Inter-American Commission on Human Rights received a petition dated
March 21, 1990, according to which:
By means of this letter, we request your urgent intervention
with the authorities of our country in behalf of citizen Simerman
Rafael Antonio Navarro, identified by electoral passbook number
20006474, 21 years of age, an economics student at the Universidad
Nacional del Centro and a student of law and political science at
the Andes Private University and formerly a corporal in the Peruvian
army, based on the following alleged events:
1. On March 7,
1990, at approximately 10:30 p.m., 12 uniformed members of the
Peruvian army, arrived at the residence of the aforementioned person,
located some 150 meters from the 9 de Diciembre Barracks, in a white
closed pickup truck, with red stripes, located at Pasaje Union No.
105, Chilca district, Huancayo province, Junin department,
headquarters of the military political command of the Central National
2. After breaking
down the door of the residence, they went into the room of Simerman
Antonio and took him forcibly to the vehicle which was parked some 30
meters from the house. Despite
the requests of his parents, he was put into the pickup truck and
taken in the direction of the 9 de Diciembre Barracks.
3. A few minutes
later, his parents arrived at the barracks with clothing for their son
since he had been carried away in his underwear, but once at the
military base, they denied that such an operation had taken place.
4. According to
eyewitness versions, it has been determined that the aforementioned
citizen had been taken to the Teodoro Penaloza Barracks in the city of
Jauja, where he remained until the 13th, since which time nothing has
been known about him and even though many legal efforts have been
made, he remains a detained-disappeared person.
5. In view of the
foregoing, we request your urgent intervention with the chief of the
military political command of the zone, Brigade General Manuel Delgado
Rojas, and other pertinent authorities.
2. The petition is
based on the attached probatory documents which include charges made
to the prefect of the department of Junin, the senior attorney of the
same department and the Attorney General of the Nation, letters
addressed to Brigade General Manual Delgado Rojas, the chief of the
political-military command of Junin department, and to army commander
Guillermo Lewis Lopez, the chief of the political military command of
Jauja province, and finally, a writ of habeas corpus filed on March
15, 1990, to the instructions judge of Huancayo.
3. In a letter
dated March 22, 1990, the Commission started its processing of the
case and requested the Government of Peru for pertinent information
regarding the material events of the communication, as well as any
other background information that would enable it to determine whether
in this case all remedies under domestic jurisdiction had been
exhausted, and gave the government 90 days to respond to the request.
4. Having received
no response before the expiration of the legally established term, on
March 25, 1991 the Commission sent to the Government of Peru a
communication reiterating its request for information, with the
further warning that unless the information requested were received
within 30 days it would consider applying Article 42 of the
Regulations of the Commission, according to which it presumes as
truthful the events related in the petition if there is no other
evidence that would lead to a different conclusion.
5. The Commission
also received no reply to the latter communication, despite the
seriousness of the alleged events, the numerous proofs and background
information sent to the governmental authorities.
its 82 session, the Commission adopted Report No. 23/92, which was
referred to the Government of Peru so that the latter might make
whatever observations it deemed pertinent within three months of the
date of transmission.
1. That the
Commission is competent to take up this case since it deals with
violations of rights recognized in the American Convention on Human
Rights, Article 4, pertaining to the right to life, Article 5, the
right to humane treatment, Article 7, right to personal liberty, and
Article 25, the right to judicial protection, as provided for in
Article 44 of the aforementioned Convention, of which Peru is a state
2. That the
petition meets the formal requirements of admissibility contained in
the American Convention on Human Rights and the Regulations of the
3. That the
petition is not pending under any other international proceeding and
is it not substantially the same as any previous petition already
examined by the Commission.
4. That, according
to the complaint and the information provided in the course of the
proceeding, the facts of this case occurred as follows:
a. On the night of
March 7, 1990, Simerman Rafael Antonio Navarro, a 21 year old student
and former soldier, was arrested at his home in the District of Chilca,
Huancayo Province, Junin Department, by a detachment of about twelve
soldiers of the Peruvian army who, after breaking down the door of his
house, put him into a pickup truck waiting thirty meters away and
headed in the direction of December 9 Barracks.
b. The members of
the group were dressed in military uniforms, were well armed and, wore
ski masks over their faces. During
the raid they fired shots into the air, occupied the house for about
ten minutes, and when they withdrew, left an explosive that destroyed
the front door.
Simerman Navarro s house is less than 150 meters from the December 9
Barracks, what the armed group did could not have passed unnoticed.
Yet, in a situation that was clearly irregular the military did
d. The Chief
Government Attorney of Junin confined himself to a statement on May
28, 1990, that the Military Political Chief of National Security
Subzone No. 7 of the Center, Brigadier General Manuel J. Delgado Rojas
of the Peruvian Army, had reported that despite numerous indications
to the contrary, Simerman Navarro had not been taken by soldiers under
5. All remedies
under domestic law have been exhausted, as is evident from the
following documents provided by the complainant:
a. Complaint made to
the Prefect of the Department of Junin on March 12, 1990.
