OF THE IACHR
During the period to which this report refers, from May 1990 to February 1991, the Commission conducted the following activities:
The IACHR has held three sessions (77th, 78th, and 79th) since May 1990.
The 77th session was from May 7 through 18, 1990, the 78th from September
24 through October 5, 1990, and the 79th from February 11 through 22, 1991.
All of the members participated in this session:
Leo Valladares Lanza, Chairman; Patrick Robinson, First Vice Chairman;
Oscar Lujan Fappiano, Second Vice Chairman; Gilda M.C.M. de Russomano; Marco
Tulio Bruni Celli; John R. Stevenson; and, Oliver H. Jackman.
There, the Commission approved the 1989-1990 Annual Report, which
was later presented to the OAS General Assembly at its twentieth regular
session, held in Paraguay. That
report examined, inter alia, developments over the previous 12 months
with regard to the human rights situation in Cuba, Chile, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, and Suriname.
The Commission also analyzed the findings of three on-site
observations conducted in 1990 to Paraguay, Guatemala, and Haiti.
In the case of Paraguay, one of the major concerns indicated by the
Commission concerned the institutional weakness of the judiciary and
In January 1990, the Commission visited Guatemala to look into the events
that occurred in 1988 in the "El Aguacate" case, in which 22 peasants
As for its on-site observations in Haiti in April 1990, the
Commission underscored the need for immediate measures to ensure the electoral
process and thus avoid the disastrous events that occurred on the occasion of
the November 1987 elections. The
Commission completed the report on its visit and, in keeping with its practice,
before publishing it and sending it to the competent organs of the OAS, the
Commission forwarded the report to the Government of Haiti for its observations.
During that session, the Commission received various representatives of
governments, human rights organizations and petitioners who had duly requested
such a hearing.
It should be noted here that high ranking Argentine authorities went to
the Commission to make the first public announcement of Decree 798/90 whereby,
in consideration of "the complaints filed with the IACHR by persons
arrested in Argentina during the State of Siege in the last decade," a
committee was formed consisting of representatives of government sectors and one
nongovernmental organization, to prepare a bill to find an equitable solution
that would be consistent with the spirit of the American Convention on Human
The Commission further noted other encouraging developments:
with Paraguay's ratification of the American Convention to Prevent and
Punish Torture, the number of ratifying countries had increased to eight; on May
9, 1990, Panama deposited its acceptance of the mandatory jurisdiction of the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, with its seat in San Jose, Costa
Rica, for a total of ll countries that had accepted the Court's jurisdiction.
Further, the Commission reported on what had been accomplished in
preparing an inter-American legal instrument to protect the rights of
Indians. The member countries were urged to give swift ratification to
the Protocol of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, inasmuch as "the
priority of the rights of survival and to the basic necessities of life flow
naturally from the right to humane treatment."
During that session and after consulting with the Commission, the
Secretary General of the OAS, Ambassador Joäo Clemente Baena Soares, designated
Dr. Edith Marquez Rodriguez of Venezuela to the post of Executive Secretary of
the Commission, replacing Dr. Edmundo Vargas Carreño, who resigned that post to
become Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile.
Dr. Edith Marquez Rodriguez was her country's alternate representative to
the OAS until she took over her new functions on June 1, 1990.
All of the members were present for this session:
Leo Valladares Lanza, Chairman; Patrick Robinson, First Vice Chairman;
Oscar Lujan Fappiano, Second Vice Chairman; Gilda M.C.M. de Russomano; Marco
Tulio Bruni Celli; Oliver Jackman; and, Michael Reisman (who was elected to
serve out the term of John R. Stevenson when the latter resigned).
On that occasion the Commission analyzed the findings of its visit to
Panama, which was conducted from July 9 through 13, 1990.
In that connection, the Commission decided to continue to observe the
evolution of the human rights situation in Panama, based on the valuable
information it compiled during its visit and in close contact with the
government of that country, in order to assess how the difficult situations
there were being handled.
As for the situation of human rights in Haiti, which was the subject of a
Special Report published last May, the Commission received information
concerning the most recent events in the election process underway at the time.
The full Commission received Mr. Leslie Manigat, former President of
Haiti, who said that the provisional Government's ban on his entering the
country would prevent him from registering as a candidate for the presidential
elections, which would adversely affect his political rights.
