On January 16, 1996, the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights (hereinafter “the Commission” or “the IACHR”) received a
petition lodged by the Center for Justice and International Law - CEJIL
[Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional], (hereinafter “the
petitioners”). The petition alleges the international responsibility of
the United Mexican States (hereinafter "the State", "the
Mexican State", or "Mexico") for the illegal detention
and torture of the Tzeltal native sisters Ana, Beatriz, and Celia González
Pérez, as well as the subsequent failure to investigate and provide
redress for those acts. The
petitioners allege violation of several rights enshrined in the American
Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter the "American
Convention"): right to humane treatment (Article 5); right to
personal liberty (Article 7); right to a fair trial (Article 8); right
to privacy (Article 11); rights of the child (Article 19); and right to
judicial protection (Article 25).
According to the petition, on June 4, 1994 a group of military
personnel illegally detained in the State de Chiapas, Mexico, the
sisters Ana, Beatriz, and Celia González Pérez and their mother Delia
Pérez de González, in order to interrogate them; the four women were
held for approximately two hours. The
petitioners allege that the three sisters were separated from their
mother, beaten, and raped several times by the military personnel; that
on June 30, 1994 a petition was lodged with the Federal Public
Prosecutor’s Office based on a gynecological examination; that same
examination was corroborated before the said institution by the
testimony of Ana and Beatriz, the two older sisters; that the record was
transferred to the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Military Justice
in September 1994; and that the latter decided finally to close the
record for failure of the sisters to come forward to testify again and
to undergo expert gynecological examination.
The petitioners assert that the State failed in its duty to
investigate the facts denounced, punish those responsible, and provide
redress for the violations.
For its part, the Mexican State contends that the competent
authorities carried out a serious investigation, although domestic
remedies were not exhausted; that the representatives of the González Pérez
sisters did not show sufficient interest in the case; and that the
military investigation that was closed could be reopened, but that it
was not possible without the cooperation of the alleged victims.
The State requests that the IACHR declare the case inadmissible
due to non-exhaustion of domestic remedies and for failure to constitute
violations of human rights.
The IACHR concludes in the instant report that the case meets the
requirements set forth in Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention.
Accordingly, the Commission declares the case admissible,
notifies the parties of its decision, and continues to examine the
merits in respect of the alleged violations of Articles 5, 7, 8, 11, 19,
and 25 of the American Convention. At the same time the Commission
places itself at the disposal of the parties with a view to initiating
a friendly settlement procedure and decides to publish this report.
PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION
The Commission assigned case number 11.565 to the matter and
requested the Mexican State for information on the pertinent parts of
the petition on January 18, 1996. The IACHR received the observations of
the petitioners on May 13, 1996 and transmitted them to the Mexican
State on September 10, 1996. On October 24, 1996 the State sent its
observations to the Commission, which forwarded them to the petitioners.
The IACHR requested the petitioners for up-to-date information on
the case on November 13, 1998 and, in the absence of a reply, repeated
the request on March 19, 1999. The
petitioners submitted information on the case on May 27, 1999, the
Mexican State doing likewise on July 14, 1999.
On October 4, 1999 a work meeting was held to address the instant
case at the headquarters of the Commission and was attended by the
petitioners and representatives of the State. At the meeting the
Commission received updated information on the positions of the parties
in regard of the admissibility and merits of the petition.
POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES
The petition received by the
IACHR mentions that on June 4, 1994, members of the Mexican Federal Army
arbitrarily detained Mrs. Delia Pérez de González and her daughters
Ana, Beatriz, and Celia, and interrogated them in order to make them
confess that they belonged to the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
– EZLN (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional).
The petitioners underscore that the women communicate in the
language of the Tzeltal ethnic group and that their knowledge of Spanish
is very limited, owing to which they had difficulty understanding the
questions that were put to them. The
petitioners allege that the mother was then separated from her daughters
and that Ana, Beatriz, and Celia were taken to a wooden room where they
were beaten and raped several times in the presence of some 30 members
of the military, most of whom took part in those acts.
