The complainant's observations on the reply from the Government dated September 9,
l986, and which in essence states:
My observations on the documents sent by the Government and mentioned
previously will appear together with the pertinent paragraphs of the Government's reply.
"Mr. Carlos Martínez Riguero and the assets that he claims in the complaint
brought before that Commission were not affected by Decree No 3 of June 20, l979."
MY OBSERVATIONS ON THE FIRST PARAGRAPH
Attached to correspondence I addressed to you on June ll, l98l was a copy of "La
Gaceta," the official newspaper of the Government of Nicaragua, page 5 of which contains
Decree No 3, of July 20, l979.
Since this was nothing more than a copy of Decree No 3, let us look at your
"Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Nicaragua, l98l."
Chapter I of that report, on the existing legal system in that country, establishes the
following in paragraph F, section c:
"Moreover, through Decree No 3 of July 20, l979, the Nicaraguan Government
empowered the Attorney General to take steps to seize, requisition and confiscate all
property of the Somoza family and of the military and officials who had abandoned the
country since December l977."
In turn, Decree No 3, dated July 20, l979, given as Supporting Document No 9,
establishes the following:
"The Attorney General is empowered to proceed forthwith to take steps to seize,
requisition and confiscate all property of the Somoza family and of the military and
officials who have left the country since December l977."
In view of the foregoing, the following are pertinent excerpts from a
communication I received on december l8, l979 from another branch of the Government
of Nicaragua, the original of which I included as Supporting Document No 7 (Appendix
No 5). Through that communication, I am advised of the following:
"On November 20, the National Reconstruction Trusteeship received from the
Attorney General the list of shareholders whose shares in the corporation known as
CEREALES DE CENTROAMERICA, S.A. (CERSA) were confiscated:
Carlos Martínez Riguero
Said shares are being represented by this Trusteeship as of that date."
It is therefore clear that the Attorney General included me among the persons who
had been divested and that my shares were also confiscated.
Further, on January 4, l980, as shown in Supporting Document No ll (Appendix No
6) of these proceedings, the Attorney General himself in charge of the confiscation,
addressed correspondence to my wife, Mrs. Melba Páez de Martínez. The opening words
of that communication constitute ample proof of the CONFISCATION of my shares in
CERSA. That document starts as follows:
"In order to revoke the confiscation of CEREALES DE CENTROAMERICA,
S.A. that you request..."
The Attorney General was empowered to seize or confiscate assets; but all the
documentation referred to above shows that in the case of the undersigned, his decision
was to confiscate. Beyond any question, I was the target of confiscation.
We see, then, that the claim made by the Government of Nicaragua in the FIRST
PARAGRAPH of its reply to the effect that the undersigned claimant and his property
were not adversely affected by Decree No 3 of July 20, l979, is false.
The Government states:
"With regard to the shares that he claims to have owned in the Empresa Cereales
Nicaragüenses (CERSA), these were placed under temporary government control and
later released, as attested to through certification issued by the Ministry of Justice on May
8, l980. (Please find attached a copy of that certification.)" (Appendix No 2)
MY OBSERVATIONS ON THE SECOND PARAGRAPH
An initial observation on the second paragraph: The company from which the
Government confiscated my shares and the corresponding dividends is not called "Cereales
Nicaragüenses (CERSA)," but rather CEREALES DE CENTROAMERICA, S.A.
Let us now turn to the certification to which the Government of Nicaragua refers in this
second paragraph, a copy of which it encloses. As noted above, the undersigned enclosed the
original version of that certification. That "certification" states verbatim:
"THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF NICARAGUA
HEREBY ATTESTS that the shares belonging to Mr. Carlos Martínez Riguero in the
Empresa CEREALES DE CENTROAMERICA S.A. are not affected by Decrees Nos.
Three (3) and Thirty-eight (38) issued by our JUNTA OF THE GOVERNMENT OF
NATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION. Those shares must therefore be released.
We see, therefore, that the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General ATTEST
that those shares must be released. Further, in reference to the shares, the Minister of
Foreign Affairs states that they were released.
As may be seen from the documentation in the proceedings on this CASE 7788,
the shares in CERSA that were confiscated from me are worth a vast sum of money. If
indeed these shares were released, it is illogical for the Government to offer as evidence a
statement to the effect that "they must be released," rather than a receipt signed by the
injured undersigned attesting to the fact that he had in fact received the shares that "must
Apart from the matter of the "release of the shares" --which we know did not
occur--, the matter of the dividends earned on those shares is still pending.
