RESOLUTION Nş 52/82
In a communication dated December 3, 1979, the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights received the following complaint:
to the November 29th, 1979, issue of the newspaper La Prensa, the
Director of Disclosure and Press of the Government Junta, Comrade Manuel
Espinoza Enriquez, officially reported the death of a former member of
the defunct National Guard Humberto Villavicencio Montoya, age sixty, of
cardiac arrest while being held at the Tipitapa "Modelo" Jail.
that respect, we wish to express our deep concern about the case since
Humberto Villavicencio had suffered from serious ailments such as
diabetes and circulatory problems, and considering the age of the inmate
and the seriousness of his illness this Commission, in order to avoid a
fatal outcome, promptly took the following measures.
On November 7th, a telegram was sent to Commander Tomás Borge
Martínez, Minister of the Interior, requesting that he order the
transfer of Mr. Villavicencio to a hospital.
On November 12th, another communication was sent to Commander
Borge, impressing upon him the grave condition of the aforementioned
On November 13th, given the silence of Commander Borge, a
telegram was sent to the International Red Cross delegate, Mr. Pierre
Josserson, explaining the same situation.
On that same day, a communication was sent to Dr. Cesar Amador
Kuhl, Minister of Public Health, requesting his humanitarian
intervention so that the inmate would be hospitalized.
Faced with silence and inertia on the part of the above mentioned
persons, a communication was sent to Dr. Andrés Aguilar, Chairman of
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, urging his humanitarian
attention in order to save the life of Mr. Villavicencio
should be noted that today, December 3rd, we received a copy of a
communication dated November 29th in which the Minister of Public Health
requests that Comrade Francisco de Asís Fernández, Head of the
Penitentiary System, inform him as to the condition of the prisoner we
have been referring to. However, as of the date of this letter, Mr.
Villavicencio had been in the El Retiro Hospital's Morgue for four days
without his relatives having any knowledge of his death.
death of Mr. Villavicencio, which we all regret, confirms the timeliness
and urgency of the various efforts that this Permanent Commission on
Human Rights made on his behalf; we enclose copies of the same in the
hope that they would serve to support all the other documents that in
different cases this Commission has submitted to different agencies of
addition, these situations cause concern among all relatives of the
inmates who are presently imprisoned in that penitentiary since this
death is not an isolated case; another source of concern is the silence
of the authorities, who do not reveal the names of all the prisoners who
died in that prison. According to investigations carried out by this
Commission and confirmed by unimpeachable sources, the recent deaths at
the "Modelo" Jail were not two, as was announced by the
Director of Disclosure and Press, but five:
Pedro Pablo Calderón Urbina, 18 years old, civilian, died on
Marcos Dávila Andrade, 28 years old, former sergeant, died on
Guillermo Sánchez Pinell, 19 years old, died on November 26th.
Perfecto Pérez González, 15 years old, died on November 26th.
Humberto Villavicencio Montoya, 60 years old, retired major, died
on November 25th.
In a written communication dated January 16, 1980, the Commission
transmitted the pertinent parts of the complaint to the Government of
Nicaragua, requesting that it provide the information it deemed
In a written communication of February 18, 1980, the Government
of Nicaragua acknowledged receipt of the Commission's communication and
informed it that "Said information has already been forwarded to
the competent authority and as soon as we have an answer we will relay
it to you."
When no further communication was received from the Government of
Nicaragua, the Commission, in written communications of March 14, 1980,
and August 21, 1980, reiterated its request for information, notifying
of the possible application of Article 39 of the Regulations referring
to the presumption of truth of the facts. Despite the above, and to this
date, the IACHR has not received an answer from the Government of
Nicaragua with respect to the facts denounced.
The Commission has received additional information which confirms
that Perfecto Pérez González, a farm youth from Telpaneca, died of
bullet wounds in the" Modelo" Jail at the end of November of
That Article 39 of the Commission's Regulations establishes the
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.
That, to this date, the Government of Nicaragua has not responded
to the Commission's requests for information formulated in its written
communications of January 16, March 14 and August 21, 1980.
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, RESOLVES:
In application of Article 39 of the Regulations, to presume as
true the facts denounced in a communication of December 3, 1979,
relating to the prison deaths of Pedro Pablo Calderón Urbina, Marcos Dávila
Andrade, Guillermo Sánchez Pinell, Perfecto Pérez and Humberto
To indicate to the Government of Nicaragua that those deaths,
considering the young age of four of the accused, constitute serious
violations of the right to life (Article 4 of the American Convention on
Human Rights) and of the right to personal integrity (Article 5).
To recommend to the Government of Nicaragua that it investigate
the facts denounced and, in turn, sanction those responsible, and to
communicate to the Commission, within sixty days.
To forward this resolution to the Government of Nicaragua and to
If by the expiration of the deadline set in paragraph 3 of this
resolution the Government of Nicaragua has not submitted observations,
the Commission will include this resolution in its Annual Report to the
General Assembly of the Organization of American States, in accordance
with Article 59, paragraph (g) of the Commission's Regulations.
The Government of Nicaragua, by way of its note of September 19,
1983, requested reconsideration of this Resolution. The IACHR
studied the request of the Government and adopted the Resolution
which appears on page 120 of the Annual Report.