According to the petition, the four women were released at 4:30
p.m. on the same day, after they received death threats to prevent them
from denouncing the violations.
The petitioners allege that the women remained in hiding for
several weeks for fear of the reprisals with which the members of the
military threatened them if they reported the acts. On June 29, 1994, a
female doctor performed a gynecological examination on each of the three
sisters and found that there were still traces of the rape more than 20
days after the denounced acts occurred.
That piece of medical evidence was attached to the petition
lodged on June 30, with the Office of the Public Prosecutor in San Cristóbal
de las Casas, Chiapas. On
August 30, 1994, in Preliminary Investigation 64/94, which had been
opened on basis of the petition, Ana and Beatriz González Pérez
corroborated and enlarged on their petition before that authority, and
in the presence of a “senior official of the Office of the Public
Prosecutor”. The petitioners add that the youngest sister, Celia, did
not come forward because she was unable to overcome the fear caused by
her ordeal; for that reason, the mother stayed at home to keep her
On September 2, 1994, the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office
decided to refer Preliminary
Investigation 64/94 to the Office of the Public Prosecutor of
Military Justice “for lack of legal competency to hear the matter due
to lack of jurisdiction”. The
petitioners maintain that they fulfilled the requirement of seeking the
suitable domestic remedies available in Mexico for resolving the
petition; and that the transfer of competency to the military
authorities was a violation both of the Mexican Constitution and of the
duty to investigate the violations.
In relation to this they state the following:
the transfer of competency to the jurisdiction of the military courts in
September 1994 there was no substantial progress in the investigations,
despite the court of the civil jurisdiction ordering the Office
of the Military Public Prosecutor to continue said investigation.
The case has been closed since February 1996, which constitutes a
violation of the duty to investigate.
fact that Mexican legislation states that the military courts shall take
cognizance of common offences committed by military personnel while on
service or in the performance of acts thereof, combined with the
argument made by the government for the military courts to take up the
instant case, lead one to presume that the detention, torture and rape
of the injured parties were acts of service or acts deriving therefrom.
The petitioners maintain that the investigation opened and later
closed by the Office of the Military Public Prosecutor does not meet the
requirements of suitability and impartiality essential to any
investigation of human rights violations.
In relation thereto they observe that Press Release Nº 38 of the
Secretariat of National Defense (hereinafter “the SEDENA”) of July
3, 1994, referring to the events that led to the petition, “vigorously
rejects the false charges made against military personnel and reserves
the right to take legal action against persons or entities that defame
our institution”. They
add that the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Military Justice is an
institution hierarchically subordinate to the head of the SEDENA.
As to a new court appearance and medical examination before the
military authorities –which the State deems essential for reopening
the investigation-- the petitioners state the following:
is unacceptable to claim that these women, who had endured such an
experience of torture by members of that institution, would feel safe
testifying (for the third time) before this entity.
On several occasions the petitioners informed the government
attorney’s office of the victims’ fear and trauma, which made it
difficult even for them to go to the civil court, since they were
obliged to cross military roadblocks, which made it impossible for them
to appear before the military authority to testify.
should be noted that, owing to the nature of the case, it is logical
that the victims should have been terrified of appearing before the
military entity, especially since the agencies involved --in this case
the Army-- turn out to be the ones in charge of the investigations.
victims, who had already testified before the competent court, had no
obligation to consent to the kind of psychological torture entailed by
fresh questioning and the humiliation of another gynecological
examination, particularly before the entity that represents those
responsible for the torture, illegal detention, and rape of the injured
foregoing entails a violation and aggression equal to or worse than that
endured on June 4, 1994, by which token the Army’s proposal to reopen
the investigation itself, thereby rejecting the inquiries already made
by the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office, cannot be valid.
This is particularly true given that they have testimonies from
the very soldiers who “interrogated” the injured parties and who
accept having been in the right time and place and having had the
opportunity to commit the aggression.