Complaint made to the Chief Government Attorney of Junin on
March 13, 1990.
Another complaint sent by cable to the Chief Government
Attorney of Junin on March 16, 1990.
Request for information made by the District Attorney of Jauja
to the Miitary Political Chief of the province on March 13, 1990.
Broadening of the action for habeas corpus before the
investigating magistrate of Huancayo on March 16, 1990.
Complaint made to the Attorney General of the Nation on March
Letter of the Chief Government Attorney of Junin dated May 28,
6. That the facts
denounced in this case indicate that an operation such as this -in
which shots were fired and explosives were set off in the middle of
the night, near a military garrison in a city like Huancayo, which was
in a state of emergency and under the control of the Military
Political Command, without any action being taken by the troops of the
garrison in all that time- could have occurred only if members of the
Army participated. That
responsibility also follows from the account of the captors given by
the members of the victim's family, who followed the captors in the
direction of the Army barracks. Another point to be remembered is the
complete lack of effect of the many legal appeals presented, which
warrants the assumption of interference to prevent them from
7. That even though more than two years hve passed since the Commission first started processing this case, and despite the seriousness of the charges made, the Government of Peru has not provided any response relating to the events discussed in this case.
That in its judgment of July 29, 1988, in the Velásquez Rodríguez
case, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights stated the following:
The State is obligated to investigate every situation involving a
violation of the rights protected by the Convention.
If the State apparatus acts in such a way that the violation goes
unpunished and the victim'_ full enjoyment of such rights is not
restored as soon as possible, the State has failed to comply with its
duty to ensure the free and full exercise of those rights to the persons
within its jurisdiction. (Paragraph 176).
That in the same case the Inter-American Court states the
following concerning the duty to investigate the situations denounced:
[The duty to investigate] ... must be undertaken in a serious
manner and not as a mere formality preordained to be ineffective.
An investigation must have an objective and be assumed by the
State as its own legal duty, not as a step taken by private interests
that depends upon the initiative of the victim or his family or upon
their offer of proof, without an effective search for the truth by the
government. (Paragraph 177).
10. By failing
to reply the Government of Peru has not fulfilled its international
obligation to provide information within a reasonable period as required
by Article 48 of the Convention.
11. That Article 42
of the Regulations of the Commission establishes the following:
The facts reported in the petition whose pertinent parts have
been transmitted to 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.
12. That the
Commission has stated many times its complete and total rejection of the
serious phenomenon of forcible disappearance of persons, expressing in
several documents that:
...this procedure is cruel and inhuman and that disappearance not
only constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of liberty but also an
extremely serious threat to the humane treatment, security and life
itself of the victim.
13. That the General
Assembly of the Organization of American States has emphasized in
several resolutions the need for countries in which forced
disappearances have occurred to put an immediate end to this practice,
and has also urged the governments to carry out the necessary efforts to
determine the status of these persons.
In addition, the General Assembly of the Organization has
declared that the forced disappearance of persons is an affront to the
conscience of the hemisphere and constitutes a crime against humanity.
14. That the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the Velásquez Rodríguez
case stated that:
The practice of the disappearances, besides directly violating
numerous provisions of the Convention...signifies a radical rupture of
that treaty in that it implies crass abandonment of the values that
emanate from human dignity and the principles that most profoundly
underpin the inter-American system and the Convention itself. (Paragraph
15. That, since the
friendly settlement procedure provided for in Article 48.1.f of the
American Convention on Human Rights is not applicable owing to the
nature itself of the alleged events and owing to the lack of response
from the government, the Commission should comply with the provisions of
Article 50.1 of the Convention and issue its conclusions and
recommendations on the claim submitted to it for consideration.
16. That the Government of Peru has not presented its observations on Report No. 23/92.
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
1. To presume to be
true the events contained in the claim relating to the illegal arrest
and later disappearance of Simerman Rafael Antonio Navarro by members of
the Peruvian army in the province of Huancayo, department of Junin, on
March 7, 1990.
2. To declare that
the Government of Peru has not complied with the obligations to respect
human rights and guarantees imposed by Article 1 of the American
Convention on Human Rights, of which Peru is a state party.
3. To declare that
the Government of Peru is responsible for the violation of the rights to
life, humane treatment, personal liberty and judicial protection that
are recognized in Articles, 4, 5, 7 and 25, respectively, of the
American Convention on Human Rights.
4. To recommend to
the Government of Peru that it undertake an exhaustive investigation
into the alleged events in order to clarify the circumstances of the
arrest, to determine the whereabouts of the victim and to identify the
persons responsible and bring them to justice so they might receive the
punishment they deserve.
5. To publish this
report in the Annual Report to the General Assembly, pursuant to Article
48 of the Commission's Regulations and Article 53.1 of the Convention,
inasmuch as the Government of Peru did not adopt measures to correct the
situation denounced, within the time period stipulated in Report No.