Case 7739 (BOLIVIA)
June 25, 1981
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- To transmit this resolution to the Government of Bolivia in
light 0of Article 44 of the Commission's Regulations for appropriate
- 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