1. On December 5,
1977, the Commission received the following denunciation:
Cristina de Choque, 27 years old, married, from La Paz, Bolivia, was
arrested for the first time in 1972 until 1974. During this
imprisonment, she suffered a miscarriage as a result of the torture.
was again arrested in Catavi in the month of October 1976. She is now in
prison, along with her young son who is 6 months old. She was brutally
tortured, and as a result of this torture, she is on the verge of death.
She receives no medical attention, and is constantly threatened that her
small son will be made to disappear. She is still passing blood in her
urine. She is being held ‘incommunicado’. Her present whereabouts
courts and government attorneys refuse to intervene in political cases.
Nobody else intervenes on her behalf out of fear of the severe reprisals
to which the government subjects family members.
witness to the arrest is Mr. Luis Stamponi of Argentine nationality.
After this gentleman recounted the facts, agents of the Political
Control made him disappear. It is said he was taken back to the border
2. In a note of
April 3, 1978, the Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of the
denunciation to the Government of Bolivia and asked it to provide the
3. In a
communication dated June 6, 1978, the Government of Bolivia, without
referring to acts of torture or to the lack of due process, replied in
the following terms to the Commission’s request:
María Victoria Fernández de Choque, alias ‘Claudia’, an active
militant in the Revolutionary Workers Party of Bolivia (PRT-B) and in
the National Liberation Army (ELN), wife of Alfredo Vicente Castillo -a
member of the PRT-B-, a member of the ‘Pancho y Rinett’ cell of
column 3, was responsible for distributing subversive propaganda. She
was arrested in La Paz on April 17, 1972, and subsequently in an
extremist safe-house in the mining area of Llallagua-Potosí, she was
arrested on September 28, 1976, when she attempted to resist arrest with
fire-arms and dynamite. The house contained homemade bombs, extremist
subversive literature, arms and quantities of dynamite. She has been
released as a result of the Amnesty Decree issued by the Supreme
Government in December 1977.
4. The pertinent
parts of the Government’s reply were transmitted to the person filing
the denunciation in a letter of June 28, 1978, and he was invited to
make observations to the reply.
1. The Government
of Bolivia replied to the request by the Commission for information on
the events denounced, but without referring to torture or the lack of
2. 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 to the request,
provided always, that the invalidity of the events denounced is not
shown by other elements of proof.
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, RESOLVES:
1. On the basis of
Article 51.1 of the Regulations, to presume the material facts of the
denunciation with regard to torture and the lack of due process to be
2. To declare that
the Government of Bolivia violated (Article I) the right to life,
liberty and personal security and (Article XXVI) right to due process of
the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
3. To recommend to
the Bolivian Government: a) that it order a complete, impartial
investigation to determine responsibility for the events denounced, and
to sanction those responsible for those events, in accordance with the
Bolivian law, and b) that it inform the Commission within a maximum of
60 days as to the measures taken to put into practice the
recommendations listed in the present Resolution.
4. To communicate
this decision to the Government of Bolivia and to the claimant.
5. To include this
Resolution in the Annual Report of the Commission to the General
Assembly of the Organization of American States, in conformity with
Article 9 (bis), paragraph c. iii of the Statute of the Commission,
without prejudice to the Commission’s being able, at its next session,
to reconsider the case in the light of such measures as the Government
may have taken.
at the 609th meeting of March 6, 1979 (46th
session) and transmitted to the Government of Bolivia)