REPORT OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION
1. The denunciation received
on June 7, 1988, which reads, "Manuel Antonio Alfaro Carmona, 15 years of
age, single, student, captured on November 7, 1986, at 12 o'clock, in his
residence at Colonia Quintu No. 2, Pasaje Nejapa, House No. 16. Captors were soldiers of the First Infantry Brigade.
The victim was seen in a Treasury Police car and at the headquarters of
that agency in San Salvador. Whereabouts
still unknown." and transmitted to the Government of El Salvador in a
request for information.
2. The response from the
Government of El Salvador, including a report from the Human Rights Committee
(governmental), transmitted to the claimant on November 28, 1988, which reads:
Manuel Antonio Alfaro Carmona. The
CDH has filed the denunciation under reference 1952-86, according to which
this person was apprehended on November 7, 1986, at approximately 1:00 a.m. in
his residence located on Colonia Qhintu No. 2, Pasaje Nejapa, House No. 16,
Access N., Apopa, by a group of heavily armed subjects wearing olive green
uniforms, who took him to some unknown place.
The young man, Alfaro Carmona, was 16 years of age, single, a masonry
helper. This Commission conducted
search procedures but has not been able to obtain any positive results regarding
his location to this time.
3. The additional
information and observations from the complainant to the response from the
government, according to which:
Manuel Antonio Alfaro Carmona, 15 years
of age, student, was captured on November 7, 1986, at 1:30 a.m., in his
residence at Colonia Chintu N°
2, in Apopa, department of El Salvador. According
to sworn testimony from his mother, Rosaelina Alfaro Hernandez, given at our
offices on April 30, 1987, the capture was carried out by uniformed soldiers who
identified themselves as elements of the First Infantry Brigade of the Armed
Force, and they took him in a military truck to some unknown place.
In January 1987, Mrs. Alfaro Hernandez
saw her son in the custody of soldiers of the First Infantry Brigade as they
were conducting an unannounced search in the neighborhood.
Even though his face was covered with a handkerchief, both she and other
neighbors recognized him. Some 15
days later, the sister of Alfaro Carmona saw him in a Cherokee vehicle, followed
by a Treasury Police truck. On
April 18, 1987, a man told the sister that he had seen Alfaro Carmona at the
central head- quarters of the Treasury Police.
This testimony agrees with that of other witnesses in the related cases
of Jose Walter Chavez Palacios (Case 10.001) and Wilfredo Najarro Vivas (Case
10.000). Nevertheless, the Treasury
Police, as well as the First Infantry Brigade, have denied that they are holding
the young man. To this time his
whereabouts are unknown.
Even though it has information
indicating clearly that the First Infantry Brigade and the Treasury Police are
responsible for the event, the Government of El Salvador has not taken
worthwhile steps to ascertain the whereabouts of the young man.
In its response to this case, the government only says that "this
Commission conducted search procedures but has not been able to obtain positive
results regarding his location to this time."
It does not specify what efforts it made.
We believe that it is important to view
the lack of action by the government in this case within the framework of the
cases of more than 7,000 disappeared Salvadorans over the nine year course of
the war. The lack of protection of
rights set out in
the American Convention, specifically
in Articles 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, and the failure to bring to justice the elements
of the armed force and security forces indicated as the perpetrators of these
crimes, have created an environment in which the permanent practice of the vile
crime of disappearance can grow;
believe that the Government of El Salvador is clearly violating its obligations
under Article 1 of the American Convention, as well as the other articles
In view of this, we request the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to continue its investigation of
this case and to condemn the Government of El Salvador owing to its culpability
in this event.
4. That on May 11,
1990, the Governmental Human Rights Commission of El Salvador advised that:
This office, has registered under Reference Number
1542-Ac-86, attempts to determine the whereabouts of the youth,
Miguel Antonio Alfaro Carmona, 16 years of age, single, mason's helper, resident
of Colonia Chintuc, No. 2, of Apopa, who, on November 7, 1986, at about one in
the morning was apprehended by a group of uniformed subjects wearing olive green
and heavily armed, who took him away to parts unknown.
To date his whereabouts continue to be unknown in spite of all search
efforts that have been conducted by the Security Corps.
5. That the
Commission adopted a Report N°
5/90 on this case at its 77th Regular Meeting which was sent to the Government
of El Salvador as well as to the claimant to allow both to make their respective
observations if they so wished, in a period of sixty days commencing on May 29,
1990, the date of mailing, indicating that if observations were not made, the
Report would be published in the Commission's Annual Report to the General
1. That the name of the
victim, place and date of his arrest, and the responsible parties who appear to
have executed the event are sufficiently specified and thus the denunciation
meets the formal requirements for admissibility.
2. That this matter, owing
to its nature, is not susceptible to friendly solution.
3. That the statements made
by the claimant indicate that the young man, Manuel Antonio Alfaro Carmona, was
detained by a large group of military personnel who identified themselves as
members of the First Infantry Brigade, who was later seen in the hands of the
Treasury Police, and since his detention on November 7, 1986, no information as
to his whereabouts has been obtained.
4. That numerous efforts
have been made to find the affected party, without any of these efforts having
produced positive results.
5. That the response from
the Human Rights Commission (governmental) of El Salvador confines itself to
stating that the young man Alfaro Carmona is not detained, but does not indicate
what efforts have been made to clarify the circumstances of such a notorious
event such as the raid of houses at 12 o'clock in Colonia Chintu No. 2, by a
large group of soldiers, for the purpose of proceeding to identify them and to
ascertain the whereabouts of the detained person.
6. That it is the obligation
of the Salvadoran state to investigate exhaustively such a serious denunciation
as the arrest and later disappearance of a young man only 15 years of age for
the purpose of protecting his liberty and personal integrity and his right to
7. That the insufficiency of
the answer provided by the government to the Commission lends support to the
truth of the denunciation by the claimant and demonstrates that it has not
proceeded to investigate the denunciation made with the energy that this case
8. That the
Government of El Salvador has made no observation on the Report sent to it on
May 29, 1990.
9. That the denounced act
constitutes a violation of the rights to personal liberty, personal integrity
and life, recognized by Article 7, 5 and 4, respectively, of the American
Convention on Human Rights, as well as a failure of duty to guarantee free and
full exercise of such rights as prescribed by Article 1.1 of the Convention, of
which Salvador is a state party. That
in the present case exists the brutal murder of which the presumed victim is a
10. That the General Assembly of the Organization of American States
declared in its resolution AG/RES. 666 (XIII-0/83) that the forced
disappearance of persons is an affront to the conscience of the hemisphere and
constitutes a crime against humanity.
In view of which,
THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
1. To declare that the
Government of El Salvador is responsible for the violation of the right to
personal liberty and life of Manuel Antonio Alfaro Carmona, 15 years of age, by
virtue of the acts of its agents who detained him at his domicile on November 7,
1986, since which time there has been no knowledge of his whereabouts, all of
which constitutes a violation of Articles 4 and 7 of the American Convention on
Human Rights, of which El Salvador is a state party.
2. To ask the
Government to accept the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human
Rights in the specific case referred to in this report.
3. To recommend to the
Government of El Salvador that it undertake an exhaustive investigation into the
events in order to clarify the circumstances, in particular the whereabouts of
Manuel Antonio Alfaro Carmona, to identify those responsible, and to bring them
4. To publish this report in its annual report to the General Assembly in accordance with Article 18 e. of the Commission's Statute.