Basically, the only thing they do not accept in their testimony
is having raped them. However, they do accept having detained them,
interrogated them, and [engaged in] other acts, which, by their very
contradiction allow one to assume that the women witnesses are telling
the truth and the soldiers are lying.
However, all of that was rejected and not one of them was ever
As regards the supposed lack of interest of the petitioners,
which the State alleged, CEJIL reiterates that a medical examination was
performed immediately after the events, the results of which were
presented to the Office of the Public Prosecutor and later corroborated
by the testimony of the victims. On
the basis of those elements, the petitioners state that there is
evidence of the violations, and that the silence of CEJIL for such a
long time was due to the difficulty in locating the women, since as a
consequence of the events, they were compelled to leave their
communities and families because they were repudiated in accordance with
their indigenous culture.
The petitioners say that the abuses denounced in this case are a
part of a general problem in Mexico, and they mention in that light the
Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication
of Violence against Women (Convention of Belém do Pará”).
Also, the petitioners allege that the facts tend to establish a
violation of the rights of the child protected in Article 19 of the
youngest of the victims was 16 when she was tortured and raped by the
soldiers of the Mexican Federal Army.
Her case, as the Committee on the Rights of the Child has rightly
stated, is one of so many that remains unpunished, where the
unwillingness of the Government to protect its juvenile citizens is made
plain by the closure of the instant case, as a result of which, five
years after the physical, psychological, and sexual abuse suffered by
this minor, none of the parties responsible has been tried and convicted
of those crimes.
Finally, the petitioners claim that facts were duly reported with
strong supporting evidence to the authorities in Mexico but that the
transfer of competency to the Office of the Military Public Prosecutor
and its lack of willingness resulted in the failure to investigate the
violations, with the upshot that, to date, those responsible have got
The Mexican State initially omits any reference to the merits and
states that the petition should be rejected for failure to exhaust
the jurisdiction of the military courts, the complainants have not
lodged any petition with the SEDENA against the prosecuting attorneys in
charge of the investigation, despite the fact that they have the right
to do so and that, any proven wrongdoing on the part of the Office of
the Military Public Prosecutor would originate proceedings to determine
criminal responsibility in the military courts … In light of the
severe punishments in which such a proceeding could result, this is not
a mere formality from which the complainants are excused; nor have the
remedies available under military jurisdiction been exhausted in
accordance with generally recognized principles of international law.
fact that this case corresponds primarily to the jurisdiction of the
military courts does not mean to say, however, that the interested
parties lack effective remedies in the federal civil jurisdiction.
Under Article 34 of the Criminal Code ...”any person who
considers himself entitled to indemnification for damage caused, who
cannot obtain as much from a criminal judge, due to failure on the part
of the Office of the Public Prosecutor to bring suit, dismissal of the
case, or verdict of acquittal, may resort to the civil process under the
terms of the corresponding legislation.”
the complainants consider that the process failed to observe human
rights and fundamental freedoms, there is nothing to prevent them from
filing a judicial complaint against the way the criminal suit was
prosecuted in this case, which would also be a matter for the civil and
not the military courts to decide.
The State subsequently broadens its arguments and states that the
Office of Complaints and Citizen Attention conducted an investigation
based on an article published in La Jornada newspaper on June 17,
1994, and informed the SEDENA of the statements of several persons
regarding the events. The
State asserts that on June 25, 1994 the military authority ordered an
investigation “in order to determine if, as a result of the events in
question, there was a breach of Military Discipline”(sic).
The State also adds the following:
July 2, 1994, the Secretariat of
National Defense issued Press Release Number 38 informing the
public that, as a result of the investigation carried out --into the
supposed rape of three Tzeltal native women by military personnel-- it
had emerged that said charge was completely false and that there was no
breach of military discipline, in accordance with Preliminary Investigation A5FTA/03/94-E (emphasis in the original).
