Center For Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
ANNUAL REPORT 1974
COMMUNICATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE COMMISSION
As started in Part III, Section I of this report, the Commission examined 626 communications or complaints denouncing 617 specific cases of alleged violations of human rights in the American States, in addition to communications reporting on the general status of such rights.
In accordance with its Statute and its Rules of Procedure, the Commission processed all the communications as required (Article 38-67).
Those communications that did not relate to disregard of human rights by the Government against which they were filed or which were incompatible with the provisions of its Statute or Rules of Procedure or manifestly unfounded (Article 39, items c and f) were declared inadmissible. Also declared inadmissible were communications in which the internal remedies of the States referred to in them had not been exhausted, in accordance with Article 54 of the Rules of Procedure.
If the communications did not meet the formal requirements (Article 38) or sufficient information was not supplied concerning the exhaustion of the proceedings and internal remedies (Article 54), the Commission requested the claimant or complainants to supplement their denunciations, specifying the requirements that had not been satisfied (Article 41), postponing their examination and authorizing the Secretariat to file the dossiers if the required information was not received within a reasonable period of time.
With respect to the communications declared admissible, the Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of such denunciations to the Governments concerned, at the same time requesting pertinent information, as established in the Rules of Procedure (Article 42 and 44). In the period covered by the present report, the Commission addressed the Governments of the following Member States: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Copies of the notes requesting information have been transmitted opportunely to the Missions and/or Delegations of those States to the OAS.
With the exception of the Governments of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, the other Governments replied to the requests of the Commission, in some cases sending the information and, in others, requesting an extension of the time limit provided for in Article 51 of the Rules of Procedure for the submission of such information. In granting the extensions requested, the Commission had to postpone the examination of the cases for the term of such postponements. But it should be pointed out that, in the course of those proceedings, the Commission had to reiterate to some Governments more than once the request for the information that would enable it to examine the cases, warning them of the date of expiry of the time limits established in the above-mentioned Article 51, or of the extensions thereto, and the application of the rule of presumption of truth provided for in that Article. In the case of other denunciations, the Commission, considering that the information submitted both by the Governments and by the claimants was not sufficient, asked both to provide further information that would enable it to adopt decisions on the merits of the denunciations.
During the thirty-third session (July 22-August 2), held in Chile, the Commission received numerous denunciations on alleged violations of human rights in that country and collected data and testimony on the general status of those rights. These communications were classified for the purposes of processing into the following categories:
In the three sessions held in 1974 (the thirty-second, thirty-third and thirty-fourth), the Commission also continued its examination of the communications and claims carried over from earlier sessions. The Commission examined 162 denunciations relating to 48 specific cases of alleged violations of human rights in the following American countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, United States of America, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.
A short account is given below of the processing and decisions adopted with respect to each case. It should be noted that the designations of the facts that appear at the beginning of such summaries (arbitrary arrest, torture, murders, etc.) are those of the claimants and not of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which is not passing judgment on such allegations or requesting any statement on them, since the merits of some of them have not yet been considered and, in other cases, the Commission decided to file them because the alleged violation was not proved or because the national authorities took appropriate steps to terminate the violation or to restore the violated right or rights, or finally because the claims were, in accordance with Article 39 d of the Rules of Procedure, declared inadmissible in that the events or situations referred to bore no relation to a disregard of human rights by the government against which the communication was directed.