado-Aparicio y Cecilia Valenzuela and from experts Enrique Bernales-Ballesteros and Francisco Eguiguren-Praeli.
According to the complaint, this case originates from events that occurred as of October 21, 1990, when agents of the Peruvian National Police arrested Mr. Ernesto Castillo-Páez. Since that time, his whereabouts are unknown. Due to these events, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights submitted the application to the Court on January 12, 1995, requesting that the Court declare that Peru has violated Articles 1(1) (Obligation to Respect Rights), 4 (Right to Life), 5 (Right to Humane Treatment), 7 (Right to Personal Liberty), 8 (Right to a Fair Trial), and 25 (Right to Judicial Protection), all as guaranteed in the American Convention on Human Rights. The Commission also requests that the Court order the Government to conduct the necessary investigations to identify, try, and punish those responsible for the forced disappearance of Ernesto Castillo-Páez; to locate and deliver his remains to his family; and to pay full reparation, both material and moral, to the victim's family for the serious damages suffered.
6) El Amparo and Neira Alegría et al. Cases: The Court will analyze the requests for interpretation that have been presented regarding the Reparations Judgments in these cases.
7) Status of compliance with Provisional Measures; The Court will study the various Reports presented by the Governments regarding the measures they have adopted in response to the ordered Provisional Measures and the observations the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have presented regarding those measures.
8) Other matters. During this Regular Session, the Court will sign an Agreement of Cooperation regarding computer and documentation information with the Supreme Court of Justice of the Republic of Costa Rica. The Judges of the Inter-American Court and Justice Edgar Cervantes Villalta, President of the Supreme Court, will be present during this solemn act. The Court will also consider various administrative matters and will approve its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States.
The composition of the Court for this Regular Session will be: Héctor Fix-Zamudio, President (Mexico); Hernán Salgado-Pesantes, Vice President (Ecuador); Alejandro Montiel-Argüello (Nicaragua); Máximo Pacheco Gómez (Chile); Oliver Jackman (Barbados), Alirio Abreu-Burelli (Venezuela) and Antônio A. Cançado Trindade (Brazil). The Secretary of the Court, Manuel E. Ventura-Robles, and the Interim Deputy Secretary, Víctor M. Rodríguez-Rescia, will also be present.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is an autonomous judicial institution of the Organization of American States established in 1979. The Court is composed of jurists of the highest moral standing and competence in the area of human rights. Judges are elected by the OAS General Assembly and cannot exercise their functions for more than two six-year terms.
For further information, please address all requests to:
Manuel E. Ventura-Robles
Secretary, Inter-American Court of Human Rights
San José, Costa Rica
Telephone: (506) 234-0581, Fax: (506) 234-0584
San José, January 24, 1997.