The State also says that Preliminary Investigation Nº 64/94 was
opened “for the offences of GANG RAPE, ABUSE OF AUTHORITY, AND
OTHERS” (capitals in the original), and that the following procedures
were carried out in that investigation:
Federal Judicial Police were called on to conduct an investigation of
the above-mentioned events. The complainants [were] summoned in order to
corroborate their complaint and presented themselves on July 1, 1994.
The alleged injured parties [were] summoned in order to testify
about the events in question. Experts
in legal medicine were called on to give their opinion on the clinical
age they claimed to have as injured parties, and to perform the
respective gynecological examination.
The State mentions the request from various non-governmental
organizations that a woman be appointed as special prosecuting attorney
in the case. The State also
says that the Office of the Military Public Prosecutor appointed a
female military prosecuting attorney and “female medical staff” to
assist her in “clarifying the facts in question”; and that the said
military official “requested and obtained” from the Representative
of the Office of the Federal Public Prosecutor in Chiapas “definitive
refusal of competency in favor of the jurisdiction of the military
courts due to its being a matter for its purview”. The
State describes the proceedings of the Public Prosecutor of Military
Justice in the following terms:
obtained further testimony from the civilians who witnessed the events,
who in short said that at no time was there any physical or verbal abuse
by the military personnel against the alleged injured parties, much less
sexual assault. He obtained
further testimony from the military personnel involved in the presence
of their respective court-appointed defense counsel, who offered
rebutting for the confrontation between his clients and the alleged
injured parties, it not being possible to compare that evidence due to
the nonattendance of the alleged injured parties. At the request of the
Military Prosecuting Attorney staff from the National Commission on
Human Rights were present as observers of the way the proceedings were
put into practice, as were translation experts from the National
Institute of Indigenous Affairs, and experts in medical law specializing
in gynecology, all of whom are civilians and residents of the area.
He summoned Mrs. MARTHA
GUADALUPE FIGUEROA MIER and Mr. ROGER
MALDONADO BAQUEIRO, (emphasis in the original) alleged legal
representatives of the injured parties, of whom only the former appeared
in court, she being noticeably annoyed, haughty, and intimidating, but
with extreme nervousness (sic). By
reason of the foregoing the Head of Preliminary Inquiries of Military
Justice concluded that the charge against the military personnel is
totally and manifestly false.
The State goes on to perform a detailed analysis of the military
preliminary investigation, which includes statements from several
persons who concur on the good conduct of the military and deny that
The State’s analysis continues with a section entitled
“Considerations regarding the competence of the jurisdiction of the
military courts to take cognizance of the facts”.
In this section, the State indicates that “the jurisdiction of
the military courts owes its existence to the very nature of the armed
force and the way of life peculiar to it”, and explains that the
prerequisites under which the intervention of that jurisdiction is in
order are the following: that the perpetrator of the infraction is a
member of the armed forces; that the member of the military is on
service or engaging in acts relating thereto; and that the infraction is
in breach of military discipline. The
State then applies those prerequisites to the case under consideration:
is considered to be no problem whatever with the first prerequisite
since the complainants themselves expressly accept that participants in
the crime are members of the Armed Forces.
to the second of these, regarding the participant in the crime being on
service or engaging in acts relating thereto, service should be
understood as any act executed by members of the military, either in an
individually or a collective manner, in fulfillment of the orders they
receive in the course of performing the duties that befall them,
depending on their category and in accordance with the laws,
regulations, and provisions of the Army. (Article 37 of the Army Corps
relation to the third element, that the infraction or offences be in
breach of military discipline, Article 57 of the Code of Military
Justice is very explicit when it establishes that the following …are
offenses in breach of military discipline (…) II. Common or federal
offences when any of the following circumstances are involved: a)
That were committed by members of the military while on service or in
the performance of acts thereof (emphasis in the original)
The State continues with an analysis of Mexican jurisprudence
relating to the competency of the jurisdiction of the military courts
and argues that the intervention of the armed forces in matters of
public security is entirely compatible with the Constitution of Mexico.
