REPORT ON THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN URUGUAY
RIGHT TO LIFE
American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man – Article
I. Every human being has the right to life...1
So long as the American Convention on Human Rights does not enter into
force, this Commission is responsible for safeguarding the observance of the
human rights recognized in the American Declaration (Articles 3 j, 16, 15
e, 112 and 150 of the Charter of the Organization of American States and
Article 2 of the Statute of the IACHR).
Having set forth the norms in force in Uruguay regarding such rights,
this report now goes on to consider the information available on the events
denounced in that country, beginning with the right to life, which is the basis
of all the rest.
Since 1973 the Commission has received denunciations and other
communications from different sources charging the Uruguayan authorities with
responsibility for the violent death, resulting from physical abuse, of a
considerable number of men and women who were being held under detention.
By way of example, the names of 25 individuals and the corresponding
dates of their deaths may be cited, according to denunciations received by the
Commission. This information, together with the number of the respective case,
is reproduced below:
1. Luis Carlos Batalla – May 25,
1972 – Case 1744
Marín – June 3, 1972 – Case 2524
Lorenzo Jurado Avellaneda – July 15, 1972 – Case 2524
Alvariza – July 23, 1972 – Cases 1793, 2526
Gomensoro – March 12, 1973 – Case 2524
Felipe Fernández Mendieta – May 25, 1973 – Case 2524
Gerardo Alter – August 22, 1973 – Case 2524
Hugo Arteche – August 22, 1973 – Case 2524
Leonardo de los Sandos Mendoza – September 1973 – Case 1783
Gowland /o Goghlan) – December 19, 1973 – Case 2524
Perrini Gualo – March 5, 1974 – Case 2524
Raggio – April 21, 1974 – Case 2524
Reyes – April 21, 1974 – Case 2524
Blanco – May 12, 1974 – Case 2524
Zabalzagaray – June 29, 1974 – Case 1870
García – August 12, 1974 – Case 1870
Mujica – November 1974 – Case 2524
Morales – November 22, 1974 – Case 2524
Lavagna de Tizze – April 29, 1975 – Case 1935
Balbi – July 30, 1975 – Case 1967
Curuchaga – September 26, 1975 – Case 2011
22. Pedro Ricardo Lerena Martínez –
September 29, 1975 – Case 2524
C. Argenta Estable – December 16, 1975 – Case 2011
López – January 5, 1976 – Case 2011
Delacroix de Ormachea – September 9, 1976 – Case 2532
In compliance with its Regulations, the Commission has duly transmitted
to the Government the pertinent parts of communications denouncing these events.
In responses regarding individual cases and in the Uruguayan Government's
observations on the Commission's report of May 24, 1977, the Minister of Foreign
Affairs of Uruguay confirmed, in the majority of cases, that these individuals
died while under detention; however, in all instances he denied that death was a
consequence of the use of physical mistreatment.
Presented below, as examples, are some of the replies sent by the
Government of Uruguay concerning individuals who died while under detention or
In case 2011, it was denounced that Julián López, a transportation
worker, married, 53 years of age and a resident of Montevideo:
Was arrested on December 31, 1975. On January 5, 1976 the authorities
delivered his corpse in a closed, sealed coffin, which was not allowed to be
opened. The corpse had to be buried after a wake lasting only a few hours, with
the bands with which the coffin had been sealed left intact.
On August 26, 1977, with respect to Julián López, the Government
informed the Commission in the following terms:
JUAN LÓPEZ (“Julián López” in the observations made by the
Government on the report of May 24, 1977). With a record of seditious
activities, he was detained on December 31, 1975; on January 5, 1976, while
being taken to the bathroom at his request, he made an abrupt movement in an
attempt to escape from the guard who accompanied him. In doing so he lost his
balance, hit against the railing and fell backwards into mid-air, hitting the
stairway banister and finally the stairs themselves. He was taken to a health
unit where he died upon admission. The Military Examining Magistrate of the
Fifth Leave Term immediately intervened and ordered the corresponding autopsy.
