RESOLUTION Nº 5/85
March 5, 1985
1. In a
communication dated January 19, 1982, the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights received the following denunciation:
Mr. Luis Alonzo Monge, a Honduran citizen, was imprisoned and
ordered deported on July 21, 1981, without due trial by a competent
authority. The person responsible was the Director General for
Population and Migration Policies.
Mr. Monge is a Honduran by birth and the son of a Honduran
He was accused of being a Salvadoran citizen, despite the fact
that he had submitted personal documents certifying his Honduran
A petition for Habeas Corpus was presented but the fact of his
arrest was denied; a remedy of amparo was also brought, which was
declared to be unfounded.
2. In a note dated
February 1º, 1982, the Commission asked the Government of Honduras for
information on the case, as well as for any facts that would enable the
IACHR to determine whether or not all domestic legal remedies has been
3. In a letter of
May 7, 1982, the claimant forwarded to the Commission a copy of the text
of the remedy of amparo brought on behalf of Mr. Monge, together with
the court's writ declaring it to be unfounded.
4. On May 12,
1982, the Commission asked the claimant for updated information on this
case, particularly with regard to any administrative or judicial
decisions presented, and his opinion as to whether friendly settlement
could be reached with the Government of Honduras.
5. Through a
communication dated May 24, 1982, the Commission informed the Government
of Honduras of the possible application of Article 39 of the Regulations
if the pertinent information was not received within a reasonable period
6. By letter of
July 13, 1982, the Government of Honduras informed the IACHR that the
initial letter dated February 1 that year had not been received through
official channels and that said communication had been sent to the
offices in charge of carrying out the required investigations.
7. On December 7,
1982, the Commission reported to the claimant that the IACHR had
examined this case at its 58th Session and agreed that, before having
recourse to Article 42 of the Regulations regarding the friendly
settlement of problems, it would once again approach the Government of
Honduras in order to learn what its position was with regard to the
8. Through a note
dated December 7, 1982, the Commission informed the Government of
Honduras that at its 58th Session it had been agreed to again ask the
Government to provide information on this case.
9. In notes dated
January 7 and February 14, 1983, the claimant added some observations to
the denunciation, expanding on the original grounds for the complaint
In a letter dated January 30, 1983, the Government of Honduras
informed the Commission as follows:
Mr. Monge satisfactorily proves his Honduran nationality beyond doubt,
the country's authorities would have no objection to authorizing his
entry into Honduras in accordance with the laws in force.
By letter dated February 9, 1983, the Commission acknowledged
receipt of the Honduran Government's letter of January 30, 1983 in reply
to the Commission's requests for information and proposed a friendly
settlement of the matter as provided in Article 48 paragraphs d) and f)
of the American Convention on Human Rights and in Article 42.1 of the
Regulations of the Commission. The Commission stipulated that the answer
regarding acceptance of the friendly settlement procedure should reach
it before beginning of its next session.
The Commission replied to the claimant's letter of January 2,
1983, in a letter dated February 9, 1983, as follows:
Commission has decided to offer its good offices to the Government of
Honduras and the claimant, in his capacity as petitioner and legal
representative of Mr. Monge, in order to arrive at a friendly settlement
of this matter, in accordance with the provisions contained in Article
48, paragraph d) and f) of the American Convention on Human Rights and
Article 42.1 of the Regulations of the Commission.
In a communication dated March 4, 1983, the Government of
Honduras replied to the Commission as follows:
this regard, I am pleased to inform you that my Government, in keeping
with its democratic vocation and its respect for human rights, is
studying said proposal; to this end, it must carry out a prior analysis
of certain documents related to this case.
Subsequently, on March 24, 1983, the Government of Honduras
requested additional information from the Commission, in the following
the documents presented by the Department of Migration, it has been
attested that Mr. Luis Alonzo Monge, who worked as a CARITAS volunteer
in the refugee camps set up for Salvadorans in Honduras, was arrested by
the competent authority on evidence that he had provided the Salvadoran
guerrillas with 80 bedspreads and 800 lbs. of corn removed from the
storeroom of that Institution, a fact that was subsequently admitted by
a statement made to the authorities, Mr. Monge declared that he was in
Berlín, Department of Usulutlán, Republic of El Salvador, on October
the time of his arrest, he was found to be carrying documents that would
make it appear that he was a Honduran national. The Director of the
National Archives was asked to check the birth certificate against the
original, but this proved impossible because the birth had not been
recorded in the corresponding book. The search was carried out in the
book covering the period from April 29, 1938 to May 28, 1939.
a result of the foregoing, the Department of Migration subjected the
birth certificate held by Mr. Monge to a thorough examination and
reached the conclusion that said identity document was not absolute
proof of his Honduran nationality, since it lacked the necessary
references, such as page, book and year of registration.
corroboration of the above, I attach photocopies of the following
Communication Nº 148-82 dated August 6, 1982, from the Director
General for Population and Migration Policies;
Two statements, both dated March 10, 1983, issued by the Director
of the National Archives; and
One statement dated July 22, 1981, issued by the Migration
Officer of the Toncontín Airport.