In addition to the Constitution, the State cites Mexican legal
provisions that it considers applicable to the instant case, including
the Statute of the Federal Public Administration, the Organic Law of the
Army and the Air Force, the Federal Statute of Responsibilities of Civil
Servants, and the Law of the National Commission on Human Rights. The
State concludes that the instant case “is based on vague assumptions
and conjecture and not on any firm proof, the main evidence held up
being a newspaper article and a petition lodged with an authority that
lacks legal competence”
In a later communication the State questions the petitioners’
delay in presenting information on the case to the IACHR, saying in
relation thereto that, “in no circumstances can a delay of this
magnitude be justifiable, especially when dealing with facts such as
The State adds that, “the National Commission on Human Rights
itself …decided to close the record in question precisely because of
the inactivity and lack of cooperation of the petitioners”. In spite
of that, however, “it reiterates its willingness to continue the
investigations if the petitioners are prepared to cooperate with the
The State maintains that the case is not admissible for the
following reasons: the remedies under domestic law were not exhausted;
the petitioners did not manage to prove the existence of acts that
violate human rights; the military authorities are the competent
authority to investigate the denounced acts; and the investigation
initiated by the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Military Justice was
serious and impartial, but had to be closed due to lack of cooperation
from the alleged victims. Finally,
the State requests that the IACHR close the instant case.
Competence of the
Commission ratione personae,
ratione materiae, ratione temporis and ratione
The allegations in the instant case describe acts that
purportedly violate several rights recognized and enshrined in the
American Convention and took place within the territorial jurisdiction
of Mexico when the duty to respect and ensure the rights recognized in
the Convention was in force for that State.
Accordingly, the IACHR is competent ratione
personae, ratione materiae, ratione temporis and ratione loci to examine the merits of the petition.
requirements of the petition
Exhaustion of domestic
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has established the
following with respect to the rule of prior exhaustion of domestic
Parties have an obligation to provide effective judicial remedies to
victims of human rights violations (Art. 25), remedies that must be
substantiated in accordance with the rules of due process of law (Art.
8(1)), all in keeping with the general obligation of such States to
guarantee the free and full exercise of the rights recognized by the
Convention to all persons subject to their jurisdiction (Art.1).
The IACHR, after examining the information supplied by the
petitioners and by the State, considers prima
facie that the petition lodged by the representatives of the victims
with the Office of the Public Prosecutor in Chiapas on July, 1994,
constitutes a suitable remedy for redressing the alleged violations.
Indeed, the facts described by the petitioners --if established
in the framework of a serious and impartial investigation, in accordance
with due process of law-- would appear to constitute arbitrary
detention, torture, and rape, that is to say, acts provided for and
punished by common criminal law in Mexico.
In spite of that, the Office of the Federal Public Prosecutor
refused competence in favor of its military counterpart. Both parties
agree that the investigation of the facts remains unfinished to date,
although they disagree on the reason: for the State it is due to lack of
cooperation of the victims, and for the petitioners, to the intervention
of an entity without legal competence that lacks impartiality and
In sum, the representatives of the alleged victims had access to
a suitable remedy under the domestic jurisdiction and lodged a petition
in good time and in the correct manner, but the aforementioned transfer
of competency resulted in the paralyzation of the investigation and,
finally, its closure. The
petitioners allege that they are excused from appealing to the
jurisdiction of the military courts due to the fact that they lodged the
petition with the competent authority, and that the Office of the Public
Prosecutor of Military Justice lacks the necessary impartiality to
investigate the facts.
It is an uncontroverted fact that the complaint to the Office of
the Public Prosecutor in Chiapas was filed with the result of a
gynecological exam, according to which the three sisters had lesions of
rape consistent with the date when they allegedly occurred; the Mexican
State did not question the validity of that document in the proceedings
before the IACHR. The IACHR
furthermore notes, by way of a preliminary observation, that five years
have elapsed since the petition was lodged in Mexico with the Office of
the Federal Public Prosecutor, without it having been definitively
established as of the date of adoption of the instant report how the
events occurred, for which reason it has not been possible to identify
those presumed responsible. However,
these matters will be analyzed at the appointed stage of the
proceedings, together with the other arguments relating to the right to
due process of law and to effective legal protection.
