As part of its mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights, the IACHR has been examining the human rights situation in the countries of the hemisphere, and has drawn up special reports on some of them.


          These reports have been prepared on the initiative of the Commission, following the instructions of one of the organs of the Organization of American States, or else, occasionally, at the unprompted request of the State in question. The Commission understands that the reports themselves and the debates that their publication occasioned may have contributed either to a change in a State's approach to the observance of human rights, or to a demonstration that the State is in fact adhering to its international commitments in the area of human rights.


          Over the last twelve years, the Commission has prepared 22 such reports on fourteen States. As a general rule, the Commission's annual reports to the General Assembly have contained a follow-up, whenever there were reasons for the Commission to continue to monitor the human rights observance of a particular state.


          The Commission presented two special reports to the fifteenth regular session of the General Assembly, on Chile and Suriname (the fourth and second, respectively, on those nations that the Commission has prepared). Its annual report for 1984-85 also included sections on the human rights situation in Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua and Paraguay.


          In the Commission's view, even though some major, positive changes have occurred in some of these states, particularly in Guatemala and Haiti, the Commission is warranted in finding that all the countries mentioned should again be considered in the present annual report.


          In order to ensure that the information is as complete as possible, the Commission on June 10, 1986, requested the eight states mentioned above to provide the Commission with any information they judged advisable, and especially regarding the fulfillment of previous recommendations issued by the Commission; on the progress made and the difficulties encountered in ensuring the observance of human rights; and on the texts of the laws enacted and the jurisprudence of the courts which might have had an impact on the observance of human rights.


          Where pertinent, the Governments' responses were taken into account in drafting the present chapter, together with other information from a variety of sources available to the Commission.


          The following sections deal with the human rights situation in Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Suriname from October 1, 1985, the date of approval of last year's annual report to the date of approval of the present report.




          The Commission has continued to observe the state of human rights in Cuba during the period covered by this report. It is thus updating the information presented in its previous annual reports, which contributed some new data to that which it had been able to obtain and had become available subsequent to its Seventh Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba prepared in 1983.


          On this occasion, the Commission must again emphasize that the Government of Cuba has continued to deny it cooperation during this period. This prevents it from learning the opinion and point of view of that government on the general state of human rights in that country and especially on the particular situations presented in the individual cases being processed. The Commission hopes that the Government of Cuba will change its policy, which is preventing the achievement of the goals and purposes for which the IACHR was established, which will facilitate the task of collecting information, a task upon which it has embarked with the intention of preparing a Special Report.


          The subsequent information that has become available to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights enables it to state that the situation of human rights in Cuba is not very different from that described in the evaluation contained in the 1983 Report and in its last Annual Report. Therefore, the two fundamental factors that have led to a lack of observance of civil and political rights persist: the concentration of power in the hands of a small group of persons since the beginning of the present political process, and the non-existence of a constitutional state since individuals are deprived of the remedies that protect them against acts of the state.


          In its previous Annual Report the Commission expressed the hope that domestic and international conditions would be created that would permit former political prisoners released by the Government of Cuba as well as their family members to leave that country and settle in the country of their choice. This was the result of a series of efforts made by the U.S. Episcopal Conference and by the explorer Jacques Cousteau with the Cuban authorities. Senator Edward Kennedy succeeded in obtaining the release of Mr. Ricardo Montero Duque, one of the Commanders of the Bay of Pigs invasion. The Commission must reiterate this statement at this time, which refers especially to the entry facilities, which ought to be provided by the immigration agencies of the United States, thereby to carry out the commitments adopted during the dialogue, which resulted in the freeing of persons in 1979. Estimates provided to the Commission state that approximately 1,500 persons are affected by this situation.


          The Commission has learned that 70 “plantado” (long term) political prisoners have been freed and that 69 departed from Cuba—one, unfortunately died on the way to the airport—as well as 43 relatives.


          Information provided to the Commission indicates that approximately 110 “plantados” political prisoners remain in detention, regarding which the Commission expresses its hope that these persons will soon be released. The Commission must point out that as regards the number of “plantado” prisoners, as well as the number of political prisoners, in general, it is very difficult to provide exact information since the Cuban government does not permit international supervision in this very important area.


          As regard entities which defend human rights, a case of particular concern to the IACHR has been that of Mr. Ricardo Bofil Pagés, who was the President of the University of Havana and was released, after having been deprived of his freedom for eight years on conviction for charges that were clearly of a political nature. Mr. Bofil had established an organization for the defense of human rights while in prison and was interested in continuing those activities after his release. In August however, Mr. Bofil had to seek asylum, in the French Embassy in Cuba because of persistent threats to which he was subject. The IACHR hopes that a rapid solution will be found to the situation which affects Mr. Bofil.


          The Commission has also learned that several days after Mr. Bofil sought asylum, the Cuban authorities arrested Messrs. Domingo Delgado Castro and José Luis Alvarado Delgado, both belonging to the human rights defense body presided over by Mr. Bofil. Pursuant to the information submitted both have been accused by the authorities of being “terrorists who are acting against the Cuban State,” for which reason “they do not represent human rights.” The Commission must profoundly regret this type of action on the part of the Cuban Government which impedes the activity of independent bodies to defend the elementary rights of the human person.


          The Commission has been following closely the recent events relating to relations between the Government of Cuba and the Catholic Church. The process which has been taking place in this regard culminated in February of this year, when the Cuban National Ecclesiastical Meeting was held for the first time and attended by Cardinal Eduardo Pironio as the representative of the Pope. It is significant that the Government of Cuba has demonstrated its willingness to enter into a dialogue with the Catholic community of Cuba, thus to modifying the negative pattern of behavior it has maintained for a long time.


