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Center For Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
RESOLUTION No. 12/86
CASE 9289 (NICARAGUA)
April 16, l986
- The petition received by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on April 9,
according to which:
PASTOR CRUZ HERRERA, aged 26 years, single, a farmer and resident of San
de Abajo, District of San Rafael del Norte, Jinotega, left his house in the company of friends
on May 17, l983, and has not returned.
On June 3, l983, his family members were informed that he was under arrest in the
Security prison known as "Las Tejas", under investigation. When they went there, they were
requested to return within fifteen days to learn the results of the investigation. On June 16 when
they returned, they were informed that he had been transferred to Jinotega on the orders of the
State Security. In addition, his family members were informed by a prisoner who was released
that Pastor Cruz Herrera had actually been detained there since they had been together in the
same cell. However, authorities in the State Security prisons of Jinotega and Matagalpa deny
- The transmission of the pertinent parts of that petition to the Government of Nicaragua
the note of June 18, l984, requesting it to provide any pertinent information as well as any other
information in order to ascertain whether the remedies of domestic law had been exhausted.
- The communication of January 18, l985 which repeated the request for information of
- The repetition of the request for information made in the note of February 26, l986,
informed the Government of Nicaragua that, should such information not be provided within a
of thirty days pursuant to Article 42 of the Regulations, the facts reported would be considered to
- Resolution 12/86 approved by the Commission and transmitted to the Government of
Nicaragua and the observations presented by the Government.
- That so far the Government of Nicaragua has not replied to the request for information
by the Commission concerning this case and that, in addition, the requirements of domestic law
- That, by reason of their nature, the facts that are the subject matter of the petition, do
permit the application in this case of the friendly settlement procedure.
- That Article 42 of the Regulations of the Commission stipulate the following:
The facts reported in the petition whose pertinent parts have been transmitted to
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 Article 34, paragraph 5, the Government
has not provided the pertinent information, as long as other evidence does not lead to a different
- That, in addition to not replying to the repeated requests for information, the
of Nicaragua has so far not allowed a member of the Commission and an official of the Secretariat
go to that country to clarify certain aspects relating to this case, pursuant to the provisions of
48.1 d of the American Convention on Human Rights to which Nicaragua is a State
- That in its observations to Resolution 12/86 the Government of Nicaragua stated that
Pastor Cruz Herrera has not been detained and that there exist no restrictions regarding his
movement in the country, adding that:
The information supplied by the claimants does not appear to correspond with
It is relevant to point out to this Honorable Commission that the places where this person was
allegedly detained are zones in which counterrevolutionary bands enter and leave and in which
a climate of danger and movement typical of war zones exists. In such zones, in which the
backwardness is most notorious, there is not even a population census. The above
circumstances impede the rapid gathering of information.
- The observations of the Government are a general response and do not address the
of the facts presented by the claimant, for which reason the Commission finds that these
do not cast doubt upon the conclusions to which it arrived in Resolution 12/86.
- That the General Assembly of the Organization of American States declared in
666 (XIII-0/83) that "The practice of the forced disappearance of persons in the Americas is an
to the conscience of the hemisphere and constitutes a crime against humanity."
In view whereof:
THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
- To consider true the facts reported in the communication of April 9, l984 concerning
arrest and subsequent disappearance of Mr. Pastor Cruz Herrera.
- To declare that the Government of Nicaragua has violated the right to personal liberty
(Article 7) and the right to life (Article 4) set forth in the American Convention on Human Rights
which Nicaragua is a State Party.
- To recommend to the Government of Nicaragua that it order a thorough investigation
facts reported in order to identify the persons responsible, bring them to trial, and adopt the
measures to prevent the repetition of such serious events.
- To include this resolution in its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the
of American States, in accordance with Article 63, g of the Regulations of the
Commission, and to
communicate it to the claimant.