RESOLUTION 26/81

Case 7739 (BOLIVIA)

June 25, 1981

BACKGROUND:

  1. In a communication of January 23, 1981, the death of several persons was denounced to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in the following terms:

    According to the reports received, in the evening of January 15, 1981, a combined group of paramilitary forces and regular soldiers, acting under instructions of the Ministry of the Interior, raided a house in the city of La Paz, in which a meeting was being held of leaders of the Revolutionary Leftist Movement (MIR), a nationalist radical party, which had gained six congressional seats in the 1979 elections.

    Some 15 persons were attending the meeting, including representatives of the Bolivian Workers Union. According to the reports, the soldiers surrounded the house and, although no resistance was offered, nine persons were killed. Some of the victims were claimed to have been tortured before their death. Later, at a press conference, the Minister of the Interior reported that nine guerillas and a policeman had been killed in an armed confrontation.

    The following persons are believed to have died:

    ARTEMIO CAMARGO: Leader of the Federated Union of Mine Workers (FSTMB), who worked in the Siglo XX mine.

    JOSE REYES CARVAJAL: A forty-one-year-old former policeman who had been elected deputy for the City of La Paz by the Popular Democratic Union in the 1980 elections.

    JOSE LUIS SUAREZ GUZMAN: University professor.

    ARIEL MENACHO: Approximately 50 years old, an MIR organizer in Pando.

    KOREE BALDIVIESO: About 35 years old, an MIR organizer in Oruro.

    RICARDO NAVARRO MOGRO: A university professor, about 30 years

    GONZALO BARON: Student leader.

    RAMIRO VELASCO AVILES: About 35 years old.

  2. In a note of February 19, 1981, the Commission transmitted to the Government of Bolivia the pertinent portions of the denunciation, requesting that it furnish pertinent information on it and any evidence to determine whether all remedies of domestic law were exhausted in this case.

  3. When the Commission received no reply from the Bolivian Government, it repeated its request for information in a note of April 13, 1981, and announced possible application of Article 39 of its Regulations, on the presumption that the facts in the petition are true.

WHEREAS:

  1. Articles 39 of the Commission's Regulations provides as follows:

    The facts reported in the petition whose pertinent parts have been

    transmitted to the government of the state in reference shall be presumed to be true if, during the maximum period set by the Commission under the provisions of Articles 31 paragraph 5, the government has not provided the pertinent information, as long as other as other evidence does not lead to a different conclusion.

  2. To date, the Bolivian Government has not responded to the Commission's requests in its notes of February 19 and April 13, 1981, for information on the death of Artemio Camargo, José Reyes Carvajal, José Luis Suárez Guzmán, Ariel Menacho, Koree Baldivieso, Ricardo Navarro Mogro, Gonzalo Baron, and Ramiro Velasco Aviles.

THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

RESOLVES:

  1. In application of Article 39 of its Regulations, to presume to be true the events mentioned in the communication of January 23, 1981, concerning the death under irregular circumstances of Artemio Camargo, José Reyes Carvajal, José Luis Suárez Guzmán, Ariel Menacho, Koree Baldivieso, Ricardo Navarro Mogro, Gonzalo Baron, and Ramiro Velasco Aviles.

  2. To draw to the attention of the Government of Bolivia that such acts are very serious violations of the right to life (Article IV); the right to personal security (Article V), and the right to liberty (Article VII) of the American Convention on Human Rights.

  3. To recommend that the Government of Bolivia: a) order a complete and impartial investigation to determine the perpetrators of the events denounced; b) that it punish under Bolivian law the persons responsible for those events; c) that it report to the Commission in ninety days on the steps taken to implement the above recommendations.

  4. To transmit this resolution to the Government of Bolivia in light 0of Article 44 of the Commission's Regulations for appropriate action.

  5. At the expiration of the deadline set in paragraph 3 of this Resolution, the Commission will, pursuant to Article 45 of its Regulations, and taking into account the measures adopted by the Government, decide under the terms of that article whether to publish this resolution.