FRIENDLY SETTLEMENTS AND OTHER AGREEMENTS
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has placed special
emphasis on promoting friendly settlement procedures, which make it
possible to resolve individual cases out of court, and on obtaining
agreements on compliance with its recommendations.
In various cases, for instance, representatives of the member
states and the petitioners, victims, and family members have made efforts
leading to concrete progress and results.
The IACHR would like to extend these procedures to other cases and
petitions, and thus it is urging member states and petitioners to take
steps towards achieving this objective, in the context of respect for the
human rights guaranteed by the instruments of the inter-American system.
We will now refer to some of the cases and subjects where important
progress has been made in the course of our recent session.
The state and petitioners held working meetings with a view to
arriving at a friendly settlement of six individual petitions. Of particular importance is the final agreement of the
friendly settlement process that was signed in Case P 11,807 regarding José
Alberto Guadarrama García, in which the parties indicated compliance with
the points agreed in October 1998 with the Inter-American Commission. They included identification of some of the remains of Mr.
Guadarrama García; the arrest and trial of various state agents who
participated in the kidnapping and murder of the victim, and public
recognition of responsibility on the part of the federal government and
the government of Morelos State.
3. In case P
11,733 regarding Víctor Pineda Henestrosa, a friendly settlement
agreement was signed covering the following points:
investigation of the alleged acts and, if appropriate, criminal
prosecution of the perpetrators of the acts; and, action to initiate a new
expert study, for which purpose the state reported that a large sum had
been made available. As for
economic support, the state made a commitment to deliver resources to
purchase computer equipment and construction material for a library in
honor of Professor Pineda Henestrosa, and to seek alternative solutions
for the benefit of the victim’s family, by including them in a social
program. A study of
alternative solutions was also pursued, and agreement between the parties
reached on specific goals and time periods, in the following cases: P
11,734 – Modesto Patolzin Moicén; P 11,775 – Gregorio Alfonso
Alvarado; P 11,822 – Reyes Penagos Martínez et
al; and, P 11,824 – Sabino Díaz Osorio and Rodrigo Gómez Zamorano.
4. The IACHR held
working meetings on friendly settlement with the parties in the following
cases in Colombia: 11,022 – Tomás Tunarroza et
al; 11,025 – Jhon Wilson Rodríguez et
al; 11,026 – Chaparro Nivia et
al; and, 12,291 - Wilson
Gutiérrez Soler. In Case
11,141 – Villatina, Colombia, the parties reported to the IACHR that
specific progress had been made in reaching a friendly settlement
agreement endorsed by the parties in December 2003.
In Case 11,317 – Rodolfo Robles Espinoza, the State of Peru
delivered a friendly settlement agreement signed by the two parties for
approval by the Inter-American Commission.
The state of Peru initially acknowledged responsibility for the
acts in this case, which occurred in 1993, in a press release presented
jointly with the IACHR on February 22, 2001.
In the friendly settlement agreement, Peru reiterated recognition
of its international liability for violation of the human rights of
General Robles Espinoza, and its commitment to pay compensation to the
victim. At the same time, the
state made the commitment to hold a public act of apology at the Peruvian
Army Headquarters and a “ceremony of honorable discharge” with
military and civilian officials attending.
6. During its
recent session, the IACHR also adopted a report to follow up on the
recommendations in Case 11,725 regarding Carmelo Soria Espinoza. In
that report, the Inter-American Commission acknowledged the Chilean
state’s intention to settle the case by carrying out the recommendations
contained in Report 133/99,
including payment of compensation for the damages incurred and punishment
of the perpetrators of the violations committed against
Carmelo Soria Espinoza, who was kidnapped on July 14, 1976, by
police officers from the National Department of Intelligence (DINA) and
The state and the petitioners in various cases and petitions in
Argentina also held working meetings with the Inter-American Commission in
the course of the recent session. The
status of Cases 11,804 – Juan Carlos Greco, 12,080 – Sergio Schiavini,
12,298 - Fernando Giovanelli, and P12.094 – Lhaka Honhat was examined,
and ways to move the friendly settlement procedure forward were
8. In addition, in
the course of recent hearings conducted by the Inter-American Court of
Human Rights, the IACHR was instrumental in advancing a friendly
settlement during the merits stage of the Bulacio Case in Argentina.
On March 6, 2003, the Inter-American Court issued a decision in
this case, in which it determined that the Argentine State had accepted
international liability based on the petition presented by the IACHR and
that the parties had “arrived at a basic understanding regarding the
acts” in violation of the American Convention, and that reparations
would be pursued.
Washington, D.C., March 20,de 2003