          The Commission hopes that this improvement in the relations between the Government and the Catholic Church will have a positive impact on religious freedom and especially on the possibility of persons professing a religious belief to have access to decision-making positions, which will thus eliminate the monopoly so far held by members of the Communist Party of Cuba. The Commission also hopes that this may be translated into the grant of greater facilities for the dissemination of religious beliefs through the media and that this process will also have a positive impact on the Cuban educational system.




          1.          Background


          The Commission has continued to monitor the state of human rights in Chile during the period covered by this Annual Report. Since 1974, when the Commission devoted its first special report to that country, the state of human rights there has been dealt with in special reports approved in 1976, 1977 and 1985. In its 1978-1984 reports, the Commission updated the information contained in the special reports. This section is devoted therefore to an update covering the period October 1985-September 1986, subsequent to the approval of the last special report prepared by the IACHR.


          For a long time the Commission has been expressing its concern about the dangerous radicalization produced by the political extremes in Chile. Thus, in its 1983-84 Annual Report, in the section dealing with that country, the Commission stated that, if the deterioration of human rights was not halted and the increasing political antagonism, solved “through peaceful and rational means, the use of violence and of force could take on alarming characteristics, with extremely serious consequences for the observance” of those rights.


          In its 1985 Report on the State of Human Rights in Chile the Commission stated that


         The disregard of political rights arising from the rigid adherence to the provisions of that Constitution has caused a dangerous increase in social tensions which the Government has encouraged through the means with which it has tried to repress them; that situation is aggravated by the lack of willingness of its members and of its institutional support, the Armed and Security Forces, to consider the various proposals for reversing the polarization which characterizes Chilean political life today.


          The serious events that have occurred in the period covered by this report and are described below, have confirmed what was stated by the Commission and clearly reflect a worsening of the situation. Peaceful solutions and rational positions are losing ground to actions arising from extreme political postures that give preference to the use of violence as a means of solving political problems, all of which can only augur an even further deterioration in the state of human rights.


          2.          States of exception


          During the period covered by this report, a state of emergency has continued to be in force in Chile. The State of Danger of Disturbance of the Peace was imposed by Decree Nº 1.130 of September 10, 1985 and was renewed by Decree Nº 170 of March 6, 1986, which was in force until September 10, 1986 and was subsequently renewed for a further period of six months. This type of state of emergency is provided for in Transitional Provision 24 of the Constitution, pursuant to which the President of the Republic may arrest persons for periods of between 5 and 20 days, depending on the circumstances, restrict the right of assembly and of freedom of information—the last mentioned applying to the establishment of new information media--; prohibit the entry of persons to Chile or to expel them there from, for purely ideological reasons; and order the enforced residence of such persons as he deems necessary in any place in the country for a period of 90 days.


          Also in force during that period has been the State of Emergency imposed by Decrees No. 1.994 of December 12, 1985, No. 221 of March 14, 1986, and No. 684 of June 9, 1986. This category of state of emergency grants extraordinary powers to the administrative and military authorities, pursuant to which they are entitled to restrict freedom of movement, prohibit the entry into or exit from Chile of such persons as they deem necessary, suspend or restrict the right of assembly, restrict freedom of information and of opinion and impose censorship on correspondence and communications.


          The combined effect of these two states of emergency—State of Emergency and State of Danger of Disturbance—is to give the President and military authorities a large number of resources. As a result, the President of the Republic enjoys even greater powers than the Judicial Branch; as has been repeatedly pointed out by the IACHR, these states of exception have become the legal formality used to adopt various measures instrumental to human rights.


          On the basis of the states of exception mentioned above, the right of assembly was made subject to restrictions by means of Edicts No. 42, 43, 44 and 45 of the Chief of the Emergency Zone of the Metropolitan Region, which continue the ban on holding “political party” meetings throughout the period covered by this report.


          On September 7, 1986, the Government declared a State of Siege pursuant to Supreme Decree No. 1037 because of an attempt on the life of the President, in which five of his bodyguards were killed, 11 were wounded, and he himself was slightly wounded in one hand.


          In accordance with the provisions of the State of Siege, the President is empowered to transfer persons from one place to another in the national territory, expel them from it or prevent them from entering or leaving; he may also restrict freedom of movement and of expression, close down whichever publications he deems advisable; he may also arrest persons, and impose censorship on correspondence and communications. These powers are superimposed on those already granted by the State of Emergency and those conferred on him by the State of Danger of Disturbance of the Peace, and constitute a system that excessively limits the rights and guarantees of persons vis-à-vis the power of the State.


          3.          Right to Life


          With respect to the right to life, the Commission must first refer to the case of Manuel Guerrero Ceballos, Santiago Nattino Allende and José Manuel Parada Maluenda, which was presented in the 1985 special report and, at the time that report was approved, was the subject of a proceeding before the Chilean courts. As stated in that report, the above-mentioned persons were kidnapped on a public thoroughfare by unidentified and heavily armed civilians—Mr. Nattino on March 28, 1985 and Messrs. Guerrero and Parada on the following day—and were found with their throats cut on March 30 on a rural road near Santiago.


          Mr. José Cánovas Robles, the examining judge appointed to investigate these serious events, reached the conclusion that there were good reasons to believe that members of the Carabineros had been involved in these crimes and therefore he declared himself incompetent and transferred the proceedings to the military judge. This judge in turn declared himself to be incompetent since he was of the opinion that the crimes that were the cause of the proceeding fell under the provisions of the Anti-terrorist Law since their purpose had been to “create terror in the population, consisting in the elimination of the expression of dissent as regards the conduct of national life.”


