Case 1741 (Paraguay)

Case 1741 (Paraguay), of April 10, 1972, regarding the situation surrounding the Paraguayan professor Antonio Maidana and other events. Professor Maidana was being detained in the third police station in Asunción, despite the fact that his release had been ordered by competent judicial authority on April 10, 1961.

By a note dated April 19, 1972, the Commission requested the Government of Paraguay to furnish the pertinent information, as provided in articles 42 and 44 of its Regulations.

At its Twenty-ninth Session (October 1972), the Commission considered the status of this case, nothing that the Government of Paraguay had not replied to its April 19 request for information and that the 130-day period established in Article 51 of the Regulations for the government�s supplying such information had expired. Accordingly, the Commission decided to repeat its request for information, extending the aforesaid period by 60 days. To that effect, it addressed the Government of Paraguay by a note dated November 1, 1972.

At its Thirtieth Session (April 1975), taking into account the fact that the Government of Paraguay had still not supplied the information requested and that both the period established in Article 51 of the Regulations and the extension period had expired, the Commission, in application of Article 51, decided to presume the events that had been denounced as confirmed and to communicate to the government concerned such recommendations as it deemed appropriate by virtue of the power conferred upon it by Article 9 (bis) b. of its Statute and Article 52 of its Regulations.

The text of the resolution adopted to that effect was transmitted to the Government of Paraguay with a note dated June 15, 1975, and to the claimants on June 13, 1973.

By a note dated July 6, 1973 (DOTAI No. 862), the Government of Paraguay acknowledged receipt of the note of June 15, 1973, regarding this and other cases of denunciations against Paraguay, stating that "the Ministry has taken the pertinent action on those documents, referring them to the competent national agency."

The Commission proceeded with its examination of case 1741 at its Thirty-first Session (October 1973), having taken into account the above-mentioned note and, pursuant to Article 9 (bis) c. of its Statute and Article 51 of its Regulations, decided to include the resolution adopted on this case in its annual report to the General Assembly of the Organization.

The text of the resolution follows:

WHEREAS:

A communication of April 10, 1972, denounced that:

By judicial decision of October 10, 1961, Luis F. Garbarino, judge of the city of Asunción, ordered the release of Paraguayan Professor Antonio Maidana; and

Notwithstanding that decision, the above-mentioned professor continues to be detained in the third police station of the city of Asunción;

The same communication claims that Mr. Silvano Morinigo Gaona, a Paraguayan citizen, who is accused of plotting to kill the President of the Republic, General Alfredo Stroessner, has been detained for six years without trial;

The Commission, in a note of April 19, 1972, requested information from the Government of Paraguay, pursuant to articles 42 and 44 of the Regulations, and by letter of April 20 of the same year informed the claimant of the steps taken with respect to the complaint;

Article 51.1 of the Regulations reads as follows:

1. 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 not shown by other elements of proof.

In view of the time that has transpired without the Government of Paraguay having furnished the information requested to the Commission.

THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,

RESOLVES:

  1. To consider the occurrence of the events denounced in the communication of April 10, 1972, to be confirmed, through the application of Article 51 of the Regulations.
  2. To request the Government of Paraguay to order the relaese of Antonio Maidana, inasmuch as he was ordered to be released from detention by Judge Luis F. Garbarino on October 10, 1961.
  3. To request the Government of Paraguay to inform the Commission of the measures it has taken, or in the event that it released Professor Maidana prior to this resolution, that it notify the Commission of the circumstances thereof, and to request that this information be sent so that these reports may be considered at its next session.

Cases 1758, 1759, 1762 and 1763

These cases have been the subject of examination since the Thirtieth Session (April 1973). As with the other cases processed in accordance with the Regulations, the Commission addressed the Government of Paraguay with a request for information on each case. Moreover, at that session the Commission decided to approach the government again, stating that in view of the seriousness of those cases it was considering the need for conducting an observations in loco and that, prior to requesting consent to carry out such an observation, it was, because of the promptness called for by the circumstances, taking the liberty of urging the government to supply the information so urgently requested within a period not to exceed 60 days. In taking that decision, the Commission went on record as stating that the request for consent from the Paraguayan Government would be neither subject to nor conditioned by that government's supplying information related to these cases.