The conclusion of the autopsy, dated January 5, 1976, establishes “multiple
traumata followed by acute hemorrhaging” as the cause of death.
The Magistrate, by Decree Nº 17/76 of January 22, 1976, ordered that the
proceedings be closed, due to the absence of even half proof that a crime had
In its observations on the report of May 24, 1977, the Government of
Uruguay stated the following to the Commission with regard to the detention and
death of Edison Marín, included under case 2524:
EDISON MARÍN – A criminal condemned by the Civil Court to 13 years
imprisonment for “murder.” He escaped from Punta Carretas Prison on April
12, 1972, together with 15 seditious individuals and another 9 criminals
condemned by the Civil Court for a variety of serious crimes. Having been
recaptured he died while under detention; the Military Examining Magistrate
Judge of First Term intervened and ordered that the corresponding autopsy be
conducted. The autopsy was carried out on June 4, 1972, concluding that death
was the result of “cardiac insufficiency.” On November 9, 1972 the Judge
ordered the proceedings closed as there was not even half proof of the
commission of a crime (Decree 113/72).
In those same observations, the Government provided the following
information on the detention and death of Aldo Perrini Gualo, also included
under case 2524:
ALDO PERRINI GUALO – A seditious detainee who died on March 3, 1973,
and not on May 5, 1974, as stated in the Report of the IACHR. The Military
Examining Judge of the Fifth Term intervened and ordered that the corresponding
autopsy be conducted. The conclusion of the autopsy states the following as the
causes of death: a) acute pulmonary edema, and b) stress. The acting Judge
ordered a supplementary examination. The conclusion of that examination, dated
May 18, 1974, establishes that the histopathological study confirms the previous
diagnosis. On October 3, 1974, since there was not even half proof of the
commission of a crime, the Judge ordered the proceedings closed by Decree Nº
In its observations to the Report dated May 24, 1977, the Government of
Uruguay reported the following in connection with the detention and death of
GERARDO ALTER – On August 19, 1973, he was detained at Cno. Carrasco
and Veracierto for his known membership in the MLN. He arrived in Montevideo
from abroad on July 11, 1973 in order to become (sic) of the Movement. He made
contacts in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. The same day, approximately 9:00 p.m.
he was found unconscious and was immediately taken to H.C.FF.AA. (Central Armed
Forces Hospital), where it was ascertained that he had ceased to exist. The
Military Court of First Instance intervened and ordered the corresponding
autopsy. The autopsy's findings of August 20, 1973 established “acute
pulmonary edema” as the cause of death. On August 15, 1974, because the
Government Prosecutor did not find even half proof of the commission of a crime,
it ordered the proceedings closed by Decree 1217, at page 41. It should be
pointed out that Gerardo Alter's death took place on August 19, 1973 and not on
August 22, as the Report states.
In its observations on the preliminary version of this Report, the
Government of Uruguay provided the Commission with the following information
regarding the denunciation of the detention and arrest of Carlos Alvariza,
included under case 1973:
CARLOS ALVARIZA – This individual is included on the list of
individuals admitted to H.C.FF.AA. (Central Armed Forces Hospital) between July
1 and September 5, 1972, which was the reason for the communication of the IACHR
under case Nº 1793. As explained repeatedly to the IACHR through notes Nos.
336/76-16.B.18, 316/76-16.B.18 and 308/76-16.B.18, of September 9, 1974,
September 10, 1975 and May 18, 1976, respectively, the real reasons for such
interventions are the activities and encounters that subversive and seditious
elements had with the Armed Forces of the Republic during the state of internal
war decreed by the General Assembly. Carlos Alvariza, who in attempting to flee
escaped over a roof falling into the void, was dead on arrival at the Central
Armed Forces Hospital (H.C.FF.AA) on July 25, 1972. As indicated in the list in
question, an autopsy was conducted on him by order (sic) of the Military
Examining Judge of the Fifth Term. The autopsy stated the cause of death to be
“external trauma with skull fracture.” On March 23, 1973 the acting
Magistrate, after hearing the views of the Prosecutor, ordered the proceedings
closed on the ground that there was not sufficient evidence of the commission of
a crime to proceed.