          The investigation carried out by Judge Cánovas led to the arrest of two Colonels, one Major, two Captains and two non-commissioned officers of the Carabineros. The aftereffects of this case provoked the resignation of General César Mendoza, Director General of the Carabineros and member of the Government Junta since September 11, 1973 as well as the dissolution of DICOMCAR, an agency of the Carabineros that had allegedly carried out the kidnappings and assassinations. In its 1985 special report, the Commission stated that it hoped that “the case now under way will lead to the identification and punishment of the persons responsible for the execution of so culpable an act.” Nevertheless, 18 months after the commission of so horrendous a crime, not a single person has been tried, much less convicted.


          The information supplied to the Commission by agencies for the defense of human rights in this area, indicates that, between October 1985 and June 1986, 34 persons died as a result of actions attributable to government agents. The circumstances surrounding these deaths have been classified into actions of abuse of authority because of unnecessary violence; alleged confrontations; and indiscriminate use of firearms.


          In July, and on the occasion of the protest called by the Civic Assembly for the 2nd and 3rd of that month, eight deaths resulted. The dispute surrounding the circumstances of one of those deaths, and serious bodily harm in another of the victims warrants special treatment. The first is that of Rodrigo Rojas De Negri, a 19 year old student, who lived in Washington, D.C., and was visiting Chile, and the second, that of Carmen Gloria Quintana, an 18 year old student.


          According to the petition submitted to the Commission, on July 2, 1986, at about 8:00 a.m., Rojas and Quintana were arrested by an army patrol near a place where there was material for building a barricade. According to the petition they were severely beaten by the soldiers, drenched with an inflammable liquid, set on fire, wrapped in blankets, and driven in a vehicle to the outskirts of Santiago where they were dumped. Rodrigo Rojas died on July 6 as a result of burns and had broken ribs and a broken jaw; Carmen Gloria Quintana is still hospitalized and remains in a serious condition, also because of burns, and has several broken teeth.


          On July 2, the Minister of the Interior requested the appointment of an examining judge to investigate the facts while the Department of Public Relations of the Army categorically denied the involvement of army personnel in the events referred to. As a result of the request of the Minister of the Interior, the Santiago Appeals Court appointed Judge Alberto Echevarría Lorca to prepare the case. On July 11, the IACHR received a communication making serious objections to the appointment of Judge Echevarría who, according to that communication, had closed the case of the student, Eduardo Jara Aravena, who died as a result of torture, “for insufficient evidence.”


          On July 18, 1980 the Commander of the Santiago Army Garrison issued a communiqué according to which, and pursuant to the investigations carried out,


. . .


         on July 2, when a military patrol was ensuring public order, it came upon a group of persons who were attempting to disturb the peace and were carrying flammable material in containers designed for that purpose. Those persons included Carmen Gloria Quintana and Rodrigo Rojas De Negri. In addition, according to information provided by the personnel mentioned in the foregoing paragraph, when one of the cans containing the inflammable material was knocked over by one of the persons detained, the clothing of the above-mentioned persons caught fire but was put out having been smothered with blankets which the military personnel were carrying.


         3. As a result, the Commander of this Garrison has ordered the arrest of the three officers, five non-commissioned officers and 17 conscripts, who allegedly participated in the above-mentioned events and this evening has sent an official letter to the examining judge, Mr. Alberto Echevarría Lorca, informing him of this information and making the above-mentioned personnel available to him so that he may investigate their participation and degree of responsibility, if any, in accordance with the law.


          On July 23, Judge Echevarría Lorca, on the basis of the statements of the military personnel involved in the events, issued the following opinion:


         a) that Rodrigo Rojas De Negri and Carmen Quintana Arancibia were detained on July 2 by a military patrol that was ensuring the flow of traffic and temporarily kept them in the place where they were arrested, side by side and near combustible material which caught fire because of a movement made by the girl which resulted in the dropping and breaking of a bottle containing one of these combustible materials, which caused serious burns to the two above-mentioned persons and subsequently caused the death of the first mentioned; and b) that appropriate steps were not taken for the immediate medical treatment of the persons affected but rather they were released after a short time in a place and under conditions unsuitable for obtaining treatment.


          On the basis of this reasoning, Judge Echevarría unconditionally released all the persons arrested with the exception of Lieutenant Pedro Fernández Dittus, who was in charge of the patrol, since he considered him to be the alleged author of the quasi-delict of homicide and serious bodily harm. The quasi-delict applied by the examining judge is defined in Article 2 of the Chilean Penal Code and is applicable only when there is negligence in the person who commits the punishable action but not intentional injury or malice, which circumstances would constitute an offense. Since military personnel were involved, the examining judge declared himself incompetent and transferred the records to the military courts.


          In view of this situation, Monsignor Francisco Fresno, the Cardinal Archbishop of Santiago, issued a public statement in which he said that:


         Our pastoral mission requires us to express our deep concern about the serious moral deterioration evident in the case of the burned youths and the unease which the text of the resolution on it of the examining judge has given rise to.


         In that resolution, which acknowledges that these young persons “were detained on July 2 by a military patrol” it is stated that “they were released”, “in a place and under conditions unsuitable for obtaining”…”the immediate medical treatment of the persons affected”…because of an event that had caused them “serious burns”.


         It is easy to see that this explanation has been clearly insufficient in view of the deep concern these events have caused in the national community. Accordingly, we cal upon the Supreme Court to take the necessary steps to get to the bottom of this investigation and to ensure that justice will prevail.


         The country has been witness to a great many criminal acts that have gone unpunished and of a great many investigations that have been incapable of identifying the persons responsible for the crimes that have aroused public opinion. The case that is now being investigated, which has affected every one with a clean conscience, must not be another case that goes unpunished and unexplained.


         The prestige of the Chilean Army and of the Courts, fundamental institutions of the Republic, are at stake in this proceeding, which heightens the obligation to carry out a thorough and careful investigation.


