Center For Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
Communication 1903 (United States)
1903, of January 22, 1975, denounces, in summary, the following events:
a. That workers belonging to the Employees Union of the Water and Sewerage Authority of Puerto Rico began a strike on October 25 because of the 23% increase in the cost of living in Puerto Rico and in view of the breakdown in collective bargaining and the refusal on the part of officials to increase wages: the strike was called in accordance with the law.
b. As a form of repression, the following labor leaders of the Organization were persecuted and imprisoned for six days: Héctor René Lugo, Andrés Carrasquillo, Francisco
Figueres, Felipe Ramón Lozada, Carlos Rivera, Edgardo Soto Ruiz, Rafael Martínez, Fidel Sánchez, Miguel A. Santiago Vasquez and Luis Rivera López; each individual was fined $200.00.
c. The Criminal Investigation Corps (CIC) detained more than 40 local leaders of the employees union in order to force them to return to work.
d. Because the strike continued, an attempt was made to create something similar to a state of war, doing physical and moral harm to the workers.
In a communication dated March 17, 1975, the Commission requested the Government of the United States to provide the appropriate information. Copy of that note was transmitted to the United States Mission to the OAS on March 18, 1975.
The Commission examined this communication during its thirty-fifth session (May 1975) together with the information provided by the Government of the United States through a note dated May 20, 1975, to which it attached a copy of the report submitted by the Department of Justice of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
During that same session the Commission appointed Dr. Justino Jiménez de Aréchaga as rapporteur. The rapporteur presented a report (doc.25-35 res. ), on the basis of which the Commission decided the following:
a. To transmit to the claimants the pertinent parts of the information provided by the Government of the United States and,
b. Should the claimants not dispute the fact that the matter denounces is being brought before the court, to declare the case inadmissible.
This decision was brought to the attention of the Government of the United States and of the claimants through notes dated August 8 and August 28, 1975, respectively.
During its thirty-sixth session (October 1975) the Commission continued to examine case 1903 and decided to file the case without prejudice to such comments or observations as the claimants may make.
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