Pursuant to that decision, the Commission addressed the Government of Paraguay by a note dated June 15, 1973.

By a note dated July 6, 1973, the Government of Paraguay informed the Commission that it had "taken the pertinent action" regarding the June 15 note and its appendices, "forwarding them to the competent national agency."

The Commission proceeded with its examination of the above-mentioned cases at its Thirty-first Session (October 1973), having taken cognizance of the aforesaid note of July 6, 1973, and, pursuant to Article 51 of its Regulations, it decided to presume the events that had been denounced as confirmed and to bring the denunciations to the attention of the General Assembly of the Organization through its annual report. To that end, it appointed Dr. Genaro R. Carrió as rapporteur, in order to prepare the pertinent draft resolution, with such recommendations and observations as he deemed appropriate.

On the basis of that draft, the Commission unanimously approved the following resolution (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.31, doc.42 rev.l, October 23, 1973) at its Thirty-first Session:

WHEREAS:

The arbitrary arrest of Professor Julio Rojas was denounced by a communication dated July 8, 1972, supplemented by one dated February 27, 1973, an by a communication dated December 19, 1972, supplemented by one dated Februar 7, 1973; according to the denunciations, Professor Rojas has, for political reasons, been held prisoner in Paraguay since 1958 under deplorable conditions, without having been tried or serving a sentence;

In a communication dated December 27, 1972, the following denunciations were made: a)that Mr. Ignacio Chamorro has been under arrest in Paraguay since December 1959, supposedly for subversive activities, and has not been tried; and b) that Miss Idolina Anastasia Gaona has been under arrest in that country since July 1965, without having ben tried or knowing the reasons for her arrest;

By communication dated January 16, 1973, a denunciation was made to the effect that 87 persons (whose names are listed and include those of Professor Rojas, Mr. Chamorro, and Miss Gaona) have been imprisoned without trial in Paraguay, for political reasons. According to the denunctiation, five of these persons have been imprisoned since 1958, three since 1959, one since 1960, one since 1961, once since 1962, one since 1963, six since 1964, eleven since 1965, five since 1966, two since 1967, six since 1968, three since 1969, and thirteen since 1970. The denunciation indicates the places of imprisonment;

In a cable dated February 1, 1973, the denunciation was made that Mr. Aníbal Florentín Peña, after suffering barberic torture and serving two years in prison, was in danger of death because of a prolonged hunger strike;

In a cable dated February 1, 1973, concerning the situation of Mr. Peña, and by a note dated February 16, 1973, regarding the other case mentioned in the foregoing paragraphs of this preamble, the Commission requested the Paraguayan Government to provide the appropriate information (Art. 42 of the Regulations);

At its thirtieth session (April 1973), in view of the seriousness of the acts denounced and the prompt actions required by the circumstances, the Commission decided to request the Paraguayan Government once again that it provide the information previously requested with a period not to exceed 60 days. This decision was transmitted to the Government of Paraguay by note dated June 15, 1973;

The Paraguayan Government�s only reply to the Commission, dated July 6, 1973, was that it had "taken the pertinent action" on the note of June 15 and its appendices and had "referred them to the competent national agency;"

Article 51.1 of the Regulations of the Commission provides as follows:

1. The occurrence of the events on which information has been requested wil be presumed to be confirmed if the government referrer to has not supply such information within 180 days of the request, provided always, that the invalidity of the events denounced is not shown by other elements of proof; and

In view of the time that has elapsed, during which the Paraguayan Government has not furnished the Commission with the information it requested,

THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

RESOLVES:

    1. To apply article 51.1 of the Regulations and presume the occurrence of the events indicated in the preamble of this resolution to be confirmed.
    2. To recommend to the Government of Paraguay that the persons mentioned be immediately freed.
  1. To call attention of the Government of Paraguay to the fact that these acts constitute very serious violations of the right to liberty and personal security, the right to protection from arbitrary arrest, the right to a fair trial, and the right to due process of law, set forth in articles I, XXV, XVIII, and XXVI of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
  2. To include this resolution in its annual report to the General Assembly of the Organization (Art. 9 (bis) c.iii of the Statute).