All of the foregoing cases are being processed in accordance with the
corresponding procedures by the Commission.
The Government also reported, in some cases, that investigations were
underway in order to clarify the facts, and that in every case it would proceed
with the greatest diligence in the application of the relevant legal provisions
To date, the Commission has not been able to complete the processing of
these cases and to adopt the decisions provided for under Articles 56 and 57 of
its Regulations, due, in a number of instances, to the delay or inadequacy of
the Uruguayan Government's replies regarding investigations conducted and
opinions of the competent authorities; the latter constitutes one of the
elements which are important in order to verify the exhaustion of domestic legal
remedies (Article 9 bis of the Statute).
To illustrate this statement, indicated below are certain specific points
related to the processing of cases, which are important in evaluating the
attitude of the Government in the face of denunciations of such grave violations
of human rights.
In case 1783, it is denounced that student Hugo Leonardo de los Santos
Mendoza was detained on a public street on September 1, 1973, by agents of the
Joint Forces and that he died two days later in a military unit. The
denunciation adds that the “true cause of death” was “an intracranial
hematoma resulting from a trauma,” and that the cause of death recorded on the
certificate issued by the Uruguayan authorities, i.e. “pulmonary edema,” was
Information provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on September 9,
1974 confirmed that Mr. de los Santos Mendoza had been detained for membership
in the subversive organization Tupamaros and died on the date and at the place
indicated in the denunciation, with “acute pulmonary edema” being listed as
the cause of death. The reply adds that “a dispute over competence was raised,
which the Supreme Court of Justice settled on August 14, 1974 through Ruling Nº
2074, attributing competence to the Examining Magistrate (First Term) of
On August 7, 1975, the Commission repeated its request to the Uruguayan
Government for information on the legal resolution of the case. After requesting
an extension of the deadline, on May 20, 1976 the Government replied that “the
summary proceedings in connection with this case are still underway before the
Examining Magistrate of the First Term.”
In view of the fact that the reply did not contain the necessary
substantive information and the fact that almost one year had elapsed since the
Commission had reiterated its request for information to the Government of
Uruguay, at its thirty-ninth session (October-November 1976), the Commission,
applying Article 51 of its Regulations, declared that it presumed the part of
the denunciation concerning the causa mortis, answered by the Government,
to be confirmed.
Subsequently, in a note dated September 12, 1977, the Government of
Uruguay reported the following to the Commission:
The question of competence or jurisdiction was resolved by the Court of
Justice on August 14, 1974, in decree Nº 2074. Thereafter, on August 19, 1974,
the Examination Magistrate of the First Term in Montevideo, by decree Nº 4467,
assumed competence and initiated appropriate proceedings; at the conclusion of
these and in order to obtain more complete information, he ordered that an
expert report be prepared by the Forensic Technical Institute, an agency of the
Supreme Court of Justice. Consequently, the proceedings carried out previously
were brought together and delivered to Dr. Alfredo Navarro, a general medical
expert from the School of Medicine, for his consideration. The aforementioned
professional proceeded to consider the judicial proceedings initiated in
September 1973, and to examine the medical reports produced at that time. In his
report, he presents an exhaustive examination of the two protocols of autopsy.