Note from the Department of Migration, dated March 23, 1983.
In a telex dated April 4, 1983, Mr. Luis Alonzo Monge's legal
representative confirmed his acceptance of the friendly settlement
procedure proposed by the Commission in accordance with the American
Convention on Human Rights.
On August 2, 1983, the Commission addressed the Government of
Honduras as follows:
to our note dated February 9, 1983, the Commission would like to know
whether your illustrious Government has reached a decision as to the
acceptance of the friendly settlement proposal made by the Commission,
in accordance with the provisions of the American Convention on Human
Rights. We would appreciate a reply at your earliest convenience, to
enable the Commission to consider this case at its next session, to be
held in the month of June.
Commission likewise requests that your distinguished Government comment
on the claimant's assertion that Mr. Monge's mother, Mrs. Petronila
Monge, is a Honduran national by birth, a fact that under Article 23 of
the Constitution of the Republic grants her son Honduran citizenship. We
attach copies of the corresponding birth and baptismal certificates.
Lastly, we wish to inform Your Excellency that the claimant has
expressed his willingness to accept the peaceful settlement procedure
suggested by the Commission.
In a letter dated May 2, 1983, the IACHR wrote to the claimant to
request his comments on the Government's reply dated March 24, 1983 and
a certified copy of the birth certificate of Mr. Monge's mother.
In a communication dated June 19, 1983, the Government of
Honduras informed the Commission as follows:
OF THE INTERIOR AND JUSTICE. DEPARTMENT OF POPULATION. May 24, 1983.
Communication Nº DGPE 264-83. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lic.
Arnulfo Pineda López. In reply to your Communication Nº 605-DGPE
enclosing photocopies from the Executive Secretary of the
"Organization of American States for Human Rights", Edmundo
Vargas Carreño, as well as the birth certificate of Mr. Monge's mother.
In this regard, the Department of Population and Migration Policies has
decided as follows: that Mr. Luis Alonzo Monge, of Salvadoran
nationality and deported from this country, may, by virtue of being the
son of a Honduran mother, proceed to take the necessary legal steps to
obtain a birth certificate as a Honduran citizen. Dem. Inf. Col. Manuel
Enrique Suarez Benavides. Director General.
The Commission contacted the claimant in this case to transmit
the reply received from the Government of Honduras and to request that
he keep us informed of the progress made in the legal procedures
required to obtain Mr. Luis Alonzo Monge's birth certificate as a
Honduran citizen, to enable him to return to Honduras.
On May 4, 1984, the Commission telexed the Government of Honduras
to enquire whether Mr. Luis Alonzo Monge had obtained Honduran
nationality and whether he was already residing in that country.
By telex dated May 15, 1984, the Government of Honduras replied
OF THE INTERIOR AND JUSTICE. DEPARTMENT OF POPULATION. TEGUCIGALPA, MAY
15, 1984. P.O. BOX 494. COMMUNICATION Nº DGP-229-84. HEAD CLERK,
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, LIC. JUAN ALBERTO LARA BUESO. HEAD CLERK'S
OFFICE. SIR: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR NOTE Nº 493-DGPE WITH WHICH
YOU ENCLOSED COPY OF NOTE CIDH/84/038 FROM THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION
ON HUMAN RIGHT REQUESTING INFORMATION ABOUT MR. LUIS ALONZO MONGE
SANCHEZ, OF SALVADORAN NATIONALITY. IN THIS CONNECTION, AN EXHAUSTIVE
EXAMINATION OF OUR FILES WAS CARRIED OUT IN SEARCH OF MIGRATORY
MOVEMENTS BY THE SUBJECT; NOTHING AT ALL WAS FOUND AND THE SEARCH WAS
THEREFORE BROUGHT TO AN END. WITH NOTHING FURTHER TO REPORT, I REMAIN,
SIR, YOURS SINCERELY, LIC. SERGIO FLORES TOSCANO. DIRECTOR GENERAL FOR
THE CASE IN POINT, I TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO REPEAT THE TEXT OF MY
COMMUNICATION Nº 749-DGPE DATED JUNE 14, 1983, WHICH CONTAINS THE
DECISION MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF POPULATION AND MIGRATION POLICIES TO
THE EFFECT THAT MR. LUIS ALONZO MONGE, OF SALVADORAN NATIONALITY AND
DEPORTED FROM THIS COUNTRY, MAY, BY VIRTUE OF BEING THE SON OF A
HONDURAN MOTHER, PROCEED TO TAKE THE NECESSARY LEGAL STEPS TO OBTAIN A
BIRTH CERTIFICATE AS A HONDURAN CITIZEN, WHICH DECISION I BEG BE
TRANSMITTED TO THE CLAIMANT. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULES OF PROCEDURE
GOVERNING THE OPERATION OF THAT COMMISSION, SO THAT THE SUBJECT MAY
INITIATE APPROPRIATE PROCEEDINGS IN CONFORMITY WITH THE LAWS IN EFFECT
At its 62nd Regular Session, the Commission examined this case
and agreed to ask Mr. Monge's legal representative to submit
observations on the Government's reply transcribed in the foregoing
paragraph, specifically addressing the following points:
What are the legal procedures to be followed for Mr. Monge's
status as a Honduran national by birth to be recognized, in accordance
with the Honduran Government's letter?