Your Resolution 20/86, which was duly transmitted to the Government of
Nicaragua, resolves the following:
"To declare that the Government of Nicaragua has violated the right to private
property set forth in Article 2l of the American Convention on Human Rights by
confiscating the dividends earned on shares..."
You also apprised of the following:
"To recommend to the Government of Nicaragua that it take steps to reimburse, in
accordance with the law, Mr. Carlos Martínez Riguero for the amounts owed to him as
unpaid dividends... "
However, throughout its reply to your request for information concerning your
Resolution 20/86, the Government of Nicaragua does not make the slightest mention of
the word "dividends" and merely enclosed "a statement" to the effect that "those shares
must be released."
Moreover, included in the existing documentation in the files on the present CASE
7788 are a number of irrefutable documents wherein the undersigned demands the actual
release of his shares in CERSA, and that the dividends earned on those shares be paid to
him, however many resources the Nicaraguan Government used--the Government Junta,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State responsible for government agencies, Judges,
Courts of Appeal, Supreme Court of Justice, etc.--to definitively confiscate my shares in
CERSA and the dividends those shares earned for me.
These documents, which are too numerous and lengthy to duplicate here--even
partially--were enclosed with written correspondence presented to you, the Commission,
on June ll, l98l and thereafter. I request that these documents be included, in their
entirety, in your resolution on the present CASE 7788, as called for under the terms of the
Convention and your Regulations.
The foregoing observations on the SECOND PARAGRAPH of the reply from the
Government of Nicaragua on my shares in CERSA are incontrovertible proof that no such
shares "were released" despite the Government's unfounded denial in its reply.
It is equally clear from the SECOND PARAGRAPH and even from the
Government's entire response that it makes not even the slightest allusion to your
resolution concerning the recommendation to that Government of Nicaragua that it
proceed to reimburse Mr. Carlos Martínez Riguero for the amounts owed to him in the
form of unpaid dividends.
"Consequently (en consecuencia), the certification and exemption from tax liability
was issued in the name of Mr. Carlos Martínez R. and Mrs. Melba Páez de Martínez,
while settlements that the claimant had pending from the Nicaraguan Government for
various holdings were in process. That certification is dated April 4, l98l. (Enclosed is a
copy of that certification, Appendix No 3.)"
MY OBSERVATIONS ON THE THIRD PARAGRAPH
First, we should take a look at the word "consecuencia".
According to the Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms by Professor Sainz de
Robles, that word is synonymous with "deduction and conclusion."
Thus, according to the Government's reply, by deduction, in conclusion, "as a
consequence" of the fact that that Government had taken control of and released my
shares in the CERSA Corporation, "the certification and exemption from tax liability was
issued" in my name, while settlements that the claimant had pending from the Nicaraguan
Government for various holdings were in process.
There cannot be the slightest connection, link or relationship of any kind
whatsoever between the fact that some of my shares were seized or CONFISCATED and
later released and the fact that the undersigned was exempted from any tax liability. The
very "certification" in question makes no reference to CONFISCATION, seizure, release
of shares, but rather to the fact that the Government must pay me for several properties.
Moreover, let us look at the copy of the "certification and exemption from tax
liability" that in the THIRD PARAGRAPH the Government of Nicaragua states it sent. I
should clarify at this point that that document, dated April 4, l98l, was enclosed with
correspondence that I conveyed to the Commission on July l5, l98l as Supporting
Document No l6, more than five years ago, and that has been part of the file for CASE
7788 since that time.
That document states the following verbatim:
"In view of the fact that Comrade CARLOS MARTINEZ RIGUERO has pending
from the Government settlements on various holdings that were negotiated by the Ministry
of Transport as well as a quarry that was nationalized, I am authorizing you to give him
and his wife, Mrs. MELBA PAEZ DE MARTINEZ, credit worthiness, until such time as
the government pays off that balance."
Summing up and to clarify the pertinent statements made by the Government in the
document quoted above, what we have is the following: Since the undersigned claimant
has pending from the Government settlement (payment of a debt, according to the
Larousse Dictionary) for several holdings, the appropriate persons are authorized to
extend credit worthiness (capacity to pay debts, according to Larousse) until such time as
the Government makes settlement (pay off a debt, according to Larousse).