He also said that he had to return to Haiti before October 16, 1990,
since the time period for registering as a candidate had been set at October 6
through 16, 1990.
After examining Mr. Manigat's situation, the Commission decided to send
the Haitian Government a cable dated September 28, 1990, reminding it of its
obligation to allow Mr. Manigat to return to his country, pursuant to Article
22.5 of the American Convention on Human Rights.
The Commission also decided to conduct an on-site visit on a date
to be agreed upon with the Government of that country, but before the December
elections were held.
At this session, the Commission examined the progress made in carrying
out the decisions adopted in connection with preparation of special reports on
Peru and El Salvador.
In response to an invitation it had recently received from the Government
of Colombia, the Commission decided to send a special mission to get a
first-hand look at the complex human rights situation in that country,
which will be described later in this document.
During that session, the Commission received the Ambassador, Permanent
Representative of Nicaragua to the Organization of American States, who conveyed
his Government's invitation for the Commission to visit Nicaragua and
investigate matters related to the discovery of clandestine cemeteries in that
country. He also reconfirmed his
Government's decision to recognize the mandatory jurisdiction of the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
For its part, the Commission decided to remain in contact with the
Government of Nicaragua in order to be able to settle upon a convenient date for
the visit. In arriving at that
date, the respective schedules of activities will have to be taken into account.
At that session, the Commission studied the progress made on the work
undertaken to comply with the mandates received from the General Assembly of the
Organization of American States. It
also analyzed several matters that the Inter-American Court of Human
Rights has before it. As for the
Court's recent decisions, the Commission was informed of the indemnity that the
Government of Honduras was to pay to relatives of the victims in two cases that
were decided by the Court. The
Commission was also informed of the action that it had initiated with the Court
to request the adoption of precautionary measures by the Government of Peru to
protect a journalist and a number of witnesses in a case that the Commission is
The Commission received a visit from Dr. Pedro Nikken, who made a
statement on a matter that the Commission continues to examine concerning the
amendments that will have to be introduced in its Regulations to tailor them to
the procedures used when processing cases with the Court, bearing in mind the
experience of recent years.
The Commission also studied a number of individual cases now in process,
adopted decisions with respect to some and received a number of people who
provided valuable testimony on the situation of human rights in a number of
The Commission decided that its next session would be held at the
headquarters of the Commission, February 11 through 22, 1991.
All of the Commission's members were present for this session: Patrick L. Robinson, Chairman; Marco Tulio Bruni Celli, First
Vice Chairman; Oscar Lujan Fappiano, Second Vice Chairman; Gilda M.C.M. de
Russomano; Oliver Jackman; Leo Valladares Lanza and, Michael Reisman.
During that session, the Commission approved this Annual Report for the
period from May 1990 to February 1991, to be presented to the OAS General
Assembly at its twenty-first regular session, which will be held in
Santiago, Chile, in June 1991.
TWENTIETH REGULAR SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE OAS
Represented by its Chairman, Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza, who was
accompanied by the Executive Secretary, Dr. Edith Marquez Rodriguez; the Deputy
Executive Secretary, Dr. David Padilla, and a specialist from the Executive
Secretariat, Dr. Luis Jimenez, the Commission was present at the twentieth
regular session of the General Assembly, held in Asunción, Paraguay, June 4
through 9, 1990.