In view of the physical impossibility of securing a baptismal
certificate attesting to the fact that Mr. Monge was born on Honduran
territory, would Mr. Monge be willing to follow such a procedure, in
order to be able to return to Honduras and join his family?
Are there any legal or other well-founded impediments to
compliance with the procedures established by law for Mr. Monge's
registration as a Honduran national?
The Commission also decided to send the Government of Honduras a
questionnaire to obtain data essential to an analysis of this case. The
questionnaire covered the following:
Is the illustrious Government of Honduras willing to accept the
friendly settlement procedures suggested by the Commission in its notes
dated February 9, 1983, and May 2, 1983, as provided in Article 48 f) of
the American Convention on Human Rights? This with a view to complying
with Articles 49 and 51 of the Convention which regulate procedures for
The Commission would like to know what legal procedures and/or
measures need to be taken by Mr. Monge in order to obtain Honduran
nationality, since it would appear that Article 23 of the Constitution
accords him that status with no further requirement.
Bearing in mind the fact that Mr. Monge is living outside the
country with very limited means at his disposal, could the Government of
Honduras initiate and expedite the necessary legal procedures for his
recognition as a Honduran national?
It is of the highest importance for the Commission to have the
above information and a reply from your illustrious Government before
the start of its next regular Session, to be held in the month of
September, 1984, at which time it is hoped that this case can be
On August 24, 1984, the Government of Honduras sent copies of the
opinions rendered by the Ministry of the Interior and Justice and the
Department of Population and Migration Policies, which replied to points
b) and c) above, but made no reference to the acceptance of the friendly
In a communication dated August 30, 1984, the IACHR transmitted
the Honduran Government's reply to Mr. Monge's legal representative,
asking for his comments.
In a note dated October 3, 1984, the claimant observed that
"the opinions of the Government of Honduras are not in keeping with
the facts, for they take for granted that Mr. Monge was not born in
Honduras, something the Government has been unable to prove to
On November 23, 1984, the Government of Honduras again addressed
the Commission, transmitting the following decision:
am pleased to inform you that the competent authorities of my country,
after again analyzing the case and with a view to allowing Mr. Luis
Alonzo Monge to plead and prove according to law the facts on which the
relevant portions of the claim were based, have decided to authorize the
entry of said person into Honduran territory. I beg you to communicate
this decision to the claimant, in accordance with the rules of procedure
governing the operations of that Organization...
The above reply was transmitted to the claimant on December 12,
1984. Nothing further has been heard to date.
1. As is expressly
stated in the background information given above, the Commission on its
own initiative carried out negotiations with the parties involved in
this case in an effort to reach a friendly settlement, based on the
respect for human rights as set out in the American Convention on Human
2. The Government
of Honduras has expressed its willingness to settle this case and to
this end has decided to allow Mr. Monge to enter Honduran territory in
order to plead and prove his Honduran nationality according to law.
3. The claimant
informed the Commission that he accepted the conditions proposed by the
Government which had been duly notified to him.
4. Article 49 of
the American Convention on Human Rights establishes that if a friendly
settlement has been reached in accordance with paragraph 1.f of Articles
48 of the Convention, the Commission shall draw up a report which shall
be transmitted to the States Parties to the Convention and communicated
to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States for
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, RESOLVES:
1. To exhort the
Government of Honduras to grant Mr. Luis Alonzo Monge a safe conduct to
enable him to enter Honduran territory, in accordance with the terms of
its communication of November 23, 1984.
2. To exhort the
claimant in this matter to carry out the necessary legal procedures to
obtain Honduran nationality under the conditions accepted by the
Government of Honduras.
3. To consider the
friendly settlement procedure followed in the matter of Mr. Luis Alonzo
Monge's nationality completed.
4. To express to
the Government of Honduras and to the claimant the Commission's
satisfaction at having reached a friendly settlement of this matter,
based on the respect of human rights.
5. To thank the
parties involved in this case for the cooperation they gave the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in the performance of its
6. To communicate
this report to the Secretary General of the Organization of American
States for publication, in accordance with Article 49 of the American
Convention on Human Rights and Article 42 of the Regulations of the