The Commission concludes that, for different reasons, exhaustion
of domestic remedies in Mexico was not possible, even though five years
have elapsed since the facts allegedly occurred.
Consequently, the Commission applies to the instant case the
exception provided for in the second part of Article 46(2)(b) of the
American Convention. The
causes and effect of the lack of exhaustion of domestic remedies shall
be analyzed in the report that the Commission will adopt on the merits,
in order to determine whether they constitute violations of the American
Period for lodging the petition
Due to the application of Article 46)2)(b) of the American
Convention to this case, it is not necessary to analyze the requisite
established in Article 46(1)(b) of that international instrument.
The Commission considers that in the instant case, under the
circumstances set forth supra,
the petition was presented in a reasonable time from the date on which
the alleged violations were denounced in Mexico.
Duplication of proceedings and res
The exceptions provided for in Articles 46(1)(d) and 47(d) of the
American Convention have not been contended by the Mexican State, nor do
they emerge from the information contained in the record of the instant
Characterization of the
The Commission considers that the facts alleged, if shown to be
true, would characterize a
violation of the rights guaranteed in Articles 5, 7, 8, 11, 19,
and 25 of the American Convention.
Request for closing the case
The Mexican State requested that the instant case be closed due
to the delay in which the petitioners incurred to respond to the
information supplied by it on October 24, 1996.
The State said:
such as the one that took place in this case, tarnish the proceedings
before the Commission and they are contrary to the spirit of the
that Convention does not expressly state a period of time in which a
case must be decided, nor does it provide for preclusion of procedural
stages, both the spirit and the general principles of law establish
duties of equality, good faith and transparency.
Giving value to cases in which there is such manifest lack of
interest, not only with regard to the internal jurisdiction but also to
the inter-American jurisdiction, would severely question such duties.
In order to analyze the request of the State, the Commission must
refer to the provisions that apply to closing files.
Article 48(1)(b) of the American Convention establishes:
the information has been received, or after the period established has
elapsed and the information has not been received, the Commission shall
ascertain whether the grounds for the petition or communication still
If they do not, the Commission shall order the record to be
closed. (emphasis added)
Likewise, the Regulations of the IACHR establish in Article 35(c)
certain preliminary procedural questions:
Commission shall proceed to examine the case and decide on the following
whether the remedies under domestic law have been exhausted, and
it may determine any easures it considers necessary to clarify any
other questions related to the admissibility of the petition or
its manifest inadmissibility based upon the record or submission of the
whether grounds for the
petition exist or subsist, and if not, to order the file closed. (Emphasis
The Commission considers, on the basis of the information
received from the parties and summarized in the instant report, that the
grounds alleged by the petitioners fully subsist.
Accordingly, there is no reason to suspend or close these
proceedings in the inter-American system.
On the contrary, the case must be declared admissible and move to
the following stage provided for in the American Convention and the
Regulations of the IACHR.
The Commission considers that it is competent to take cognizance
of the instant case and that the petition is admissible in accordance
with Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention.
Based on the foregoing de
facto and de jure arguments and without prejudging the merits of the matter,
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
To declare the instant case admissible in respect of the alleged
violations of the rights protected in Articles 5, 7, 8, 11, 19, and 25
of the American Convention.
To notify the parties of this decision.
To continue to examine the merits of the case.
To place itself at the disposal of the parties with
a view to reaching a friendly settlement on the basis of respect for the
human rights enshrined in the American Convention and to invite
the parties to give their opinion on that possibility, and
To publish this report and include it in the Annual Report to the
OAS General Assembly.
Done and signed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights,
in the city of San José, Costa Rica, on this the 19th of
November of 1999. (Signed):
Robert K. Goldman, Chairman; Hélio Bicudo, First Vice-Chairman;
Claudio Grossman, Second Vice- Chairman; Commission Members: Alvaro
Tirado Mejía, Carlos Ayala Corao and Jean Joseph Exumé.