In other words, in the "Certification" that the Government encloses, according to
the THIRD PARAGRAPH of its reply, IT CERTIFIES that Comrade CARLOS
MARTINEZ RIGUERO has pending from the Government settlement on several
properties; but in its reply to you, the Commission, the Government talks about
settlements on several properties that the claimant had pending with the Government.
As can be seen, there is a world of difference between the CERTIFICATION
issued by the Government and the reply you received from the Government, since the
enclosed Certification clearly states that the undersigned HAS several properties pending
payment by the Government.
Finally, with regard to the THIRD PARAGRAPH of the reply from the
Government of Nicaragua under discussion, we see that it is not true that a certification
and tax exemption was issued in my and my wife's name by virtue of the release of my
shares in CERSA. We have also seen from the CERTIFICATION that the Government
enclosed that it admits it must settle or pay to the undersigned claimant the amount owed
to him for several properties and the quarry involved in CASE 7788.
The reply from the Government.
"In the exercise of its powers and procedures, the Government of Nicaragua
enacted the Law on Nationalization of the Mining Sector and Establishment of the
Corporation Nicaragüense de Desarrollo Minero - CONDEMINA, by virtue of which the
quarry owned by Mr. Carlos Martínez Riguero, located in Las Brisas was affected."
The undersigned and the Commission know that a general law such as the law on
nationalization of the means of production affects each and every company involved in the
production of the nationalized branch.
In relation to the FOURTH PARAGRAPH of the Nicaraguan Government's reply,
it is obvious that the Government is correct in stating that the Law on Nationalization of
the Mining Sector affected the quarry owned by Mr. Carlos Martínez Riguero, located in
"The effect on that property is, therefore, the consequence of a general law. It can
never be alleged that it was an individual and separate decision on the part of the
Government of Nicaragua."
The undersigned again notes that the files on this CASE 7788 contain no
document wherein the undersigned is claiming or contending or implying that the law on
nationalization of the mining sector under discussion has been enacted as an individual and
separate decision taken by the Government of Nicaragua against him, though this has no
bearing upon the case whatsoever, which is that the Government owes me compensation
for my property.
The sole purpose of my complaint in CASE 7788 is that the Government of
Nicaragua comply with the provisions of the Law on Nationalization of the Mining Sector
that it enacted and with the American Convention on Human Rights. As you well know,
that Government accepted that Convention, taking it as national law, pledging its national
honor to its observance.
Moreover, the Law on Nationalization of the Mining Sector (photocopies of which
the Government states it has enclosed, duly signed by the appropriate official of the
Ministry of Justice) states in its Article 2:
"Mining companies, working mines and quarries in the country are hereby
nationalized through state acquisition... The transfer of equity to state ownership shall be
effected as prescribed by the Law upon publication on this Decree."
A look at the underlined parts of the above article in the foregoing paragraph
reveals that they were nationalized (in other words, transferred to the community,
according to the Larousse Dictionary) "through," "as a result of," "thanks to," according
to that same dictionary) state acquisition ("purchase" according to that dictionary) of the
Had the State of Nicaragua observed its own Decree or Law on Nationalization of
the Mining Sector, it would have endeavored to effect that nationalization through or by
means of state purchase of the property or means of production that had been
Insofar as the Convention is concerned, your Resolution 20/86 on the present
CASE 7788 under discussion CONSIDERS:
8. That Article 2l of the American Convention on Human Rights establishes:
"2. No one shall be deprived of his property except upon payment of just
compensation, for reasons of public utility or social interest, and in the cases and
according to the forms established by law."
The Government states in this paragraph that:
"As for the appraisal and compensation procedure, if said procedure was not
followed, it was precisely because the party concerned did not take the measures called for
in the matter."
The word "measure," according to the dictionary, has the following meanings:
procedure, action, step.
Note that in this paragraph of its reply, the Government of Nicaragua makes
allusion to the appraisal and compensation procedure but immediately thereafter states, "if
said procedure was not followed..."
Clearly, the Government is making reference only to the compensation since, if it
had referred to assessment and compensation alike, it would have had to state, "if these
were not followed," thereby using the plural, the proper form.
