RESOLUTION Nš 16/82
March 9, 1982
1. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights received the following denunciation in a communication dated November 24, 1980:
Juan Gerardi, President of the Conference of Bishops of Guatemala, and a
native-born Guatemalan, was denied entry to his country on November 22.
Gerardi was returning from Rome, where he had participated in the Synod
of the Roman Catholic Church, where, at the request of the Conference of
Bishops of Guatemala, he had presented a personal report to Pope John
Paul II on the situation of the Church in Guatemala.
Gerardi escaped an attempt on his life on July 19, 1980. In the company
of priests and nuns from the Diocesis of E1 Quiche, Bishop Gerardi left
the diocesis to save their lives.
2. In a note dated
April 3, 1981, the Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of this
denunciation to the Government of Guatemala, asking it to provide the
3. In a note of
August 10, 1981, the Commission again wrote to the Guatemalan Government
repeating its request for information, and reminding it that unless such
information was forthcoming within the corresponding legal deadline, in
application of Article 39 of the Regulations, the events related in the
petition, the pertinent parts of which have been transmitted to it,
would be presumed to be true.
1. To date, the
Government of Guatemala has not replied to the Commission's requests for
information in relation to the present case.
2. It appears from
the Government of Guatemala's failure to reply to the Commission's
request for information that the hearing for friendly settlement called
for in the Commission's Regulations is not in order.
3. Article 39 of
the Regulations of the Commission 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 conclusion.
4. The Commission
has in its possession some additional points of information that
corroborate the events recounted in the denunciation.
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
1. On the basis of
Article 39 of the Regulations, to presume to be true the acts denounced
In the communication of November 24, 1980 reporting the fact that
Catholic Bishop Juan Gerardi had been denied entry to his own country--a
de facto expulsion--when he returned from his trip to Rome where,
at the request of the Conference of Bishops of Guatemala, he had
presented a personal report to Pope John Paul II on the situation of the
Church in Guatemala.
2. To declare that
the Government of Guatemala violated Articles 22 (freedom of movement
and residence), 12 (freedom of conscience and religion), and 13 (freedom
of thought and expression) of the American Convention on Human Rights.
3. To recommend to
the Guatemalan Government that it investigate the events denounced, and
that if appropriate, it punish those responsible, and to ask it kindly
to communicate its decision to the Commission within a maximum of 60
4. To recommend to
the Government of Guatemala: a) that Catholic Bishop Juan Gerardi be
permitted to return to Guatemalan territory, his country of birth, and
to live there again, if he so wishes; b) that it investigate the events
denounced and that it punish those responsible for them, and c) that it
inform the Commission within 60 days as to the measures taken to put the
recommendations in this paragraph into practice.
5. To communicate
this resolution to the Government of Guatemala and to the claimants.
6. If the
Government of Guatemala does not present its observations within the
time period set in paragraph 3 of this resolution, the Commission shall
include this resolution in its Annual Report to the General Assembly, in
accordance with Article 59, paragraph g of the Regulations of the