He determines that, that which was carried out by order of the Military Courts
contains defects, while the protocol of autopsy prepared in Rocha states the
following: “the organs that served to justify the conclusion of the autopsy
are to be remitted to the Forensic Technical Institute, mentioned above.” In
the same report, it is established that the organs sent by the Judge of the
Department of Rocha and received by the Technical Forensic Institute are the
following: "“he heart and the spleen, both intact, and fragments of the
'lungs'; not received, however, was the 'brain', the organ which according to
the autopsy carried out by order of the Judge of Rocha would permit confirmation
of the conclusions rendered in the autopsy ordered by him, it being the organ
which would show the lesions which caused the death. Also not received was the
base of the lung, which would permit confirmation of the conclusion of the
autopsy originally ordered by the Military Judge. In conclusion, the
aforementioned medical expert from the School of Medicine, Dr. Alfredo Navarro,
in an official note delivered to the Examining Magistrate of the First Term in
Montevideo on the date mentioned above (August 9, 1976), finds the following:
“Consequently, and having confirmed the existence of defects in the two
protocols of autopsy available, it is impossible to issue any definitive
judgment concerning the death of Hugo Leonardo de los Santos.” On August 18,
1976 the acting Judge ordered the proceedings made available for examination by
the Criminal Prosecutor of the First Term, who on August 31 of the same year, in
opinion 2170/76, recommended that the closing of the judicial proceedings be
ordered. On September 2 of the same year the documents in the case were returned
to the office of Examining Magistrate of the First Term who, by Decree 4005,
ordered the closing of the proceedings and the permanent filing of the case.
After a detailed study of the information provided by the claimant and by
the Government in connection with the arrest and death of Hugo Leonardo de los
Santos Mendoza, the Commission approved a Resolution on case 1783.2
In that Resolution, the Commission declared that all the information made it
presume that Hugo Leonardo de los Santos Mendoza, who had been arrested by the
authorities and was being held in a military unit when he died two days after
his arrest, died as a result of an intracraneal hematoma caused by injuries that
he suffered while he was under detention.
The arrest and death on July 29, 1974 of Nibia Zabalzagaray, a 20-year
old teacher, was denounced to the Commission and registered under case 1870. The
claimants alleged that the teacher, after having been detained by three men in
military uniform and two civilians, “had been interrogated, was tortured and
died within a period of 10 hours.”
The Commission requested that the Government of Uruguay provide the
corresponding information and, after granting it two extensions of 90 and 30
days, received the following reply on July 12, 1975:
The individual in question was arrested on July 29, 1974 and within 24
hours of her detention she committed suicide in her cell.
The competent judicial organ intervened, ordering an opinion from the
forensic physician. His report states “asphyxiation by suspension (hanging)”
as the cause of death.
The intervening Judge, in the absence of proof of any illegality, closed
the proceedings on August 2, 1974.
In light of this response, in a note dated October 24, 1975, the
Commission requested that the Government provide copies of the legal record and
actions taken during the proceedings that were closed by the intervening Judge
on August 2, 1974, “in the absence of proof of any illegality;” also
requested was a copy of the report on the autopsy conducted on the corpse of
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay by note of May 18, 1976
refused to provide the requested copies, presenting the following arguments:
In this regard I would first like to formulate certain statements of
principle in accordance with the statutory provisions concerning the nature and
purpose of the Commission (Articles 1 and 2) and its competence and powers
(Articles 9 and 9 (bis).
The Commission's mandate is “to promote respect for human rights”
(Article 1) and its competence in the area of investigation is “to examine
communications submitted to it and any other available information; to address
the government of any American state for information deemed pertinent by the
Commission; and to make recommendations, when it deems this appropriate, with
the objective of bringing about more effective observance of fundamental human
rights” (Article 9 (bis), paragraph b).
It is clear, from the above cited provisions of the Statute governing its
functioning that the Commission is not a supranational judicial organ having an
adversary procedure whereby the states must produce proof of the reports they
officially prepare at the Commission's request. None of the provisions of the
Statute to which I refer reveals any such obligation nor that the Commission is
empowered to demand it. In any case, it is the party who places the information
provided by my Government in question who must prove its assertions.