Fictitious names. The
real identities of the sisters and their relatives are withheld at
the express request of the petitioners and in keeping with the
practice of the Commission when dealing with denounced acts such as
are characterized in the instant case which, when published, could
affect a person’s dignity and honor. Moreover, one of the alleged victims was a minor at the time
the violation allegedly occurred.
In their note of May 2, 1999, the petitioners stated the
lodging the petitions the victims suffered reprisals from the
community where they lived, as a result of which they had to move
away from their village of origin and two of them to changed their
names. For those
reasons, we, the petitioners, have left out the names of the injured
parties and respectfully request the honorable Commission in future
to keep the names of the victims secret.
An armed dissident group that launched a rebellion in Chiapas in
1994. The “Law for
Dialogue, Conciliation and Fitting Peace in Chiapas”, which
entered into force on March 11, 1995, defines the EZLN as a “group
of people who identify themselves as an organization of mostly
indigenous Mexican citizens, who for various reasons chose to rebel
and became involved in an armed conflict that started on January 1,
1994”. As of
the date of approval of this report the conflict continues and the
negotiations for reaching peace in Chiapas remain unconcluded.
CEJIL communication of May 27, 1999, p.4.
CEJIL communication of May 27, 1999, pp.5 and 6.
The Mexican State ratified the “Convention of Belém de Pará”
on November 12, 1998.
CEJIL communication of May 27, 1999, p.13.
of the Mexican State of May 13, 1996, pp.1 and 2.
of the Mexican State of October 24, 1996, p.2.
example, Pedro Santiz Espinoza declared,
since the moment the military arrived at my home they have behaved
well toward the people; that I have never noticed people passing
through there having any problem with the military; that the
military only ask the people passing through there for their
identification and search their bags; that I have never heard any
rumors of the military personnel at the post next door to my house
taking advantage of women…
he did not observe the soldiers strike the girls because otherwise
he would have told the authority; that he has received advice from
no-one on what he is saying, that neither has he been threatened,
nor has he been given money to declare as he is doing, that on that
day he was not drunk…. Communication
of October 29, 1996, p.4.
pp. 10 and 11.
this regard the State adds the following:
is incomprehensible that they should cultivate accusations against
vertical institutions with a clean historical record like the
Mexican Army with proof no greater than rumors that only generate
legal insecurity and the most disgraceful of attacks on the entities
responsible for national security, which were brought to the area of
conflict with the sole purpose of fulfilling their duty, their
constitutional mandate, which is to safeguard the nation’s
domestic security under the system of government ruled by law and
respect for human rights that prevails in the Mexican State.
pp. 26 and 27.
of the State of July 14, 1999, p.1.
The Mexican State deposited
its instrument of ratification of the American Convention on April
Velásquez Rodríguez Case, Preliminary Objections, Judgement of
June 26, 1987, Inter-Am.Ct.H.R. (Ser. C), para. 91.
this regard, the petitioners consider that “rape, in this case
committed by a gang and against three females, including a child, is
originally and by definition a common crime and not a breach of
military discipline” (communication of August 29, 1996, p. 4). The State, for its part, holds that the military personnel
was on duty on the date of the events, because “in time of peace
the interior security of the country may also be threatened”
(communication of October 24, 1996,
p. 14); that “it is logic that the competency be assigned
to the military organs”; and that “the competent military
organs…after a profound and exhaustive investigation, concluded
that the alleged facts were nonexistent” (idem,
Inter-American Court has stated:
certain exceptions to the rule of non-exhaustion of domestic
remedies are invoked, such as the ineffectiveness of such remedies
or the lack of due process of law, not only is it contended that the
victim is under no obligation to pursue such remedies, but,
indirectly, the State in question is also charged with a new
violation of the obligations assumed under the Convention. Thus, the
question of domestic remedies is closely tied to the merits of the
Rodriguez Case, supra,
of the State of July 14, 1999, p. 3.