REPORT OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION
SEEN the records on the case, to wit:
1. The complaint received by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on October 19, 1987, whose pertinent sections read as follows:
report the murder of Yves Volel, presidential candidate, by members of the
events occurred on October 13, 1987. Yves
Volel was in front of the entrance to the general police headquarters (criminal
investigation section) giving a speech on human rights to a group of journalists
who were with him. He was hit by
two bullets fired by members of the police force and this resulted in his death.
journalists and other people said that the murderers were plainclothes policemen
who, following the murder, confiscated the cameras and film of the journalists
murder of Yves Volel is part of the atmosphere created by the Government to
terrorize the population and keep them away from the forthcoming elections.
should be noted that a prior attempt on Mr. Volel's life had been made and that
he is the second politician killed in the past three months.
In spite of the fact that the Government of Haiti was asked to take
action to punish those responsible for this crime, no investigation has been
In a note of October 19, 1987, the Commission initiated the processing of
this case and requested that the Government of Haiti provide information on the
material events of that letter and to provide any other background information
that would make it possible to determine whether in the case of this petition
the remedies of domestic jurisdiction had been exhausted.
The government was given a term of 90 days to reply to the request for
information from the Commission.
On February 18, 1988, the Commission repeated its request to the
Government of Haiti for information, stating that if such information was not
received within 30 days, the Commission would then examine the possibility of
applying Article 42 of its Regulations, which establishes the presumption that
the facts reported in the complaint are true, as long as the Government in
question does not provide the corresponding information within the period of
time established by the Commission.
On May 2, 1988, the Commission repeated its request to the Government of
Haiti for information on the death of Mr. Volel, as well as the outcome of the
judicial proceeding, if one was initiated.
In notes dated February 21 and September 26, 1989, the Commission, with
the warning that Article 42 of its Regulations would be applied, again asked the
Government of Haiti to provide information.
To date no reply has been received.
That the Commission is competent to hear this case because it involves
violations of rights recognized by the American Convention on Human Rights,
Article 4, pertaining to the right to life, as provided in Article 44 of that
Convention, to which Haiti is a State Party.
That the petition meets the formal requirements of admissibility
contained in the American Convention on Human Rights and in the Regulations of
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights;
That in this case it is obvious that the petitioner has not been able to
achieve effective protection from the courts and thus the requirements relating
to exhaustion of remedies under internal jurisdiction do not apply;
That the petition is not pending any other procedure under international
arrangement nor is it a duplication of an earlier petition already examined by
That, notwithstanding the length of time that has passed and the repeated
requests made by the Commission, the Government of Haiti has provided no reply
concerning the facts involved in this case.
Having provided no response the Government of Guatemala has failed to
fulfill its international obligation to provide information to the Commission
within a reasonable time frame as provided for in Article 48 of the American
That Article 42 of the Commission's Regulations provides:
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 34
paragraph 5, the government has not provided the pertinent information, as long
as other evidence does not lead to a different conclusion.
That since the friendly settlement procedure (Article 48.1.f of the
Convention) does not apply, given by virtue of the nature of the facts reported
and of the lack of a reply from the Government, the Commission must implement
the provisions of Article 50.1 of the American Convention by issuing its
conclusions and recommendations on the complaint placed before it for
THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN
To presume to be true the information reported in the October 19, 1987,
note, which led to the death of Yves Volel as a result of the actions of
Government agents on October 13, 1987.
To declare that the Government of Haiti has not complied with its
obligations to observe human rights and guarantees as stipulated in Article 1 of
the American Convention on Human Rights.
To declare that those facts constitute violations of the right to life
enshrined in Article 4 of the Convention.
To make the following recommendations to the Government of Haiti (Article
50.3 of the Convention and Article 47 of the Regulations of the Commission):
a. That it conduct an exhaustive, swift, and impartial investigation of the reported facts, in order to identify the responsible parties, bring them to justice so that they may be duly punished.
That it take the necessary measures to prevent similar acts from being
committed in the future.
That it redress the consequences of the situation created by the
violation of the aforementioned rights and pay fare compensation to the injured
5. To transmit this report to the Government of Haiti in order for that Government to report, within three months from the date of transmittal on the measures adopted to resolve the situation reported. In accordance with Article 50 of the Convention, the Government is not at liberty to publish this report.
6. If, after a period of three months, this case has not been resolved by the Government of Haiti, the Commission may issue its opinion and findings on the matter placed before it for consideration, pursuant to Article 51.1 of the Convention, and shall include this report in its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, pursuant to Article 63.g of the Commission's Regulations.