REPORT OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION
SEEN the records on the case, to wit:
The complaint received by the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights on March 15, 1987, whose pertinent sections read as follows:
David (17 years of age) disappeared on November 7, 1986, on which date he
participated in a demonstration protesting the disappearance of Charlot
Jacquelin, which took place in Port-au-Prince.
The march was conducted in a peaceful manner until the Army began to fire
upon the demonstrators.
to eyewitnesses, Vladimir David was detained by police officers dressed in blue.
Since that time nothing more has been known of him.
His body was never delivered to his relatives and no serious
investigation to determine his current whereabouts has been conducted.
relatives have demanded that the Haitian authorities take action to determine
the whereabouts of Vladimir David and to punish the parties responsible for his
Through a note of April 21, 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 August 14, 1987, 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 December 30, 1987, the Commission again asked the Government of Haiti
to provide information on the disappearance of the young man, Vladimir David,
with the warning that Article 42 of its Regulations would be applied.
In notes dated February 21 and September 26, 1989, the Commission issued
further requests to the Government of Haiti for information, with the warning
that Article 42 of its Regulations would be applied.
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, and Article 7, pertaining to the
right to personal liberty, 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 in this case there exists an aggravating factor in that the victim
was a minor.
8. That, in its reports on the situation of human rights, the Commission has repeatedly expressed its total repudiation of this grave situation of forced disappearances of persons, expressing in various documents that:
... this practice is
cruel and inhumane, and that ... disappearance not only constitutes an arbitrary
deprivation of liberty, but also a very severe threat to the personal integrity,
security, and the very life of the victim.
Moreover, in a number of resolutions the OAS General Assembly has
emphasized the need for the practice of the forced disappearance of persons to
be ended immediately in those countries in which it has occurred, and has also
urged the governments to take the measures required to clarify the situation of
those persons. In addition, and in
response to a proposal by the Commission, the OAS General Assembly has declared
that the forced disappearance of persons in the Americas is a crime against
Furthermore, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in its July
29, 1988, judgment on the Velásquez Rodríguez case, declared the following:
practice of disappearances, in addition to directly violating many provisions of
the Convention (...), constitutes a radical breach of the treaty in that it
shows a crass abandonment of the values which emanate from the concept of human
dignity and of the most basic principles of the inter-American system and
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 March 15, 1986,
note pertaining to the detention and subsequent disappearance of a young man,
Vladimir David, by members of the police force of Port-au-Prince, on
November 7, 1986.
To declare that the Government of Haiti has not complied with its
obligations to observe the human rights and guarantees stipulated in Article 1
of the American Convention on Human Rights.
To declare that those facts constitute violations of the right to life
and right to liberty enshrined in Articles 4 and 7 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):
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
aforementioned violation of rights and pay fare compensation to the injured
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.
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
Annual Reports 1978, 1980-1981, 1982-1983, 1985-1986,
AG/RES. 443 (IX-O/79), AG/RES. 510 (X-O/80), AG/RES. 543
(XI-O/81), AG/RES. 618 (XII-O/82), AG/RES. 666
(XIII-O/83), and AG/RES. 742 (XIV-O/84).
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Velasquez Rodriguez case,
Judgment July 29, 1988, Series C, no. 4, paragraph 158.