There, the General Assembly
approved important resolutions pertaining to human rights, among them the
Inter-American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons; the
Annual Report of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; Protocol to the
American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty; Consequences
of Acts of Violence Perpetrated by Irregular Armed Groups on the Enjoyment of
Human Rights, and the Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights. Because of the
importance of this last resolution, the full text is cited below:
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
(Resolution approved at the eighth plenary session,
held on June 8, 1990)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
HAVING SEEN the Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights (AG/doc. 2595/90) and its Special Report on Haiti (AG/doc. 2595/90
That in the Charter of the Organization of American States, the member
states have declared that respect for the fundamental rights of the individual,
without distinction as to race, nationality, creed, or sex, is one of the basic
principles of the Organization;
That the main purpose of the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights is to promote the observance and defense of human rights in all the
That the system of representative democracy is fundamental for the
establishment of a political society wherein human rights can be fully realized
and that one of the fundamental components of that system is the effective
subordination of the military apparatus to civilian power;
That it is the obligation of the American states to hold free elections,
in accordance with the provisions of the American Declaration of the Rights and
Duties of Man, the 1959 Declaration of Santiago, Chile, and the American
Convention on Human Rights;
That, in its Annual Report, the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights has stressed the return to representative democracy in a number of
states, and the measures adopted in other countries to establish or improve the
system of representative democracy, which constitute significant contributions
toward observance of the rights contained in the American Declaration of the
Rights and Duties of Man and in the American Convention on Human Rights;
That, despite the foregoing, the Annual Report of the Commission points
out that serious violations of basic rights and freedoms persist in certain
That the General Assembly of the Organization of American States declared
that the forced disappearance of persons is an affront to the conscience of the
hemisphere and a crime against humanity,
1. To endorse, with great
interest, the Annual Report and the recommendations of the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights, the Special Report of the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights on Haiti, and to express appreciation and
congratulations for the serious and vital work it is doing in the area of the
protection and promotion of human rights.
2. To strongly urge the
governments mentioned in the Annual Report to espouse the corresponding
recommendations of the Commission, in line with their constitutional precepts
and domestic legislation, in order to guarantee faithful observance of the human
rights set forth in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and
the American Convention on Human Rights.
3. To reiterate its concern
over the continuance of serious violations of basic rights and freedoms in
several countries of the region, particularly of cases that infringe upon the
full effectiveness of the civil and political rights recognized in the American
Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and in the American Convention on
4. To repeat the
recommendation made in prior years to the governments of the member states that
they grant the necessary guarantees and facilities to enable nongovernmental
human rights organizations to continue contributing to the promotion and
protection of human rights, and that they respect the freedom and safety of the
members of such organizations.
5. To express its
satisfaction with the improved status of human rights under the new Provisional
Government of Haiti and the hope that new efforts will be made to promote and
protect human rights in that country.
6. To energetically condemn
the practice of forced disappearances as a crime against humanity and the use of
torture as an abominable practice that is an affront to the very nature of a
7. To express its
satisfaction with the progress made in the area of human rights in states that
have restored valid democratic regimes.
8. To take note of the
comments and observations received from the governments of the member states and
the information received on the measures that they have taken and will continue
to implement in order to better ensure the observance of human rights in their
9. To urge the Provisional
Government of Haiti and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to
continue cooperating to improve the status of human rights in that country.
10. To note with
satisfaction the decision of the governments of the member states that have
invited the Commission to visit their respective countries.
11. To recommend to member
states that are not parties to the 1969 American Convention on Human Rights
"Pact of San Jose, Costa Rica" that they ratify or accede to that
instrument; and in the case of states that have not done so that they accept the
competence of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to receive and
examine international communications pursuant to Article 45 (3) of the
Convention and that they recognize the binding jurisdiction of the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in accordance with Article 62 (2) of
the aforementioned Convention.
12. To recommend to those
states that have not yet done so that they ratify or accede to, as the case may
be, the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture and the
Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the area of
Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
13. To encourage the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in its sustained effort to
defend human rights in the region, for which it enjoys the resolute support of
the democratic governments of the Organization.
14. To reiterate to the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that it initiate the study on
measures necessary to enhance the autonomy, independence, and integrity of
members of the judicial branch so that they may investigate violations of human
rights properly and perform their functions to the fullest.
15. To recommend to the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that it undertake a systematic
study of the status of economic, social, and cultural rights in the hemisphere.
16. To repeat the statement
made in resolution AG/RES. 1022 (XIX-0/89) to the effect that due exercise
of representative democracy is the best guarantee of human rights.
17. To repeat the
recommendation to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that it
continue with the study on the actual effectiveness of the rights included in
the American Convention on Human Rights, concerning the difficulties that stand
in the way of their effectiveness, as well as the legal obstacles to observance
of the Convention in terms of the advisability of incorporating new individual
or collective human rights, and on the possibility of changing the means and
procedures presently in the Convention to make them more effective in ensuring
better protection of human rights.
18. To repeat the request to
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that it draft a legal
instrument on the rights of Indian peoples for possible adoption in 1992.