In reference to the COMPENSATION PROCEDURE referred to by the
Government, we should discuss the wording of the Law on Nationalization of the Mining
Article 2 of that Law, which appears under the heading, Nationalization of the
Mining Companies, has already been quoted and partially discussed in the observations on
the FIFTH PARAGRAPH of the Government's reply.
We know that the undersigned was notified to turn over his quarry mining
business. That notification is Appendix No 7 in the files.
After my company had been taken over by the State, I addressed correspondence
to the appropriate authorities asking them to proceed to pay the fair compensation due,
noting at that time that it would have to proceed thus. That communication from the
undersigned is included as Appendix No 8.
I received a reply from the Government, which is the only one I have received in
response to my aforementioned petitions. That reply has also been included in the files as
Supporting Document No l2 (Appendix No 9). It states the following:
"The compensation, which we are sure will in no case exceed the value you
reported to the appropriate authorities as being the real value, can be decreed by
Since the Government has not specified the authority that would be called upon to
pay the compensation, I addressed many other pieces of correspondence to the authorities
involved in the enactment of the law of nationalization, to those who ordered me to hand
over my company to the Government, and to those who authorized that order, etc. These
communications have been included in the records as supporting documents Nos. l3, l5
and l5 (Appendix No l0).
I have never received a reply from the various branches of government to my
requests, set forth in the indicated documents--not even an indication of the authority that
would be called upon to effect the compensation required under the law.
And so we see that the injured claimant addressed all those involved--the
Government Junta, Ministers and Ministries, the Junta of Reconstruction, and autonomous
and semiautonomous government entities--in an effort to have the State acquisition or
purchase transaction concluded in the appropriate logical manner: upon enactment of the
decree or law on nationalization or upon ordering that the undersigned hand over his
The next article, Article 3 of the Law of Nationalization of the Mining Sector,
deals with the "Purchase Price"." As we have seen, in its reply the Government of
Nicaragua refers to this as "appraisal," but makes no comment thereon whatsoever. It
therefore does not warrant any comment in these observations on the Government's reply.
I do, however, wish to point out that in writing and documents that the undersigned is
again asking be incorporated into resolution 20/86 of the case or the report, that
"acquisition price" was already fully established (Appendix No ll).
Thus, in connection with the COMPENSATION procedure indicated by the
Government, I shall copy below the pertinent article of the "Law on Nationalization of the
Mining Sector," entitled "Form of Payment":
"Article 4. The price of the shares shall be paid in Treasury bonds earning interest
at 6 l/2 percent per annum every twelve months, calculated from the date of publication of
this decree, and maturing in five years."
The very ample documentation in these records, consisting of several
communications or "overtures" to the Government Junta, the Junta of Reconstruction of
Managua, to CONDEMINA, and to several Ministers of State demonstrate that the
measures I have taken have never met with any success. In accordance with the Law on
Nationalization in question, such overtures should have been quite unnecessary, since that
Law does not establish or indicate or imply that the party affected by the nationalization
should make any "overture" whatsoever.
At this juncture, it must be recalled that MORE THAN TWO YEARS elapsed
between the date of publication of the "Law on Nationalization of the Mining Sector" on
November 3, l979, according to the certified copy enclosed by the Government in its
reply, and December l7, l98l, when I was compelled to leave the country. The pertinent
authorities to whom I had written had not responded to my petitions: they made no
decision on the matter; they paid no monies, Treasury bonds, or interest "payable every
twelve months," despite my requests and the fact that in my communications to the
Government and the authorities involved I indicated my domicile or address.
From the Law on Nationalization of the Mining Sector and the sixth paragraph of
the Government's reply, it is glaringly apparent that the Law in question makes no
mention of the measure or "measures called for in the matter"--as the Government states
in its reply--or of any other type of measure that should or might have been used or taken
by the party affected by the Law of Nationalization in question.
As regards remedies of any kind, let us first look at what the Government says in
the next paragraph of its reply:
"Mr. Chairman, the Government of Nicaragua wishes to reiterate to the Honorable
Commission that under our system of law the regular and special remedies available to all
Nicaraguans seeking to settle a legal situation are immutable."
As we know, CASE 7788 concerns my shares in CERSA, and dividends on those
shares, and the nationalization of my quarry mining company.
As for my shares in CERSA, we have seen that on June 27, l980, a voucher on the
"release" of those shares was delivered to me, even though the actual shares were never
given to me, nor were the dividends they earned.