In the note to which I reply, my Government is asked to provide
documentary evidence of the information that it provided to this Commission.
Secondly, I must bring to your attention that according to the provisions
of my country's legal system, the judicial proceedings referred to in the note
to which this note is in answer may not be disseminated in the manner implied in
the Commission's request, because by their nature the security of the State is
It is not necessary in this Report to undertake a detailed examination of
the legal questions raised to justify the Government's refusal to satisfy the
request of the IACHR. Nevertheless, the Commission notes, first of all, that
human rights can be violated by the Courts as well as by the Executive, and that
the Commission has full authority, in accordance with the Charter of the OAS,
the Commission's Statute and its Regulations, to request the Government to
provide the information in question. It is likewise authorized to draw the
conclusions that follow from a failure to provide that information (Article 51,
paragraph 1 of the Regulations).
In case 1870, following the exhaustion of domestic legal remedies, the
copies requested constituted the fundamental element of judgment necessary in
order for this body to fully exercise its mandate, granted to it by the American
States, to protect human rights in an effective manner.
Secondly, the Commission wishes to point out that any information
provided to it that might, in its judgment, jeopardize the security of the state
in question, would be maintained in absolute confidentiality.
In connection with the death of Nibia Zabalzagaray, it is appropriate to
refer to the events denounced under case 1954, where the following is alleged:
Three months after the (death of Nibia Zabalzagaray), relatives and
friends placed a headstone on her grave in the Colonia Suiza Cemetery (Colonia
Department). Around June 6, 1975, the police, acting openly and without any
pretense, pulled out the marker and took it away and at the same time detained
Nibia's brother and two uncles. The brother was released the next day, but the
two uncles (one of whom is younger than Nibia herself) are still being held
The pertinent parts of the denunciation were forwarded to the Government
of Uruguay in a note dated August 7, 1975. In a note dated May 20, 1976, the
Government of Uruguay confirmed the detention of relatives of the deceased, as
2) The action referred to in
paragraph 2 of the communication was taken by police authorities of the
Department of Colonia, who detained a group of relatives and friends who tried
to conduct a ceremony to pay tribute to the deceased Nibia Zabalzagaray, placing
a plaque that was clearly political in content, praising her seditious behavior.
In its observations to this reply, the claimant informed the Commission
that the words alleged to be “clearly political in content” were as follows:
“died heroically in the battle for social justice.”
With respect to case 1870, the Commission adopted a Resolution3
in which it declared that all the information made it presume that the cause of
death of Miss Nibia Zabalzagaray, who had been detained and had died ten hours
later while in the custody of the authorities, resulted from acts of violence to
which she was subjected during her detention.
A communication registered as case 1967 denounced the death of Alvaro
Balbi, 30 years of age, on July 29, 1975, in the barracks of the Coraceros
Regiment, located on Avenida Estille y Ordóñez, Montevideo, less than 24 hours
after his arrest by police agents. The claimant attributed the death to acts of
violence committed against Mr. Balbi, whose corpse allegedly showed obvious
signs of mistreatment which a number of individuals attending the wake allegedly
had been able to observe. The father of Mr. Balbi presented, among other
measures, a complaint of homicide before the Examining Magistrate of the Fifth
Term, which was also repeated in a letter to the President of the Republic.
In response to the Commission's request, the Government of Uruguay, after
requesting a 90-day extension of the period for supplying the information,
confirmed in a note dated May 20, 1976, that Mr. Balbi was arrested and died on
the date and at the place indicated. The Government pointed out that the arrest
took place “during a clandestine meeting of the Secretariat of Region 3 of the
proscribed Communist Party with other important leaders.” In closing it added
The autopsy was conducted by Professor Dr. José A. Mautones who
established the cause of death as “acute pulmonary cardiac insufficiency due
to stress” on the corresponding death certificate. On August 29, 1975, at the
prosecutor's request the Military Examining Magistrate of the First Term ordered
the proceedings closed, in accordance with the provisions of Article 245 of the
Military Code of Criminal Procedure.
