REPORT OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Case 7458 (BOLIVIA)
June 25, 1981
1. In a
communication of July 23, 1980, the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights received a report on the detention and death on July 17, 1980, at
the Bolivian Workers Union (COB) headquarters in La Paz, of Marcelo
Quiroga Santa Cruz, a Socialist party candidate for the presidency of
Bolivia, and a Congressman representing Cochabamba.
2. In a note of
August 25, 1980, the Commission transmitted the pertinent portions of the
denunciation to the Government of Bolivia, requesting that it furnish
pertinent information on the report and any evidence to determine whether
domestic legal remedies had been exhausted in this case.
3. According to
press information received by the Commission on September 16, 1980, the
Ministry of the Interior confirmed the death of Mr. Marcelo Quiroga Santa
4. When the
Commission received no reply from the Bolivian Government, it repeated in
a note of December 16, 1980, its request for information and announced
possible application of Article 39 of its Regulations regarding the
presumption that the reported events were true.
5. The Commission
has received reports from eye witnesses of the attack on the Bolivian
Workers Union headquarters, confirming that Mr. Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz
died under irregular circumstances at the hands of Government authorities
and that his body was never turned over to his family.
1. Article 39 of
the Commission's Regulations provides as follows:
facts reported in the petition whose pertinent parts have been transmitted
to the government of the state in reference shall be presumed to be true
if, during the maximum period set by the Commission under the provisions
of Article 31 paragraph 5, the government has not provided the pertinent
information, as long as other evidence does not lead to a different
2. Thus far the
Bolivian Government has not replied to the Commission's requests for
information in its notes of August 25 and December 16, 1980.
failure to reply gives rise to the presumption stipulated in the above
Article 39, which would be enough in itself to indicate the truth of the
events imputed to the Government of Bolivia. In this case, the presumption
is amply supported and supplemented by the declarations of the witnesses.
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
1. To take as true
the event denounced in the communication of July 23, 1980, regarding the
death of Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz.
2. To indicate to
the Government of Bolivia that that action is a very serious violation of
the right to life (Article IV); to the right of personal security (Article
V); and to the right of liberty (Article VII) of the American Convention
on Human Rights.
3. To recommend to
the Government of Bolivia: a) that it order a complete and impartial
investigation to identify the perpetrators of the denounced acts; b) that
it punish under Bolivian law those responsible for those acts; c) that it
report to the Commission in 90 days on the measures taken to implement the
4. To transmit
this resolution to the Government of Bolivia in light of Article 44 of the
Commission's Regulations, for appropriate action.
5. When the deadline set in paragraph 3 of this resolution has expired the Commission will, pursuant to Article 45 of its Regulations, and taxing into account the measures adopted by the Government, decide under the terms of that article whether to publish this resolution.