         Furthermore, we must again recall that justice is essential if social peace, which all Chileans desire, is to be achieved.


          With the dissenting vote of Mr. Rafael Retamal, its President, the Supreme Court “regretted” the statement of Monsignor Fresno. In a separate vote, two members of the Court stated that they regretfully disapproved of the content of that statement.


          On July 23, the Commission received a telegram from the President of the Chilean Bar Association which informed it that pursuant to a resolution of the Seventh National Congress of Lawyers, it had been decided to request the IACHR to carry out an on site investigation of the events that had resulted in the death of Rodrigo Rojas and of the serious bodily harm to Carmen Quintana. On the following day, Mrs. Veronica De Negri, the mother of Rodrigo Rojas, made a similar request. Accordingly, the Chairman of the Commission transmitted that request to the Government of Chile by cable on July 28, 1986.


          On August 12, 1986, the Military Court, intervened in the case pursuant to an appeal lodged by the lawyers of the family members of the victims, decided to change the criminal charges made by the examining judge and to indict Lieutenant Fernández Dittus with the offense of “unnecessary violence resulting in death and serious bodily harm”. In a dissenting vote, Judge Torres Silva of the Military Appeals Court also instructed the military examining magistrate to continue to investigate the facts, including the offenses arising from the actions of the victims and of witnesses, if any.


          Information supplied to the Commission indicates that the Military Prosecutor on August 22 ordered the arrest of one of the important witnesses in these proceedings and that on August 23 another witness was kidnapped for eight hours by a group of persons who threatened him in order to make him change his testimony which incriminated the military.


          On August 25 the Commission received a reply from the Government of Chile rejecting its request for an on site investigation of the events denounced, on the grounds that:


         an active judicial investigation is underway (in which) the first part of the proceeding was the responsibility of a Civilian Judge, a career official, a judge of the Santiago Court of Appeals, of proven independence, appointed by the Court in plenary.


. . .


         it is a case that is clearly “sub-judice”, it is being fully investigated and responsibilities are already beginning to emerge. Several stages of the proceeding are still pending. In these circumstances, it is clear that internal remedies have by no means been exhausted, which would justify the eventual intervention of an international body having jurisdiction on these matters.


. . .


         notwithstanding the statutory grounds which at present make the petition to which a reply is being given inappropriate at this time, it would be counterproductive since it would interfere with, or create a parallel proceeding, to the investigation under way. In addition, it would be in conflict with clear principles of Chilean domestic law.


          The Commission regrets this decision of the Chilean Government, which has prevented it from obtaining the information, which would have been available to it from such a visit.


          Human rights bodies in Chile have stated that the following questions remain in the present case: if it was an accident, how could it have happened that, since the victims were in the custody of the military patrol, only they were burned? since they had been arrested for terrorist offenses, how is it that they were released according to Judge Echevarría? since 25 members of the patrol were near the victims, how was it possible for them to burn for so long so as to cause burns over 62 percent of their bodies without those that had detained them intervening? how was it possible for so much of their clothing to have burned if it had not previously been soaked in gasoline?


          The Commission is profoundly disturbed by the resolution adopted by Judge Echeverría with respect to the victims who were “released” on the basis of the information available regarding the death of Rodrigo Rojas as a result of the burns suffered, and the serious bodily harm suffered by Carmen Gloria Quintana, it is extremely difficult to understand how a judge could have reached this conclusion. In the face of it, the Commission finds itself obliged to note its serious concern about the norms, which regulate due process in Chile, such as are reflected in the above-mentioned sentence.


          Eighteen months after the crime that affected Messrs. Parada, Guerrero and Nattino, mentioned earlier, no person has been tried, let alone convicted; despite the abundance of evidence available, the events have not been judicially clarified. The facts surrounding the death of Rodrigo Rojas and the serious bodily harm to Carmen Gloria Quintana must not, in the opinion of the Commission, go unexplained.


          The IACHR again hopes that the military courts will continue their investigations until they clarify the circumstances of the crime and identify the persons responsible for it. In this regard the Commission deems it appropriate to refer to its 1985 special report, which stated:


The experience of the Commission leads it to believe that, in addition to the immediate exigencies of justice, it is also advisable for the very integrity and prestige of the Armed Forces that their own courts take upon themselves the prompt and severe punishment of the persons responsible for those violations. This is also a fundamental requirement for the stability of the democratic regime that will inevitably have to be installed, and constitutes the only valid evidence that, when those violations of human rights have occurred, they have been the result of actions by isolated individuals and not of governmental policy.


          On the night of September 7-8, another event relative to the right to life occurred. Heavily armed and unidentified civilians broke into the homes of José Carrasco, a leader of the Journalists Association and international Editor of the news magazine Análisis, of Fernando Vidaurrázaga, a student, and of Felipe Rivera Gajardo, an electrical fitter. Their corpses were found the next day, the first two with multiple bullet wounds and the third dead from beatings. The latter two had been seized during the hour in which the circulation of private vehicles was forbidden—2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.—and the journalist, Carrasco, a few minutes after 5:00 a.m.


          4.          Right to personal integrity


          The Commission has also been informed of serious violations of personal integrity in the form of torture and unlawful coercion, which led to the lodging of 38 complaints before the Chilean courts. This figure is subject to two limitations: it refers only to the Santiago courts and covers the period from October 1985 to June 1986. With respect to the bodily harm caused by unnecessary and indiscriminatory violence, also connected with events reported in Santiago, the Commission has been informed that the number of persons affected amounts to 251, also in the period October 1985 to June 1986.