ON-SITE OBSERVATIONS AND VISITS CONDUCTED BY THE COMMISSION
On-site observation in Panama
At the invitation of the Government of Panama, the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights made a visit to the Republic of Panama for
on-site observations from July 9 through 13, 1990.
The purpose was to learn and hear first hand the situation of human
rights in that country.
On that visit were Dr. Patrick L. Robinson, Vice Chairman of the
Commission, and two of its members, Ambassador Oliver H. Jackman and Dr. Marco
Tulio Bruni Celli. From the staff
of the Executive Secretariat were Dr. Edith Marquez Rodriguez, Executive
Secretary; Dr. David Padilla, Assistant Executive Secretary; Dr. Osvaldo Kreimer,
attorney with the Executive Secretariat and in charge of the Panama desk, and
Mrs. Elsa Ergueta, administrative assistant.
During that visit, the Commission had an opportunity to meet with
President Guillermo Endara and Vice Presidents Ricardo Arias Calderon and
Guillermo Ford; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Julio Linares; the Deputy
Minister of Government and Justice, Ramon Lima; the full Supreme Court of
Justice, Chief Justice Dr. Carlos Lucas Lopez, presiding the Attorney General,
Rogelio Cruz; the Chief of the Public Force, Colonel Eduardo Herrera Hassan; the
State Prosecutor, Aura Feraud; the Electoral Tribunal; with officials of the
prison system and the National Savings Bank.
It also received and spoke with executives and representatives of human
rights organizations, relatives of those who suffered the loss of loved ones and
property during the invasion; military and civilians being held; relatives of
dead and wounded. It had an
opportunity to meet with and listen to reports, ideas and complaints from
representatives of political parties, unions, the media, the Episcopal
Conference of the Catholic Church and indigenous communities.
The Commission visited the Modelo, Renacer, and Colon prisons, and spoke
privately with persons being held there. It
also visited refugee camps, seeing the living conditions there and the means
available to deal with the existing situation.
On-site observation in Haiti
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights made an on-site
visit to Haiti from November 14 through 16, 1990, at the invitation of the
Government of that country. Its
purpose was to observe the human rights situation, particularly that of
political rights amid the election process that was underway in Haiti.
The Plenary Commission was composed of the following persons: Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza, Chairman of the IACHR; Dr. Patrick
Robinson, Vice Chairman; Oscar Lujan Fappiano, Vice Chairman; Gilda M.C.M. de
Russomano, Ambassador Oliver Jackman, Dr. Marco Tulio Bruni Celli, Dr. Michael
Reisman, members of the IACHR; Dr. Edith Marquez Rodriguez, Executive Secretary;
Dr. David Padilla, Deputy Executive Secretary; Luis Jimenez and Bertha Santoscoy-Noro,
human rights specialists; Nora Anderson, administrative assistant; Serge
Bellegarde, an interpreter from the Language Services Unit of the OAS, and
Genevieve A. Donyon, a private interpreter.
During its visit in Haiti, the Commission met with the President, Ertha
Pascal Trouillot; the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Mr. Jean
Thomas; the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Joseph Maxi; with the Chief of Staff
of the Armed Forces, General Herard Abraham; the Minister of Justice, Mr. Pierre
Labissière; the Attorney General, Mr. Bayard Vincent; the Chairman of the
Provisional Electoral Council, Mr. Jean Robert Sabalat, and with other members
of the Electoral Council and government officials.
The Commission also met with various representatives of human rights
groups and political parties in order to apprise itself of the political
situation in the country, and representatives of the press and radio for
information about respect for freedom of expression.
The Commission conferred with representatives of
unions, the industrial sector, the Chamber of Commerce, the Catholic
Church and Haitian jurists.
As for the election process and the likelihood of real elections, the
Commission observed encouraging signs, such as the number of persons who had
registered to vote, which was the highest in Haitian history.
It also noted the willingness of the Provisional Government to carry the
process through to completion, which was --according to its highest
ranking officials-- the ultimate objective of its activities.
Preliminary visit to Colombia
A Special Committee made a visit to Colombia from December 3 through 7,
1990, at the invitation of the Colombian Government.