The proceedings were sent up to the Supreme Military Tribunal by the
Military Judge of First Instance of the Fourth Term, who on December 30, 1975
ordered that the proceedings be closed.
The Commission decided to request that the Uruguayan Government provide a
copy of the complete report of the autopsy conducted on the deceased. This
request was made in a note dated March 3, 1977, but to date the requested
information has not been received.
After a detailed study of the information provided by the claimant and by
the Government, the Commission approved a resolution on case 1967.4
In that Resolution the Commission declared that there is circumstantial evidence
to the effect that Alvaro Balbi, who was detained by the authorities and who was
found dead two days later in prison, died as a result of acts of violence which
the Commission presumes to be confirmed.
The Resolution on case 1967, adopted by the Commission at its
forty-second session (November 1977), was forwarded to the Government of Uruguay
by note of November 17, 1977. In a note of December 15, 1977, that Government
replied to the recommendations made by the IACHR as follows:
In this regard I wish to bring to your attention that my Government feels
that the Resolution in question has no legal value whatever inasmuch as it was
adopted in clear violation of the statutory provisions governing the activity of
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Application of Article 51.1 of the Regulations presuming the events
denounced in connection with the death of Mr. Alvaro Balbi to be confirmed is
not in keeping with the provisions of Article 9 (bis) of the Statute of the
IACHR, paragraphs B and D...
Proceeding as it did, in the resolution under examination, the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights adopted an expansive interpretation of
provisions which goes beyond the commitment agreed to by the member states in
approving the respective Statute. It is clear that to authorize it “to obtain
information deemed pertinent by the Commission” (Article 9 (bis) of the
Statute) does not legally presuppose that it is empowered to require the
submission of documents that form part of the legal proceedings, this being a
matter which by its nature, at least for my country, should be the subject of an
international convention duly ratified by the legislative body.
Moreover, in its response, the Government quoted once again, verbatim,
the legal arguments it had presented in connection with the death of Nibia
Zabalzagaray (see number 25, above).
In its note of December 15, 1977, the Government also stated the
Should such elements of judgment leave any doubt as to the substantive
invalidity of the resolution passed by the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights on November 12, 1977 to which I refer, there is the irrevocable fact that
the internal legal remedies in the case of Alvaro Balbi were not applied
properly nor have they been exhausted; in this regard it should be pointed out
that at no time did the Military Courts—which are competent in this
case—take up the complaint filed by members of his family, as shown by the
proceedings brought before the Examining Magistrate of the Fifth Term (file
labeled “Selmar Hernán Balbi Mazzeo, Complaint – Record A293/75). Thus the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights can hardly arrive at the presumption
in question, since in order to exercise its powers it must first verify
“whether the internal legal procedures and remedies of each member state have
been duly applied and exhausted” (Article 9 (bis) paragraph D) of the Statute.
virtue of the foregoing, the Government concluded, “the observation contained
in paragraph 3 of the Resolution is contrary to law and the recommendation
mentioned under number 4 impertinent.”
With regard to the legal questions raised by the Government concerning
the Commission's authority to request copies of the legal proceedings and the
autopsy report, the Commission wishes to reiterate the statement made in
connection with the case of Nibia Zabalzagaray, Nº 1870. The Commission also
wishes to point out that, beyond any doubt, the domestic legal remedies have
In addition to the deaths of the individuals named under number 4 of this
chapter, the Commission has requested information from the Government of Uruguay
regarding six other individuals who, according to denunciations, were being held
under detention on the date on which they died. The names of these individuals
and the dates of their deaths, according to the claimants, are listed below
together with the number of the respective case:
Ricardo Gil – April 1976 – Case 2036
Luis Ferreira – April 1976 – Case 2036
Elida Alvarez – April 1976 – Case 2036
Ari Cabrera – April 1976 – Case 2036
Eduardo Chissela – April 1976 – Case 2036
Hugo Pereyra – September 1977 – Case 2512
In case 2036, the murders of Ricardo Gil, Elida Alvarez, Luis Ferreira,
Ari Cabrera and Eduardo Chissela were denounced; according to the denunciation,
these individuals had been detained by the Uruguayan police and their mutilated
corpses were discovered on April 22, 1976.