As for the national quarries, we have seen that on July l6, l980, I received a
communication informing me that the compensation could be decreed in installments.
However, no mention was made of the authority that was called upon to pay the due
compensation, as the undersigned had requested. What is more, thus far the Government
has implicitly refused to provide that information.
From the records and from the Government's own reply, we see that the just
compensation that the Law and the Convention require was never honored, either in cash
or in installments.
Let us see below what the undersigned could have done in regard to what the
Government appears to be saying in the seventh paragraph of its reply, which is that
"under our system of law, the regular and special remedies available to all Nicaraguans
seeking to settle a legal situation are immutable."
The "Law on Immunity," Decree No 44l, was published in the official newspaper,
"La Gaceta," l39th issue of June 20, l980--when the order to release my shares in CERSA,
which were never released, was given, and when the compensation for my quarry had not
been paid, as it still has not been paid.
The complete text of Article l of that "Law on Immunity" states the following:
"To grant immunity to the members of the Junta of the Government of National
Reconstruction, representatives on the Council of State, Magistrates of the Supreme
Court of Justice, Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State and Directors of Autonomous
Agencies. Consequently, while in office those officials may not be subject to any judicial or prejudicial action before the Tribunals of the Republic."
We note from the above article that immunity was granted to, inter alia, each and
every official mentioned or involved in one way or another in the documentation--decrees,
laws, communications, vouchers, certifications, etc.--on both measures, the
CONFISCATION of my shares in CERSA and the NATIONALIZATION of my quarry.
However, in the legal proceedings that could logically have been instituted, and
had there been a possibility of "settling a legal situation," as the Government states in its
reply, it would have been absolutely essential for "the members of the Junta of the
Government of National Reconstruction" and the "Ministers," "Deputy Ministers" and
"Directors of Agencies" involved to be brought to court in one way or another --judicial
With regard to the "Law on Immunity" previously cited and to the contents of the
foregoing paragraph, I am requesting that the discussion set forth on page 3l of my brief
dated May l0, l98l be considered and added to the present document of observations on
the Government's reply. That discussion is further and more irrefutable proof that it was
impossible for the undersigned claimant to avail himself of the remedies to which the
Government of Nicaragua refers in its reply.
Under the laws that are generally invoked in many countries, there is another
well-known remedy: Amparo.
I must once again refer to this remedy of Amparo.
According to the "Fundamental Statute of the Republic of Nicaragua" published in
"La Gaceta," issue No l of August 22, l979, and under the provisions of Article 3 of that
"Fundamental Statute," the constitutional laws in effect as of that date, including a Law on
Amparo, were repealed.
As we have seen, I was advised of the CONFISCATION of my shares in CERSA
on December l8, l979 (shown as supporting document No 7) (Appendix No 5). The
Government prepared a statement to the effect that my shares should be released on May
8, l980, though this never occurred (shown as Supporting Document No A4).
With enactment of the Law on Nationalization of the Mining Sector, on April 29,
l980, I received orders to hand over my quarries to the Government. This was done (see
Supporting Document No 9) (Appendix No 7).
When I complained that nationalization should have been effected through
payment of fair compensation, I was informed on May 29, l980 that the payment of that
compensation could be "decreed by installments." As the records show, despite several
written attempts on my part, no payment has even been made, either in cash or in
In light of the dates indicated on this page and bearing upon action taken in the
cases of the CONFISCATION and the NATIONALIZATION--August 22, l979,
December 28, l979, May 8, l980, April 29, l980, and May 29, l980--I wish to note that
Decree No 4l7 on the "Law of Amparo" came into existence as of its publication in "La
Gaceta," the official newspaper, issue No l22 of May 3l, l980--subsequent to all of the
dates noted above.
But paragraph 5 of Article 28 of this "Law on Amparo" establishes that Amparo is
not admissible "against measures ordered by the authorities or measures taken by them
prior to the date on which the present Law takes effect."
Therefore, in view of the fact that the "Law on Amparo" entered into force on
May 3l, l980 and that the measures ordered and taken by the authorities, as we have seen,
predated the Law in question, "Amparo is not admissible."
The assertion by the Government of Nicaragua in the Seventh Paragraph of its
reply that regular and special remedies are "available to all Nicaraguans seeking to settle a
legal situation" is therefore inaccurate.