          5.          Right to personal liberty


          With respect to personal liberty, the types of action used by the Government of Chile have led to a sharp increase in the number of persons affected. In fact, in the period covered by this report there have been three causes which resulted in deprivation of liberty: individual arrest, arrest during the public meetings, and sweeps carried out in poor districts. As a result, in the last three months of 1985, 1,777 persons were arrested. In the first half of 1986 a total of 5,008 persons were arrested during public demonstrations and 12,755 persons were detained for some hours during sweeps in poor districts, also during the same period; of that number, 1,322 were detained. The total figure provided by agencies for the defense of human rights is 19,085 persons in the first half of 1986.


          As a result of the state of siege imposed on September 7, 44 persons were arrested, including prominent opposition politicians such as Ricardo Lagos, Germán Correa, Patricio Hales, Pascual Barraza and Rafael Marotto. Five priests, of whom two are members of the Maryknoll order, were arrested; they included the superior of the order in Chile, Terence Candias, and three French priests: Pierre Du Bois, Danuel Caruette and Jaime Lancelot. The two priests of the Maryknoll order were released shortly afterwards and the three French priests were expelled from the country on September 11 despite a request for reconsideration of the measure made by the Cardinal Archbishop of Santiago.


          In addition, with respect to personal freedom, the forced administrative relocation of 29 persons in November 1985 warrants mention. The Commission has continued to receive information about the adverse conditions in which such forced relocation is undergone. As already described in other documents the forced relocation is imposed by the President of Chile pursuant Transitional Provision 24 of the Constitution. The only remedy that lies is an appeal for reconsideration to the President himself, who imposed the penalty. In 1986 up to the time to the approval of this report, no such penalty has been imposed.


          6.          Intervention of the Armed Forces and action of paramilitary groups


          Two aspects have caused considerable anxiety during the period covered by this report. The first is the involvement of the Armed Forces in actions for repressing demonstrations or carrying out sweeps in poor districts in search of suspected persons. The military training of the Armed Forces hardly equips them for the task of maintaining order and it should be pointed out that the experience of earlier years has been extremely negative because of the number of dead and wounded attributed to the intervention of the Armed Forces.


          The other aspect that is a cause of concern is the open intervention of “unidentified civilians” that take action against demonstrators. The Commission mentioned this aspect in its 1983-1984 Annual Report. Accordingly, it is in order to insist on the seriousness of this type of action because of the events that occurred on October 15, 1985 when three heavily armed civilians fired, from a vehicle painted as a taxi, into the San Cayetano parish church in the community of La Legua. On the following day, a telephone call to Radio Cooperativa said that the Chilean Anti-Communist Action Organization (ACHA) was responsible for the attempt, the purpose of which was to frighten Padre Guido Peters, the parish priest of San Cayetano. At the time the shots were fired, some journalists were present; one of them took photographs of the automobile and of the attackers.


          As a result of judicial proceedings before it, the Court of Appeals of the Pedro Aguirre Cerda Department reached the conclusion that the three assailants were staff members of the National Intelligence Agency, which fact was subsequently acknowledged by that institution. It has so far not been possible to complete the judicial proceedings since the leader of the group was transferred to Punta Arenas; this expedient has already been used by the National Intelligence Agency on earlier occasions.


          The use of groups of civilians, who subsequently prove to be connected with the security forces and participate in acts seriously detrimental to the personal safety, and even the life, of citizens, is extremely dangerous. The Commission refers to paramilitary groups, whose actions in no way help contribute to the creation of a positive climate in Chile. It should be recalled that it was heavily armed and unidentified civilians who, in the street and in daylight, seized Messrs. Guerrero and Parada who were subsequently found with their throats cut. It was also groups of this type that arrested the members of the opposition murdered on September 8 during the curfew hours.


          7.          The right to freedom of expression


          The right to freedom of expression has continued to be restricted pursuant to the provisions attendant upon the states of emergency in force. Thus, during the period covered by this report, Exempt Decrees No. 324, and 5.859, of the Ministry of the Interior were in force. Information media are not allowed to report or to editorialize on events or behavior included in Law No. 18.314 (known as the antiterrorist law); about “political party” activities or persons, organizations, groups or movements that spread “doctrines that are harmful to the family, advocate violence or a conception of society or the state or of that juridical system that is totalitarian in nature or based on the class struggle”; according to the above-mentioned decrees, the information media may not report notices of public meetings or of any type of demonstration that may give rise to breaches of the peace.


          During the period covered by this report, proceedings were temporarily stayed in the case of Mr. Juan Pablo Cárdenas, the Managing Editor of Análisis and in that of Fernando Paulsen, Alicia Oliva, Felipe Pozo (journalist of the same magazine) and Ignacio Balbontín, a columnist. The Ministry of the Interior had requested that they be tried for offenses against the provisions restricting freedom of expression issued under the state of emergency.


          According to the charges filed by the Minister of the Interior, the offenses derive from the publication, in several issues of the above-mentioned news magazine, of information on the elections of the national leaders of the Christian Democratic Party, on the Congress of the Socialist Party in Chile and the National Congress of the Mapu Party, on the establishment of a civilian front and the convention of the Radical Party. The charges also include that the provisions on freedom of expression have been breached by the transcription of an interview with Gabriel Valdés, and another interview with Luis Corvalán. In addition to other similar information, the brief of the Minister of the Interior states that:


                   The opinions and news items mentioned in the foregoing paragraph constitute a clear breach of the provisions of paragraph c) of Article 1 of the above-mentioned Decree 324, which expressly provides for the restriction of activities or undertakings prohibited in Transitional Provision 10 of the Constitution, which in turn stipulates: “Until the constitutional law on the organization of political parties enters into force … it shall be forbidden to carry or promote any activity, action or undertaking of a political party nature, either by natural or legal persons, organizations, institutions or groups of persons. Any person who infringes this prohibition shall be liable to the penalties provided for in the law.”


