The following denunciation was made in a communication of April
January 18 of the present year (1977), Esteban Cabrera, Eduardo Sotero
Franco Venegas, Paraguayan citizens with legal residence in Argentina,
and Lidia Esther Cabrera de Franco, an Argentine citizen, were detained
in the town of Puerto Iguazú in the Province of Misiones.
were taken by members of the National Guard. On the following day,
January 19, the Guard Post was informed that they were to be transferred
to Posadas. A few hours later, officers from the post left Mrs. de
Franco's small girl with family members in Puerto Iguazú.
January 21, there was information in the Second Army Corps, based in
Posadas, that the three 'had been released that same day'. However,
eyewitnesses said that the three detainees had been transferred to the
city of Asunción (Paraguay) 'where they were handed over to the
Paraguayan Police authorities.'
information was confirmed by a family member in Asunción, who verified
the fact that the three were being detained in the Police Investigation
Section in Asunción.
number of habeas corpus suits were entered with the judicial
authorities in Posadas. The response in each case was that they had been
released in Posadas on January 21. No information could be obtained
about their legal or physical status or the reason for their transfer to
In a note of June 30, 1977, the Commission transmitted the
pertinent parts of the denunciation to the Government of Argentina,
asking it to provide the corresponding information.
In a note of September 29, 1977, the Government of Argentina
responded to the Commission's request for information, but failed to
refer to the events denounced, and replied as follows:
Persons deported or released:
CABRERA, Esteban: released 21/1/77.
CABRERA de FRANCO, Lidia Esther: released 21/1/77.
SOTERO FRANCO BENEGAS, Eduardo: released 21/1/77.
In a letter dated October 13, 1977, the pertinent parts of the
Government's reply were transmitted to the complainant, and he was asked
to make his observation to this response.
In a communication dated October 27, 1977, the complainant
replied to the Commission, objecting to the Government's reply, and
reiterating his original denunciation.
In a communication dated June 5, 1978, the Commission wrote to
the Government of Argentina in the following terms:
have the honor de write to Your Excellency, in reference to the
above-mentioned case, to ask you kindly to report to the Commission as
to the reason for the detention of Esteban Cabrera, Lidia E. Cabrera de
Franco y Eduardo Sotero Franco B., detention and release of whom was
reported to the Commission by your Government in Note SC 252 of
September 29, 1977 of the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the OAS.
would be most grateful if you could provide us copies of the warrants
ordering the detention and release of the afore-mentioned persons."
date, the Commission has not received the information requested.
The Commission received additional information from the
complainant in a note dated June 5, 1978, in which he stated:
Cabrera Maíz, a citizen of Paraguay, and Lidia Cabrera Maíz, a citizen
of Argentina with her husband Eduardo Franco, a citizen of Paraguay have
been violently kidnapped from their homes in the city of Iguazú,
Province of Misiones, Argentina, on January 18, 1977, presumably by
Paraguayan authorities together with Argentine forces. Initially, there
was no information about them, but it was later found out that they had
been taken to Iguazú and handed over to the Guard authorities of E1
Dorado (Argentina). From E1 Dorado, they were taken incommunicado
and in secret to the city of Posadas, where they were handed over to the
Argentine army, whose regimental commander was at that time Colonel
with the knowledge and the responsibility of this Colonel of the
Argentine army still held incommunicados, they were delivered to
the Paraguayan Police and Army, clandestinely in the border city of
Encarnación (Paraguay), and from there taken to the capital city of
Asunción, to the dark and sinister Investigation Police, where they
were humiliated, denigrated and inhumanly tortured.
Cabrera Maíz is the mother of two small children, one is two years old
and the other 10 months, who were with their parents during this unjust,
despicable journey and were still kept with them in the Emboscada
people in question, who are now detained in the Emboscada (Paraguay)
penal colony, are humble people, but honest, upright and hardworking.
The truth is that they have no political orientation or militancy; and
so the real cause of such violent and arbitrary treatment, which was in
violation of all the rules of international law, of guarantees and
protection of persons and of sacred human rights, is unknown.
me, Mr. Executive Secretary, to point out to you that the undersigned is
neither a politician nor an exile; I am simple a young Paraguayan
musician, and I travel the world as an artist to earn my living in an
honest and decent fashion.
comment on the true drama of Esteban, Lidia and her husband Eduardo
Franco and of the two children, the oldest barely 2 years old and the
youngest 10 months old, who were with their parents in the Emboscada
prison, would be quite superfluous."
In a communication of October 24, 1978, the Commission
transmitted to the Argentine Government the pertinent parts of the
additional information, and requested it to provide reports on the case,
these have not been forthcoming to date.
The Paraguayan Government reported to the Commission on a note
(04740/78 of July 24, 1978, and 0473/78 of July 27, 1978), on the
release of Esteban and Lidia Cabrera, as follows:
note of July 24, 1978: "Mr. Executive Secretary: I have the
pleasure to write to you to inform you of the names of the persons
released by the Government of my country, persons who had been accused
of violating the provisions of Law 209:
20. Lidia CABRERA
of July 27, 1978: "Mr. Executive Secretary: I have the pleasure to
write to you to inform you that on the 25th of this month, Mr. Esteban
CABRERA MAIZ was released."
10. On December 28,
1978, the Commission received additional information from the claimant
reporting the released of Esteban and Lidia Cabrera and Eduardo Sotero.
He also confirmed the manner in which they had been delivered to the
Paraguayan authorities by Argentina, without a legal warrant, with no
legal proceedings and under degrading human conditions.
Article 51.1 of the Regulations of the Commission provides that:
The occurrence of the events on which information has been
requested will be presumed to be confirmed if the Government referred to
has not supplied such information within 180 days of the request,
provided always, that the invalidity of the events denounced is now
shown by other elements of proof."
The Government of Argentina, in a note of September 29, 1977,
acknowledges having released the aforementioned persons on January 21,
1977, and has failed to reply to the Commission's request for
information made in its note of June 5, 1978.
Likewise, it has not replied to the communication of October 24,
1978, in which the denunciation was confirmed and additional information
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, RESOLVES:
In application of Article 51.1 of the Regulations of the
Commission, to presume to be confirmed the material facts of the
denunciation related to the detention by agents of the Government of
Argentina of Mr. Esteban Cabrera, Mrs. Lidia Cabrera and Mr. Eduardo
Sotero Franco, and the manner in which they were delivered to the
Government of Paraguay, without fulfilling the requirements established
for this type of action.
To declare that the Government of Argentina violated the right to
life, liberty and personal security (Article I); the right to residence
and movement (Article VIII), and the right to protection from arbitrary
arrest (Article XXV) of the American Declaration of the Rights and
Duties of Man.
To recommend to the Government of Argentina: a) that it order a
complete, impartial investigation to determine responsibility for the
events denounced; b) that it sanction those responsible for these events
in accordance with Argentine law; c) to inform the Commission within a
maximum of thirty days as to the measures taken to put into practice the
recommendations listed in the present Resolution.
To communicate this Resolution to the Government of Argentina and
to the claimant.
To include this Resolution in the Annual Report to the General
Assembly of the Organization of American States pursuant to Article 9
(bis), paragraph c. iii of the Statute of the Commission, without
prejudice to the fact that the Commission may reconsider the case at its
next session in the light of such measures as the Government may have
at the 607th meeting of March 5, 1979 (46th Session) and transmitted to
the Government of Argentina on March 23, 1979).