The Government states:
"Nonetheless, of his own free will, Mr. Carlos Martínez Riguero opted to leave the
country without availing himself of the remedies available to him as a citizen under the
laws of the country. Though he has been absent since l98l, it is utterly false that the
Government of Nicaragua declared him to be in absentia."
Let us now turn to the allegation that I opted of my own free will to leave the
In paragraph 7 of the Preamble of your Resolution on this CASE 7788, you state
that you learned that the Government of Nicaragua: l) had expropriated the residence of
Martínez Riguero, who was forced to leave it; 2) had taken control of a portion of his
property; 3) had proceeded to collect the rent on houses on the property of the
undersigned, and 4) proceeded to detain him on one occasion.
In a brief dated May l7, l982, the undersigned denounced, among the many actions
perpetrated against him by the Government, those to which you, the Commission, refer in
the previous paragraph. I am asking that those complaints, which were accompanied by
irrefutable substantiating documents, be included in your report and/or the resolution on
the present CASE 7788.
The above points, which you summarized in that seventh paragraph of the
preamble of Resolution 20/86, appear in the letter, as follows:
"MAY l98l - MINISTRY OF HOUSING - A doctor, who is a very good person
and my friend, a graduate of the Patrice Lumumba People's University, Moscow, USSR,
sent to the Dirección General de Migración a certificate attesting to the fact that Carlos
Martínez Riguero "has been treated, as he was in a delicate state of health, is currently
under treatment and requires further laboratory tests that cannot be performed in our
country for technical reasons and because the equipment is lacking. The patient must
travel to the United States for that purpose."
"On April 9, l98l, a visa was issued to me by the appropriate branch of the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, and that very same day, I traveled to the United States."
"Employees or helpers, furniture, domestic animals and other persons remained in
our home. But at l0:45 a.m. on May 5, l98l, less than one month after leaving to seek
medical treatment, a painful notice from that Ministry was received at my home,
concerning my family's home. That notice stated: 'In accordance with the provisions of
Article l5 of the Tenancy Law, I am hereby giving you, Mrs. Melba de Martínez, [my
wife] notice that you must make this housing available to the public for rent... Failure to
do so will force this Office to seize the property to see that this order is enforced. Jorge
A. Saamper B. Tenancy Office.'"
"SEPTEMBER l980 - MINISTRY OF HOUSING. On the 8th of this month I
received a communication addressed to me: 'By virtue of Decree No 97 of September 22,
l979, proceed to hand over all documentation on the illegal subdivision 'Bajos de
Acahualinca.' If you fail to comply, the forces of law and order are authorized to carry
out this order.' I confirmed that the person who signed that document was in charge of
the Oficina Nacional de Repartos Intervenidos."
"I have never been informed that I had a subdivision that had been placed under
government control; I am not the owner of any illegal subdivision; I am not the owner of
the illegal subdivision 'Bajos de Acahualinca,' and finally, the aforementioned Decree No
97 does not authorize what was claimed in the 'order' from the Ministry of Housing."
I so informed that branch of Government in writing.
I further pointed out that my family did own a subdivision and that it was not
illegal since it complied with all the requirements at the time it was authorized.
I pointed out that that partition of lands was authorized by the Decree on Urban
Development issued by the Executive Committee of the National District, Agreement No
l68 of December 27, l939, issued by the then President of the National District--the
appropriate authority at that time-- Mr. Hernán Robleto and the Secretary, Dr. A. Narvaez
I. There was no possible way.
A uniformed and armed detail delivered a sealed notice signed by the author of the
earlier notice and from the same Ministry. It states the following: "October l3, l980 -
SANDINISTA POLICE PRECINCT STATION - Comrades: Pursuant to Decree No 97
of September 22, l979 (Law on Illegal Subdivisions), we are hereby requesting your
assistance in retrieving documentation from Mr. Carlos Martínez, part owner of los Bajos
de Acahualinca in this city, which this office placed under government control on
September 23, l979."
I need not describe the effect on my family--wife and children, the youngest of
which is four years old--when they saw their home and father's study, which they were
entering to play, invaded by the armed forces and their own father threatened.
When the armed forces had completed their assignment, I took the painful
decision: to take my youngest children out of Nicaragua.
MARCH l980 - MINISTRY OF HOUSING - 4 days - First payment collected by
that Ministry from the first tenant of one of my properties. Receipt No l24. This action
was taken without my authorization and with no regard for the law.