                   No effort of imagination, dialectic or interpretation is necessary to conclude that all the facts mentioned in paragraph V are essentially of the nature envisaged in the constitutional provision reproduced above.


          Another event connected with freedom of expression during the period to which this report refers, was the imprisonment, pursuant to a judicial order, of Renato Hevia Rivas, a Jesuit priest and editor of the magazine Mensaje. On May 14, 1985 the Minister of the Interior submitted charges that Father Hevia be tried for offenses against the provisions of the Law on State Security. In the opinion of the Minister, the articles and editorials in that magazine signed by the editor since 1983 had been inciting or inducing disobedience in the members of the Armed Forces, spreading information designed to destroy the existing system of government and insulting the authorities, offending the Head of State, attacking the Carabineros, belittling the Constitution, calling on citizens to rebel against the Government, spreading doctrines that are illegal under the Constitution, and belittling the Judiciary.


          When Mr. Marcos Libedinsky, the examining judge closed the first part of the proceedings without indicting Father Hevia, the First Division of the Court of Appeal, by a majority vote, reversed the decision, indicting the above-mentioned priest, and issued a warrant for his arrest pursuant to which he was imprisoned on December 4, 1985 in the Capuchinos Prison in Santiago.


          It is interesting to note that the decision of the First Division of the Supreme Court was adopted by a majority vote but that Mr. Mario Garrido, a professional judge, voted against it. The other two judges who were in favor of the indictment and imprisonment of the priest are the lawyers Jorge Varela and José Bernales, who were appointed by the Government, which was to confirm them in their posts on December 31, and who have carried out confidential assignments for the military government. When appeals were lodged both by the lawyers of Father Hevia and the representative of the Minister of the Interior, the priest was released on bail on December 18 after proceedings had been stayed temporarily by the examining judge. On December 27 the Fourth Division of the Court of Appeals upheld the decision.


          In February, several steps for the strict application of measures restricting freedom of expression were taken. Again, the news magazine Análisis was the target of diverse measures, as were persons who had granted it interviews. Thus, the journalist Fernando Paulsen, who was acting editor of the news magazine, was accused of slandering the Carabineros in an interview on Parada, Guerrero and Nattino. A manifesto, also published in Análisis, led to the arrest of Mr. Manuel Sanhueza, leader of the Democratic Intransigence Movement (MID) on charges of promoting the overthrow of the government. An interview with Andrés Palma, a leader of the Christian Democratic Youth Movement, also published in Análisis, led to his arrest.


          On July 3, 1986, the Government again charged Mr. Juan Pablo Cárdenas, the managing editor of the Análisis, for offenses against the norms regulating the exercise of freedom of expression under a state of emergency. According to the Government, the magazine had been guilty of “actions of a criminal nature including insulting the President, encouragement of an incitement to acts of violence, and constant appeals to disregard the authority of the government”. Subsequently, the Ministry of the Interior expanded the charges to include another 29 persons who had allegedly infringed the Law on Internal State Security by means of articles published in that magazine, opinions expressed in it, and by interviews granted to it.


          Mr. Leonel Beraud, the judge concerned, suspended the publication of Análisis for three issues, and its managing editor was detained for 28 days in the month of August. On September 2, Judge Beraud admitted another complaint from the Municipality of Santiago and suspended the publication of Análisis for another three weeks. The grounds for this complaint were also alleged breaches of the Law on Internal State Security.


          On September 1, the Military Prosecutor ordered the seizure of 25,000 copies of the review Cauce due to the fact that the National Intelligence Agency was of the opinion that that issue might be found “eventually to contain information that would constitute a violation of the Code of Military Justice.” This review had published information casting doubt on the Government's version of the facts relating to the discovery of a large arsenal of weapons in the northern area of Chile. This information led the Military Prosecutor to lodge a complaint against the editor and a journalist of Cauce for insulting the Armed Forces and they were detained for two days.


          During the protests organized by the opposition on July 2 and 3, the Mayor of Santiago and Commander of the Emergency Area issued Edict No. 46, ordering the Chilena, Cooperativa, Carrera and Santiago radio stations to limit themselves to “transmitting commercial advertisements, music, and official information of the Government.” The prohibition remained in force until July 7, 1986 when the Edict was annulled.


          Pursuant to the provisions of the state of siege, on September 7, steps were taken to close the following publications: the magazines Análisis, Cauce, Apsi, La Bicicleta, Fortín Mapocho and Hoy. The Reuters and Ansa news agencies were also ordered to discontinue their transmissions to other countries. It should be pointed out that at present (date of approval of the Report) the publication of Hoy has again been authorized as well as the transmission of news on the part of the above-mentioned agencies.


          The assassination of José Carrasco was also considered an act of intimidation against journalists in general. Marcelo Contreras, the editor of Apsi, announced that he would seek diplomatic protection after nine civilians went to his home to detain him.


          In connection with the right to freedom of expression, the Commission takes note of the fact that the Government has authorized the publication of the newspaper “La Epoca”, which has ties with some sectors of the Christian Democratic Party, to begin in March 1987. Thus, for the first time, the circulation of a newspaper opposing the Government will reportedly be authorized.


          8.          Right to residence and movement


          With respect to the right to residence and movement, the Commission has noted that the Government has continued to reduce the number of Chileans deprived of their right to reside in the country by a decision of the administrative authorities. The latest information supplied to the Commission refers to a list, drawn up in May 1986, of the names of 3,171 persons whose entry into the country is prohibited. On this occasion the Commission wishes to again state that no provision of international law concerning human rights authorizes the deprivation of the right to residence of persons in the country of which they are citizens.