The purpose of the visit was to get a better idea of the human rights
situation there and, with that, to lay the groundwork for an on-site
observation visit to Colombia in 1991. On
the occasion of this preliminary visit, the Special Committee from the
Commission was led by Commission Chairman Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza, accompanied
by Deputy Executive Secretary Dr. David Padilla and attorney Dr. Manuel Velasco.
During its stay in Colombia, the Special Committee met with the President
of the Republic, Dr. Cesar Gaviria Trujillo; the Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Dr. Luis Fernando Jaramillo; the representative of the Presidential Advisor for
Peace, Dr. Carlos Eduardo Jaramillo; the Presidential Advisor for Security
Matters, Dr. Rafael Pardo Rueda; the Minister of Justice, Dr. Jaime Giraldo
Angel; the National Director of Criminal Investigations, Dr. Carlos Eduardo
Mejia; the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Chairman of the Council of
State, Drs. Jorge Carreño Cuengas and Reynaldo Arciniegas V.; the Attorney
General of the Nation, Dr. Alfonso Gomez Mendez; the Special Prosecutors for
Human Rights, the National Police and the Military Forces, Drs. Jaime Cordova,
Tahi Hernandez Barrios, and Plinio Moreno; the Chief of the Special
Investigations Bureau, Dr. Pablo Gonzalez; the Presidential Advisor for the
Defense, Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, Dr. Jorge Orlando Melo, and
the Minister of National Defense, General Oscar Botero Restrepo.
During that visit the Special Committee also met with representatives of
human rights groups, political parties and unions, which supplied important
information on the human rights situation in the country.
When the preliminary visit was finished, the Special Committee reported
on its visit to the plenary of the Commission.
The latter felt that report showed how sensitive and complex the
situation of human rights is in Colombia.
The concerns of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will
be carefully monitored and investigated. At
the Government's invitation, sometime in 1991 the Commission will visit Colombia
for an on-site observation. The
findings will be included in a special report, which will be presented in due
OF THE IACHR RELATED TO THE INTER-AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
On August 27, 1990, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
submitted Cases Nos. 10.150 and 10.274 to the Inter-American Court of
Human Rights for study, in accordance with the provisions of articles 51 and 61
of the American Convention on Human Rights.
The Commission designated the following persons to represent it in these
cases: Oliver H. Jackman, member;
Edith Marquez Rodriguez, Executive Secretary, and David J. Padilla, Deputy
Executive Secretary. The Commission
also designated as legal counsel Dr. Claudio Grossman, co-director of the
Center of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law of The American University and a
member of the Board of Directors of the International Human Rights Law Group.
For its part, the Government appointed Carlos Vargas Pizarro as its
attorney and agent in the case.
By a decision adopted by the Commission at its 78th session, Case No.
10,078 "El Frontón" was submitted to the Inter-American Court
of Human Rights on October 10, 1990.
The Commission appointed the following individuals to represent it in
this case: Oscar Fappiano, member;
Edith Marquez Rodriguez, Executive Secretary, and Jorge Seall-Sasiain,
specialist with the Executive Secretariat.
Delegated by the Commission, Dr. Gilda M.C.M. de Russomano, accompanied
by Dr. Jorge Seall-Sasiain from the Secretariat, appeared for a hearing
before the Inter-American Court, set for August 14, concerning the
petition filed for an interpretation of the judgments handed down in the
Velasquez Rodriguez and Godinez Cruz cases.
The Court ruled that to the effect that some measure should be adopted to
keep up the purchasing power of the amounts set in the judgments, declaring that
in addition to the bank interest in arrears, the Government of Honduras must
also compensate for the loss in the value of the lempira vis-à-vis
the dollar between the date on which compensation was payable and the date on
which payment is in fact made.
The Court clarified that when setting up the trust fund, the Government
of Honduras not only has the power but also the obligation to select various
types of investment, such as accounts in strong currencies like the dollar and
others, mortgage bonds, real estate, guaranteed securities or other appropriate
measures to maintain the purchasing power of the compensation fixed.
During the period covered in this report, the Commission engaged in other
activities, among them events in which the Chairman of the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights, Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza, participated. Of these, the following should be mentioned:
- A Meeting to Analyze Problems of Refugees and Violent
Displacement and its Consequences for Human Rights, sponsored by the
Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, and held in San Pedro Sula,
Honduras, July 31 through August 1, 1990.