28th of the month - I protested the foregoing in writing and provided proof that
my properties were legal. I asked that the monies taken in by government representatives,
based on a number of receipts, be returned to me.
April 2l, l980. The Ministry of Housing drew up a record to the effect that the
property corresponding to the afore indicated receipt, 'property of Mr. CARLOS
MARTINEZ RIGUERO, of this city, is not under government control.'
July l8, l980. In writing, I continued to ask for my rent monies that the
government was still collecting. There was not the slightest indication that it intended to
deliver up said money to the undersigned.
FEBRUARY l98l - MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR. They arrested me on the
20th of this month, accusing me of attempted murder. They took me to prison.
Under the law, the procedures for investigation and/or punishment of a crime like
this involve a considerable period of time.
I spent an indescribable, terrible night during which I was threatened (I am diabetic
and hypertensive) and menaced. I signed what had to be signed with such offices and
The following day, the 2lst, I was released after paying C$l20.00 (for which I was
given a receipt) and I was given the release form which states: "Individual was detained
on charges of public drunkenness and disturbing the peace (signatures and seals of the
Ministry of the Interior)."
Even with all its amendments and related decrees, Decree No 488 issued by the
Government Junta states: "ARTICLE 4. Persons committing the following offenses
shall be punished by arrest and hard labor for ten days to two years:... b) Vagrancy,
drunkenness with disturbance of the peace, drug addiction and prostitution."
But neither Decree No 488 nor any other decree allows for payment of a fine or
commutation of sentence or that I might be released the following day, without remaining
under arrest for the 'offense' with which I was charged--for at least--ten years.
In the body of that same document referred to above, and always with all the
corroborating and irrefutable documents enclosed, I have a summary account of actions
perpetrated against the undersigned claimant to persecute me. I pointed out several of
those perpetrated by the Ministry of Industry, the Office of the Deputy Minister of the
Corporación Industrial del Pueblo, District Judges, Courts of Appeal, the Supreme Court
of Justice and its very President.
In that same document, I prepared a partial list, in chronological order, of certain
other acts of persecution against the undersigned, to which I attached the pertinent
The Government's assertion in this eighth paragraph to the effect that of my own
free will I opted to leave my country is, therefore, absurd. As you may have sensed, this
was a matter of survival.
And the Government goes on to say in this eighth paragraph that we now see that
the undersigned claimant left the country "without availing himself of the remedies
available to him as a citizen under the laws of the country."
But in the observations of the seventh paragraph of the Government's reply, it is
clear that it was quite impossible for the undersigned to avail himself of any recourse.
In any event, with a wide range of irrefutable documents, the undersigned claimant
has demonstrated that he somehow could not have availed himself of the remedies
mentioned by the Government.
In the eighth paragraph, the Government of Nicaragua goes on to assert that the
persecuted undersigned "has been absent since l98l."
Neither is this assertion accurate. In fact, let us look at the meaning of the word
The Diccionario de Derecho Procesal Civil by Eduardo Vallares considers it to be
a forensic term that means:
"Legal status of a person whose whereabouts are unknown."
And you, the Commission, know very well that my whereabouts, dwelling, place
of residence, abode, are not unknown.
This is so much so that when completing your "Complaint Forms" for the four
complaints that I presented to you, I carefully filled in all of the respective forms, including
the part requesting the following information:
"IX. Idenfication: Please indicate whether you wish your identity to remain
I consistently answered that question as follows: "It is not necessary that my
identity remain confidential."
And at the end of the "Complaint Forms," in the part where you ask for the
"FULL ADDRESS OF COMPLAINANT," I have invariably supplied my full address,
including the city, state, postal zone, country and telephone.
Thus, since you complied with your Regulations by forwarding my complaints to
the Government of Nicaragua, it is only logical that they should know or be able to find
out, through you, what my exact address is.
I am thus quite sure that if the Government of Nicaragua had asked you for my
address for the purpose of looking for me to pay me for the shares in CERSA or the
dividends or the plots of land in my real estate development or for the houses and income
derived therefrom, etc., you would have supplied the address.
Finally, in the last part of the eighth and final paragraph of the reply from the
Government of Nicaragua, it states that "Though he has been absent since l98l, it is utterly
false that the Government of Nicaragua declared him to be in absentia."