          In this regard mention should be made of the case of Mr. Edgardo Condeza Vaccaro, who lived in exile from June 17, 1974 and concerning whom the Commission adopted a resolution on March 5, 1985, declaring that the Government of Chile had violated the right of residence and movement by preventing Mr. Condeza Vaccaro, a Chilean, from returning. The Commission was also of the opinion that the Government of Chile had violated the right to a fair trial and to due process in this case in that it imposed a penalty on Mr. Condeza Vaccaro without providing him with the essential due process guarantees. Accordingly, the Commission recommended that the Government of Chile set aside the prohibition on Mr. Condeza on his return to that country.


          Last June, Mr. Condeza Vaccaro, whose wife and children were living in Chile, entered the country in spite of the Government's prohibition and on June 9 appeared before the Concepción Court of Appeals so that the Court could determine the reasons preventing him from residing in the country of which he is a citizen. The Commission was informed that on August 12 Mr. Condeza was arrested for a short time for which reason the Commission wrote to the Government of Chile reaffirming the terms of its 1985 resolution. The Commission hopes that the Government will change its attitude and allow Mr. Condeza to reside in Chile with his family; the Commission must point out the incongruity revealed by the fact that a person must enter his country challenging a governmental prohibition in order to urge a judicial decision in one's case.


9.       Situations which have affected the Church and local human rights bodies


          Of deep concern to the IACHR have been the many acts affecting members of religious institutions and officials of human rights groups. Thus, on June 2, about 20:00 pm Father Julio Straier, the Vicar of the Western area of the Archbishopric of Santiago was arrested when he refused to allow a group of soldiers to enter the Vicarage of the Padre Hurtado Chapel. On April 24, the residence of Monsignor Sergio Contreras, the Bishop of Temuco, was attacked when two incendiary bombs were thrown at it. A similar attack occurred in January 1983 and has yet to be clarified.


          On May 20, the Ministry of the Interior informed the Vicar General of the Diocese of Copiapó, Monsignor Juan Pedro Cegarra López, a Spanish citizen, that he had cancelled his permanent residence visa in Chile and had granted him another visa with a validity of only six months. On June 11, a building belonging to the Archbishopric of Copiapó was completely burned down; in the request for the appointment of an examining judge to investigate the facts, Monsignor Artizía justified that request by the following:


          it is rumored in Copiapó—and there are facts that justify that rumor—that the fire had been deliberately set by a group of persons who are endeavoring … to frighten and silence the pastoral activities of the Catholic Church in the defense of human rights and human dignity.


          That if that is correct and a stop is not put to the existence of that group and of similar paramilitary groups—organized outside the law—they would cause extremely serious and irreparable damage to society because of the hatred they foster, the damage they cause to property and, what is even more serious, the attempts on individual lives which, it is feared, they are provoking.


          Furthermore, on May 6, Mr. Erick Villegas González, the lawyer of the Bishop of Copiapó, filed a criminal complaint against the Mayor of that city, Mr. Carlos Porcile Valenzuela, for aggressive acts committed against him. The Copiapó Court of Appeals admitted the writ of protection lodged, which was confirmed by the Supreme Court. As is known, mayors are appointed by the President.


          On August 1, when Monsignor Miguel Caviedes Medina, the Bishop of Osorno, was working in his study late at night, he heard a shot, and the bullet passed less than two meters from his desk. In view of this attack, the President and General Secretary of the Chilean Episcopal Conference expressed their solidarity with the Bishop of Osorno in a letter in which they stated that “the bullet that was fired at you was aimed at our entire Episcopal College. Perhaps it wanted to silence the voice of a Church that is endeavoring to bear witness to the truth and justice…”.


          As already mentioned, on September 11, the Government expelled the French priests, Fathers Du Bois, Carnette and Lancelot from Chile. The three priests were carrying out their ministry in the community known as La Victoria. It should be pointed out that Father André Jarlan, who was killed by a bullet fired by the Government forces on September 4, 1984 while praying in his house, belonged to that community.


          With respect to actions against human rights workers it should be pointed out that on November 29, 1985, “unidentified civilians” who were heavily armed broke into the offices of the Chilean Human Rights Commission and seriously wounded Mrs. Marina Rodríguez de Sierralta, who was looking after the building. The vandals broke furniture and stole working documents of that Commission. The criminal complaint lodged as a result of those events has not led to the identification of those responsible.


          Furthermore, the Commission was informed that on January 18, 1986, Mrs. Rosa Espinosa Baeza, a household servant of Mr. Máximo Pacheco, Vice Chairman of the Chilean Human Rights Commission, was kidnapped by “unidentified civilians”. During the 14 hours she was in custody of her captors, Mrs. Espinosa was interrogated about the activities of Dr. Pacheco in the field of human rights and about the details of the visit made to Chile by Senator Kennedy of the United States.


          Particularly serious was the arrest and incommunicado of officials of the Vicaría de la Solidaridad, Messrs. Gustavo Villalobos and Ramiro Olivares, lawyer and physician, respectively, of that institution. Both officials appeared to testify before the Military Prosecutor Magistrate and were arrested on May 6; they were kept incommunicado for 10 days and were provisionally released on August 7.


          The reason for the arrest and proceedings against Messrs. Villalobos and Olivares was the attention given on April 28 to Hugo Segundo Gómez Peña, who went to the Vicaría de la Solidaridad together with his sister and her common-law husband for the purpose of receiving attention since, according to his statement, he had been accidentally wounded while passing by a place at which shots were being fired. After he had been given first aid by Dr. Olivares, Mr. Gómez Peña was transferred to the Chiloé clinic where he was given the medical treatment his condition required.


