1. On December 5,
1977, the Commission received the following denunciation:
Sattori Benquique, a student leader, 21 years old, was detained on
August 21, 1976; he was transferred to the Ministry of the Interior,
where he was beaten and one of his teeth was knocked out. On the
following day, he was transferred to a government security office where
he was beaten again. When he would not say what they wanted him to day,
he received an electrical charge in his right thigh. He resisted. The
second time he was tortured it was with an instrument somewhat like a
pencil, from which he did not regain consciousness for three days later.
Eight days after being detained, he was transferred to the city of
Achokalla, where he was interrogated. They pretended to shoot him, with
two burst of fire, interspersed with questions. They beat him again, and
when he was beaten senseless, they wrapped him in a blanket and threw
him down a well that was 6 ½ to 7 feet deep, where he remained for 24
hours. Then he was transferred to Viacha, which is about thirteen and a
half thousand feet above sea level, where he was kept for two months incommunicado.
On November 4, 1976, he was transferred to the Bureau of Political Order
(DOP), where he remained until December 24, 1976, when he was deported
2. In a note dated
April 5, 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 of June 2, 1978, the Government of Bolivia, without
referring to torture or exile, replied to the Commission’s request in
the following terms:
his terms of office as President of the Secondary Student Federation
(FES), he was advised by the Bolivian Communist Party, from which he
received economic aid. Vladimir Satorri made contact with Nilo Soruco
and Enrique Portugal, both active militants in the Revolutionary Leftist
Movement (MIR) and with Enrique Encinas, a member of the National
Liberation Army (ELN), who proposed financing the student movement, in
exchange for circulation of subversive propaganda on behalf of their
organizations. In his own words, Mr. Sattori states that he had a
copying machine in his possession, and that he had attended meetings of
factory leaders, mineworkers and university students, where there was
discussion of the national subversive movement. In November 1977, he was
in Venezuela, and currently has been granted amnesty under the
General Amnesty of January 1978.
4. The pertinent
parts of the Government’s reply were transmitted to the claimant in a
letter of June 28, 1978, and he was invited to make observations on the
reply. To date, the complainant has made no observations on the
1. The Government
of Bolivia replied to the Commission’s request for information on the
events denounced, but without referring to torture or exile.
2. Article 51.1 of
the Regulations of the Commission provides as follow:
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.
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, RESOLVES:
1. On the basis of
Article 51.1 of the Regulations to presume the material events of the
denunciation related to torture and exile to be confirmed.
2. To declare that
the Government of Bolivia violated (Article I) right to personal
security and (Article VIII) right to residence and movement of the
American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
3. To recommend to
the Government of Bolivia: a) that it order a complete and impartial
investigation to determine responsibility for the events denounced, and
to sanction those responsible for these events, in accordance with
Bolivian law; b) to take the measures necessary to guarantee effective
observance of the right of residence and movement upheld in the American
Declaration; c) to inform Mr. Sattori, if it has not already done so,
that he may return to the country at any time, and d) to inform the
Commission within a maximum of 90 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 complainant.
5. To include this
Resolution in the Annual Report of the Commission to the General
Assembly of the Organization of American States, in accordance with
Article 9 (bis), paragraph c. iii of the Statute of the Commission,
without prejudice to the fact that the Commission may at its next
session, reconsider the case in the light of such matters as the
Government may have adopted.
at the 610th meeting of March 7, 1979 (46th
Session) and transmitted to the Government of Bolivia).