The following constitutes a veiled threat to declare me in absentia in order to apply
its decree whereby all of my properties would be expropriated.
First, there is nothing in the record showing that the undersigned mentioned or
implied that he was declared in absentia by the Government or that you so imply.
Formal petition to the Honorable Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights:
In accordance with the principles of paragraph l (in fine) of Article 50 of the
American Convention on Human Rights and paragraph 5 of Article 47 of the Regulations
of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (updated as of July l, l985), I am
asking that all of the verbal or written statements made by the parties, including this
document, be included in the Report or in your resolution.
For greater facility and because these statements are so voluminous, I would
suggest that mention be made only of the date stamped by the parties in those statements
and the date of receipt by your Executive Secretariat.
OMISSIONS IN YOUR RESOLUTION No 20/86
At this point, I wish to make the observation that your Resolution No 20/86,
CASE 7788 (Nicaragua), which was approved by the Commission at its 888th meeting
held on April l8 of this year, suffers from certain omissions inasmuch as its condemnation
of the Government of Nicaragua falls short of what it should be and since it does not make
a ruling on all the issues in dispute.
For example, in operative paragraphs l and 3, you resolve to declare that the
Government of Nicaragua has violated Article 2l of the Convention "by confiscating the
dividends earned on shares" and you recommend to the Government that it proceed to
reimburse the undersigned for "the amounts owed to him for unpaid dividends" but you
render no decision on the shares themselves, whose value is fully determined in the records
of the case, or on the compensation that the undersigned claimant is due for damages
caused by the Government.
Another example is your failure to establish in the aforementioned resolution the
value of the quarry that was nationalized and that was disputed with ample and specific
documentation in CASE 7788.
I would request here that, inasmuch as the present notification has been given, the
aforementioned omissions in your resolution be corrected.
- That in its observations dated June ll, l986, the Government of Nicaragua does not
provide any new evidence that invalidates the facts reported to the Commission.
- That the claimant, Mr. Carlos Martínez Riguero, has convincingly rebutted the
arguments of the Government of Nicaragua and presented satisfactory documentary evidence of
the facts reported by him.
- That therefore, in the Commission's view, Mr. Martínez Riguero has not yet received
fair compensation for the assets referred to in this case: shares in the Empresa Cereales de
Centroamérica S.A. (CERSA) and dividends earned on those shares, as well as the quarry located
in Las Brisas.
- That Mr. Martínez Riguero took all possible action to obtain fair compensation for his
assets, without success, and that, further, he was prevented from continuing such action, given the
de facto situation created by officials of the Government of Nicaragua, which gave rise to the
situations provided for in Article 46.2.a and b of the American Convention on Human Rights
regarding the exhaustion of remedies under domestic law.
- That Mr. Martínez Riguero has estimated the value of the assets of which he was
deprived as a result of action taken by the Government of Nicaragua, at US$63,402,65l.00,
according to the appraisal itemized in Appendix No ll of this resolution.
- That in the present case, the friendly settlement procedure provided for in Article 48.l.f
of the American Convention on Human Rights is applicable.
In view of which the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights,
- To declare that the Government of Nicaragua has violated the right to private property
set forth in Article 2l of the American Convention on Human Rights by not giving Mr. Carlos
Martínez Riguero adequate compensation for shares he owned in the Empresa Cereales de
Centroamérica S.A. (CERSA) and dividends earned on those shares.
- To declare that the Government of Nicaragua has violated the right to property set
forth in Article 2l of the American Convention on Human Rights by failing to honor, thus far, the
pecuniary obligations arising out of nationalization of the quarry located in the "Las Brisas"
subdivision belonging to Mr. Carlos Martínez Riguero.
- To recommend to the Government of Nicaragua that it proceed to reimburse Mr.
Carlos Martínez Riguero for the amounts owed to him for his shares in the Empresa Cereales de
Centroamérica S.A. (CERSA) and dividends thereon and the amount of money arising from
nationalization of the quarry located in the "Las Brisas" subdivision.
- To send this resolution to the Government of Nicaragua and to the complainant and to
publish it in the Annual Report of the Commission for the purposes of Article 63.g of the
Regulations if, within ninety days as of the date of its approval, the Government and the
complainant have not reached a friendly settlement on the matter.
[ Inter-American Human Rights