          Mr. Villalobos, the lawyer, and Dr. Olivares told the wounded person that he should come back the next day so the pertinent judicial steps might be taken and they provided him with clothing so that he could return home and they gave him some money. On April 30, members of the Carabineros arrested the medical and auxiliary personnel of the Chiloé clinic charging them with having given assistance to Gómez Peña, who turned out to have been involved in an armed confrontation with the Chilean police in which a Carabinero and a civilian had been killed. As already mentioned, the arrest warrant also covered Messrs. Villalobos and Olivares, who have been tried under Article 8 of the Law on Internal State Security for giving aid and money to an armed group.


          The human rights groups have interpreted the actions of the Government in the case of Villalobos and Olivares as one of the numerous measures intended to impede the activities of these groups. The recent statements of General Pinochet referring to the need to expel persons engaged in the defense of human rights or to imprison them has added a note of very serious concern about the Government's attitude.


          10.          Political rights


          With respect to the exercise of political rights, two contradictory facts have been of major importance in the period covered by this report. The first is the preparation of the “Demanda de Chile” by important opposition groups which comprise the Civil Assembly and the second is the statement of General Pinochet that he would remain in power beyond 1989 in accordance with the procedures established by the 1980 Constitution.


          The “Demanda de Chile” was prepared on April 26, 1986 by the Civil Assembly, which, for the first time since 1973, constitutes an effort of social and political organization that is not subject to the traditional Chilean political parties. This attempt is in large part due to the impossibility of achieving significant progress towards a return to a democratic system through the National Agreement to which the Commission referred in its 1985 report. Therefore, in the period examined the Civil Assembly was a further attempt to achieve the reestablishment of political rights.


          The “Demanda de Chile” contains a number of demands relating to the observance of human rights and the participation of the population in matters that concern them, within the framework of political pluralism and the rule of law. The “Demanda de Chile” was delivered to the authorities from which a reply was sought by May 31. In the absence of such a reply, the Civil Assembly organized a number of social mobilization activities that culminated in a strike on July 2 and 3.


          On that occasion eight people lost their lives, as already stated. The Government lodged judicial complaints against the organizers of the activities, which led to the leaders of the Civil Assembly headed by its President, Dr. Juan Luis González, who is also the President of the Chilean Medical Association, being arrested. They were detained from July 10 to August 18 when they were released on bail.


          On July 10, General Pinochet, in Concepción, referred to the time limit provided in the 1980 Constitution and stated that “The problem is: what it is going to happen afterwards? This is going to go on after 1989. We are not going to hand over the government just for the heek of it”. On July 11, General Pinochet stated that “Nobody can disregard our legitimate right to try to project our government beyond 1980”. Although it was subsequently stated that the references were limited by the nature of the system imposed by the 1980 Constitution, the fact is that these statements have further polarized the political positions.


          It is within this framework of preparation for a plebiscite in 1989 that the law establishing the Constitutional Court and the Electoral Court has been enacted. The Government has also stated its intention to approve the law on electoral rolls and to begin the process of registering citizens in these electoral rolls as well as to enact a law on political parties and complete preparation of the law constituting the National Congress.


          The facts set forth throughout this section, as was mentioned at the beginning, constitute what, in the opinion of the Commission, is an extremely serious situation. Indeed, the fact that nobody is being tried or convicted in the cases of the three persons whose throats were cut, of the two persons who were burned during the July protest and strike, the massive detentions of citizens, the restriction on the freedom of expression, attacks against the Church and the harassment of human rights institutions, the actions of unidentified civilians, the increase in acts of violence by armed groups fighting the government, comprise a situation, the foreseeable course of which cannot be other than an even greater deterioration in the human rights situation.


          The most important event in the period, both per se and because of its implications for the observance of human rights, was the declaration on September 77 of the state of siege, pursuant to Supreme Decree No. 1.037, in the wake of an attempt on the life of the President, in which five of his bodyguards were killed and he himself was slightly wounded in one hand. In that regard, the Commission deems it necessary to point out that these events reflect and highlight the types of behavior and trends that have been emerging throughout the period considered.


          Indeed, the activities of groups of “unidentified civilians” who during the hours in which vehicular traffic is restricted—or shortly thereafter—break into the homes of members of the opposition who subsequently turn up dead as a result of multiple bullet wounds, only represent the culmination of the activities of such groups, some of which it was possible to ling in this period to the Chilean Security Forces. The stringent restrictions on freedom of expression reflected in the closing of six publications, the persecution of two editors, and the closing of two foreign news agencies have only aggravated the serious limitations imposed on this right during the period considered. The arrest of five priests and the expulsion of three may be considered an intensification of the campaign against the Church, which has also been noted during the period covered by this report. The persecution of prominent opposition politicians and the arrest of some of them, continues the continuous harassment to which they have been subject. The statements of the Head of State on the need to expel persons engaged in the defense of human rights from the country or to imprison them, results in the extremist types of behavior noted in this period.


          However, in the opinion of the Commission, what most clearly reflect the application of the provisions of the state of siege in the present situation is the use the Government is making of the reprehensible activities of extremist groups in order to adopt measures against human rights that far exceed those required in order to identify the extremists they seek and to sanction them pursuant to the law thereby affecting persons unrelated to any of these groups.


          The gravity of the facts laid out in this section oblige the IACHR to reiterate, in the most energetic terms, the necessity of the Chilean Government to put the institutional mechanisms in place to reestablish, as soon as possible, the enjoyment of representative democracy. The Commission is convinced that this is the only system which provides the means to confront the serious threats which hover over Chilean society and to overcome the divisions which today appear to deepen, since only in a democracy is it possible to reach agreements between representative political sectors and the fundamental institutions to establish an order of peace and justice without which respect for human rights cannot be achieved.


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