The pertinent parts of the denunciation were forwarded to the Government
of Uruguay by a note dated June 1, 1976. In a note dated December 22, 1976, the
Government of Uruguay responded to the Commission in the following terms:
Ricardo Gil Tribarne ... was arrested on May 24, 1976 for presumably
having reestablished ties with subversive activities, and was incarcerated under
authority of the Prompt Security Measures (Constitution of the Republic, Article
168, paragraph 17).
Elida Alvarez, on file as Elida Rita Vásquez de Armas. She
was detained on May 24, 1976 and incarcerated under authority of the Prompt
Luis Ferreira was detained on May 24, 1976 for presumably ties with
subversive activities, and was incarcerated under authority of the Prompt
Eduardo Chissela, is not registered as detained.
Ari Cabrera, is not registered as detained.
view of the fact that the Government confirmed that two and possibly three of
these individuals were detained subsequent to the date on which their corpses
were allegedly found, the Commission is continuing its investigation of the
case, in accordance with the procedures established in its Regulations.
In case 2512, it was determined that Hugo Pereyra, a 52 year-old
construction worker, after spending several months incommunicado, was submitted
to the Military Jurisdiction and indicted by it in July 1977. According to the
denunciation, in September Pereyra was murdered under torture in army barracks
in Montevideo, and his corpse was turned over to his family “with a number of
hematomas and head wounds.”
The pertinent parts of this denunciation were forwarded to the Government
of Uruguay in a note dated December 5, 1977. The Commission awaits receipt of
the information requested from the Government of Uruguay in order to be able to
clarify the events denounced.
It should be pointed out that in addition to the denunciations mentioned
above, the Commission has recently received denunciations regarding the deaths
of the following individuals who, according to the allegations, were being held
under detention at the time of their deaths.
These denunciations have been admitted for processing under the corresponding procedures, in accordance with the regulations of the Commission.
American Convention on Human Rights – Article 4.
Every person has the right to have his life respected. This right
shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception. No
one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.
In countries that have not abolished the death penalty, it may be
imposed only for the most serious crimes and pursuant to a final judgment
rendered by a competent court and in accordance with a law establishing such
punishment, enacted prior to the commission of the crime. The application of
such punishment shall not be extended to crimes to which it does not
The death penalty shall not be reestablished in states that have
In no case shall capital punishment be inflicted for political
offenses or related common crimes.
Capital punishment shall not be imposed upon persons who, at the time
the crime was committed, were under 18 years of age or over 70 years of age;
nor shall it be applied to pregnant women.
Every person condemned to death shall have the right to apply for
amnesty, pardon, or commutation of sentence, which may be granted in all
cases. Capital punishment shall not be imposed while such a petition is
pending decision by the competent authority.
OEA/Ser.L/V/II.43, doc. 18, February 13, 1978. Approved by the
Commission at its meeting Nº 559, held on January 30, 1978. This Resolution
is now being processed in accordance with Articles 56 and 57 of the
Regulations of the Commission.
OEA/Ser.L/V/II.43, doc. 17, February 13, 1978. Approved by the
Commission at meeting Nº 559 of January 30, 1978. This Resolution is being
processed in accordance with the procedures established in Article 50 and 57
of the Regulations of the Commission.
OEA/Ser.L/II.42, doc. 43, November 12, 1977. Approved by the
Commission at meeting Nº 555, November 12, 1977. This Resolution is being
processed in accordance with the procedure established in Articles 56 and 57
of its Regulations.