REPORT OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION
REPORT N° 86/90
HAVING SEEN the background information on this case, as
1. The petition received by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on September 15, 1989, the pertinent parts of which are transcribed below:
Santos Rojas Quispe was arrested and disappeared on June 5, 1989, in the
Atajara sector of the District and Province of Andahuaylas, Department of
On June 5, 1989, Mr. Santos Rojas Quispe, whose I.D. number is L.E.
31166684 and who is 63 years old, married, with six children, a peasant, is said
to have been arrested in the Atajara sector of the District and Province of
Andahuaylas, Department of Apurimac, by Peruvian Army personnel who accused him
of collaborating with subversives.
The arrest was witnessed by one of his children.
He was taken towards Aymaraes through the District of Turaq and later
towards the locality of Chalhuanca, through Santa Rosa, in the direction of the
military base at Ccapaya.
The military authorities have systematically denied to the family of the
victim that he was arrested, transferred and imprisoned. Accordingly his status would be that of a person arrested who
disappeared following his arrest.
The Commission, in a note of October 19, 1989, initiated processing of
the case and requested the Government of Peru to furnish pertinent information
on the incidents referred to in the note, in addition to any other relevant
factors that would make it possible to ascertain whether in this case all
remedies under domestic law had been exhausted.
A period of 90 days was given to reply to the request.
On March 9, 1990, the Commission repeated its request for information
from the Government of Peru, noting that if such information was not received
within a period of 30 days, the Commission would consider possible application
of Article 42 of the Regulations, which provides that the facts reported in the
petition shall be presumed to be true as long as the government in question has
not provided the information requested within the period of time indicated by
The Commission repeated its request for information from the Government
of Peru on April 12, 1990, regarding the disappearance of Santos Rojas Quispe,
basing its request on the provisions of Article 42 of the Regulations.
The Commission is competent to consider the present case inasmuch as it
deals with violations of the rights recognized in Article 4 of the
Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, regarding the right to life,
and Article 7, regarding the right to personal liberty, as provided for in
Article 44 of the Convention, of which Peru is a State Party.
The petition fulfills the formal requirements for admissibility contained
in the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights and in the Regulations of
In the present case it is evident that the petitioner has not been able
to secure effective protection from jurisdictional organizations, and therefore
the requirements of exhaustion of remedies under domestic law provided for in
Article 46 of the Convention are not applicable.
The petition is not pending any other international settlement procedures
nor is it a reproduction of a previous petition already examined by the
In spite of the time elapsed and the reiterated procedures undertaken by
the Commission, the Government of Peru has not provided a reply concerning the
facts involved in the present case.
By virtue of the fact that the Government of Peru has failed to reply it
has failed to fulfill its international obligation to provide information to the
Commission within a reasonable period of time, as established in Article 48 of
The Commission has repeatedly expressed, in various documents, its
clear-cut rejection of the serious phenomenon of forced disappearance of
persons in its reports on the situation of human rights, as follows:
... this procedure is cruel and inhuman, and disappearance not only
constitutes an arbitrary privation of freedom but also a very serious grave
danger for the personal integrity, safety and life of the victim.
The General Assembly of the OAS, in various resolutions, has stressed the
need for countries in which forced disappearances have taken place to put an end
to this practice, and it has urged governments to carry out whatever efforts are
required to ascertain the situation of such persons.
Furthermore, at the proposal of the Commission, the General Assembly of
the OAS has declared that the forced disappearance of persons in the Americas
constitutes a crime against humanity.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in its Judgment of July
29, 1988, in the Velasquez Rodriguez case, declared the following:
The practice of abductions, besides directly violating numerous Articles
of the Convention (...) entails a radical breech of that treaty, inasmuch as it
signals a crass abandonment of the values of human dignity and the principles
that lie at the heart of the Inter-American system and the Convention
Article 42 of the Regulations of the Commission provides as follows:
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 34 paragraph 5, the Government has not provided the pertinent
information, as long as other evidence does not lead to a different conclusion.
Since the friendly settlement procedure is inapplicable (Article 48 (1)
(f) of the Convention) because of the very nature of the actions complained of
and the absence of a reply from the Government, the Commission must comply with
Article 50 (1) of the American Convention and issue its findings and
recommendations on the application before it.
THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
To presume true the events reported in the communication of September 15,
1989, concerning the arrest and subsequent disappearance of Santos Rojas Quispe,
on June 5, 1989, in the Atajara sector of the District and Province of
Andahuaylas, Departament of Apurimac.
To declare that the Government of Peru has not complied with its
obligation to respect the human rights and guarantees mentioned in Article 1 of
the American Convention on Human Rights.
To declare that such actions are violations of the right to life and the
right to freedom enshrined in Articles 4 and 7 of the Convention.
To make the following recommendations to the Government of Peru (Article
50 (3) of the Convention and Article 47 of the Regulations of the Commission):
it conduct a full, swift, and impartial investigation of the events complained
of, with a view to identifying the persons responsible for them and bringing
them to justice, in order that they may be appropriately punished for such
it take the necessary steps to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
it repair the consequences of the above-mentioned breech of rights and pay
a fair compensation to the injured parties.
To convey this report to the Government of Peru, so that the latter may,
within three months of the date of transmittal, inform the Commission about the
steps taken to settle the matter. In
line with Article 50 of the Convention, the Government is not authorized to
publish this report.
If the Government does not settle the matter within the period of three
months, the Commission may set forth its opinion and conclusions in accordance
with Article 51.1 of the Convention and may include this report in its annual
report to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, as
provided for in Article 63 (g) of the Regulations of the Commission.
Cf. Annual Report 1978,
1980-1981, 1982-1983, 1985-1986, 1986-1987.
Cf. Res. 443 (IX-O/79), 510
(X-)/80), 543 (XI-O/81), 618 (XII-O/82), 666
(XIII-O/83), and 742 (XIV-O/84).
Cf. Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Velasquez Rodriguez case,
Judgment of July 29, 1988, Series C, No. 4, paragraph 158.