- A panel-forum on "The Rights of Ethnic Groups,"
held in Guatemala City on August 21, 1990, under the auspices of the School of
Political and Social Sciences and Linguistic Institute of the Universidad Rafael
Landivar and the Office of the Special Counsel for Human Rights of Guatemala.
Lecture: "The mandate
of the OAS General Assembly to the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights (IACHR) to prepare an inter-American instrument to protect the
human rights of Indian peoples."
- The VIII Interdisciplinary Course on Human Rights, given by the
Inter-American Institute of Human Rights and held in San José, Costa
Rica, September 17 through 21, 1990. Lecture:
"The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights."
- A Meeting to Analyze and Evaluate the 1980's and Strategies for
the 1990's for the Protection of Human Rights in the Andean Region, sponsored by
the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights and the Andean Commission of
Jurists, held in Quito, Ecuador, November 30 through December 1, 1990.
Dr. Oscar Lujan Fappiano, member of the Commission, participated as an
observer to the VII regular period of sessions of the Inter-American
Commission for the Control and Abuse of Drugs, March 27-30, 1990, held in
Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Executive Secretariat of the Commission also participated in a number
of activities related to the defense and promotion of human rights in the
inter-American region, among them the following:
- An Annual Seminar on the Efficacy of the International
Instruments for Defense and Promotion of Human Rights and for the humanization
of armed conflict in the Colombian situation, held under the auspices of the
Colombian Chapter of the Andean Commission of Jurists, in Bogotá, Colombia,
October 22 through 25, 1990. Lecture:
"The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights."
- Hemispheric Workshop "Human Rights Now and in the
Future," held under the auspices of Guatemala's Special Prosecutor for
Human Rights. This event took place
in Antigua Guatemala, October 24 through 26, 1990.
integration and human rights."
- Conference on Reorganization of Psychiatric Treatment in Latin
America, held in Caracas, Venezuela, from November 11 to 14, 1990.
Health experts, legislators and jurists from Latin America and Europe
participated in the event. At the
request of the Pan American Health Organization, the Commission agreed to
cooperate on matters concerning the human rights of the mentally ill.
The conference issued the "Declaration of Caracas on reorganization
of psychiatric treatment in Latin America, and other technical papers, of which
emphasize the importance of the human rights of the mentally ill."
With respect to the mandates that the General Assembly recommended to the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the following should be
- Protection of the rights of indigenous populations
In compliance with the General Assembly's mandate AG/RES 1022 (XIX-0/89),
that instructs the Commission to prepare a legal instrument for the defense and
promotion of the rights of indigenous populations, the IACHR decided that the
instrument should be prepared in such a way as to allow as much participation as
possible by organizations representing the various indigenous sectors.
It commissioned its First Vice Chairman, Patrick Robinson, to move the
process forward, with the cooperation of Dr. Osvaldo N. Kreimer, Specialist of
the Executive Secretariat. To
program the preparation of the Convention, a meeting was held at the
headquarters of the Inter-American Indian Institute in Mexico City from
January 9 through 11, 1991. The
guests included Indian leaders and attorneys from North, Central and South
America, executives of human rights organizations and experts.
Bearing in mind the results of that meeting, the Commission decided to
instruct the Secretariat to obtain all relevant information from all the
appropriated sources, including the Inter-American Indian Institute, the
Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, the United Nations and any other
sources that it should deem appropriate, and to present a document in this
regard to the Commission for consideration at its next session.
- Administration of justice
In accordance with resolution AG/RES.1022 (XIX-0/89) the OAS
General Assembly recommended to the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights "that it begin a study on the measures necessary to enhance the
autonomy, independence, and personal integrity of the members of the judicial
branch so that they may investigate violations of human rights properly and
perform their functions to the fullest".
This study will be based on a survey of judges and other members of the
judiciary in a number of member states of the OAS, with a view to identifying
problems and suggesting solutions.
Topics treated in the survey will reflect the concerns of judges and
other judicial authorities at both the trial and appellate stages, prioritize
concerns and determine practical solutions that might be adopted to address such
The General Assembly will be kept informed of the developments of this
study in compliance with the resolution approved by the General Assembly in its
XIX regular period of sessions.