Indigenous Peoples

Precautionary Measures

 

2013

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PM 338/13 – Lorenzo Santos Torres and Family, Mexico

On November 8, 2013, the IACHR requested that precautionary measures be adopted for Lorenzo Santos Torres and his family, in Mexico. The request for precautionary measures received by the Commission on October 7, 2013, alleges that the life and personal integrity of Lorenzo Santos Torres and his family are at risk, in the context of a social and agrarian conflict in Santiago Amoltepec. On October 24, the IACHR requested information from the State, which presented its report on October 29. The petitioners provided additional information on October 29 and 31. After analyzing the allegations of fact and law submitted by both parties, the Commission believes that the information presented suggests that Lorenzo Santos Torres and his family are threatened and at serious risk. Therefore, pursuant to Article 25 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure, the Commission asked the State of Mexico to adopt the necessary measures to protect the lives and personal integrity of Lorenzo Santos Torres and his family; reach agreement with the beneficiaries and their representatives on the measures to be adopted; and inform the Commission as to the steps taken to investigate the incidents that gave rise to the adoption of this precautionary measure so that they do not happen again. Read the resolution here: in Spanish.

2012

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PM 131/12 - Hernán Henry Díaz, Colombia

On June 11, 2012, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of Hernán Henry Díaz, in Colombia. The IACHR, a peasant leader, member of the Coordination of Social, Peasant, Afrodescendant and Indigenous Organizations of the Department of Putumayo, member of the National Federation of Agricultural Farming Unions, and leader of the social and political movement Marcha Patriótica (Patriotic March). According to the information received, the last time that anyone heard from Hernán Henry Díaz was on April 18, 2012, when through a text message he communicated that he was in his way to Bogota to participate in the launching of the “Marcha Patriótica”. Through the precautionary measure, the IACHR requested the State of Colombia to immediately adopt the necessary measures to determine the situation and whereabouts of Hernán Henry Díaz and to protect his life and personal integrity; and to inform the Commission about the actions taken to investigate the facts that led to the adoption of precautionary measures.

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PM 60/12 – Members of the Triqui Indigenous Community in the San Pedro River Valley, San Juan Cópala, Putla de Guerrero, Oaxaca, Mexico

On May 29, 2012, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of 76 members of the Triqui Indigenous Community in the San Pedro River Valley, San Juan Cópala, Putla de Guerrero, Oaxaca, Mexico. The request for precautionary measures alleges that the 76 members of this community, who currently live in the San Pedro River Valley, are in a risk situation. They informed that they had been displaced from San Juan Copala by armed actors operating in the area, and that currently they are victims of threats, acts of violence and harassment, aiming to displace them again. In this context, on May 8, 2012, a pick-up truck allegedly entered with violence in the community, firing against the houses, resulting in the death of three persons. The IACHR requested the State of Mexico to adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the life and physical integrity of the 76 members of the Triqui Indigenous Community in the San Pedro River Valley, San Juan Cópala, Putla de Guerrero, Oaxaca, Mexico, to adopt the measures in consultation with the beneficiaries and their representatives, and to inform on the actions taken to investigate the facts that led to the adoption of precautionary measures.

2011

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PM 255/11 – Nasa people of Toribio, San Francisco, Tacueyo, and Jambalo Reservations, Colombia

On November 14, 2011, the IACHR granted precautionary measures on behalf of the members of the Nasa people of Toribio, San Francisco, Tacueyo, and Jambalo Reservations, in Colombia. The request for precautionary measure claims that the members of the Nasa indigenous people in these four adjacent reservations are facing high levels of risk because of the armed conflict in the north of Cauca department, and that they have suffered murders, forced disappearances, and other acts of violence. The application further states that although the authorities have acknowledged the risks facing the Nasa people, the appropriate measures necessary to protect them have not been adopted. The Commission asked the State to take the steps necessary to ensure the lives and persons of the members of the Nasa people of Toribio, San Francisco, Tacueyo, and Jambalo Reservations, to agree on the measures to be adopted with the beneficiaries and their representatives, and to report back on the actions carried out to investigate the facts that gave rise to the adoption of this precautionary measure.

PM 121-11 − 14 Q'echi Indigenous Communities of the Municipality of Panzós, Guatemala

On June 20, 2011, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for 14 Q'echi indigenous communities of the municipality of Panzós, in Guatemala. The request for precautionary measure alleges that 14 Q'echi indigenous communities were forcibly evicted in the municipality of Panzós, in Guatemala's department of Alta Verapaz, between March 15 and 23 of 2011. It alleges that the court eviction order had not been communicated to the affected communities and was not carried out in compliance with the law. The information the Commission has received indicates that, more than two months following the eviction, between 700 and 800 families from the community are living in precarious conditions, without access to food and water, and that State agencies have failed to provide them with shelter or nutrition solutions. It is also indicated that acts of violence were perpetrated against the communities on May 13 and 21 and June 4, which reportedly led to the deaths of two individuals. The Inter-American Commission requested that the State of Guatemala adopt any necessary measures to guarantee the life and physical integrity of the members of the 14 Q'echi indigenous communities; adopt any necessary measures to provide humanitarian assistance, including food and shelter, to the members of the 14 displaced communities; and come to an agreement with the beneficiaries and their representatives on the measures to be adopted.

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PM 355/10 − 21 Families of the Nonam Community of the Wounaan Indigenous People, Colombia

On June 3, 2011, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for 21 families of the Nonam community of the Wounaan indigenous people, in Colombia. The request for precautionary measure alleges that the families have been subject to acts of harassment on the part of the armed forces and illegal armed groups. It indicates that they were forced to move from their territory, and as a result have had serious problems with access to food, housing, and medicine. It also alleges that the families have not received consistent and effective medical and humanitarian care in the nine months since they were displaced, even though a protection order was issued in their favor. This situation allegedly led to the death of an 11-month-old girl from tuberculosis, on May 12, 2011. The Inter-American Commission asked the State of Colombia to adopt necessary measures, agreed upon with the beneficiaries, to guarantee the life and physical integrity of the 21 families of the Wounaan indigenous community; provide humanitarian assistance and medical care to the beneficiaries in a situation of displacement; and guarantee their return to the Guayacán Santa Rosa Indigenous Reserve in conditions of dignity and security.

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PM 404/10 − Qom Navogoh Indigenous Community of "La Primavera," Argentina

On April 21, 2011, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for the members of the Qom Navogoh indigenous community of "La Primavera," in the province of Formosa, Argentina. The request for precautionary measures alleges that members of the security forces had perpetrated a series of acts of violence against members of the community and that as a result, leader Félix Díaz and his family were forced to move to another region. The petitioners reported that the attackers were continuing to guard the area, creating a climate of tension among area residents. They also added that security measures that would allow the return of Félix Díaz and his family had not been implemented. The Inter-American Commission asked the State of Argentina to adopt any necessary measures to guarantee the life and physical integrity of the members of the Qom Navogoh indigenous community of "La Primavera" against possible threats, attacks, or acts of harassment on the part of members of the police, law enforcement officers, or other State agents, as well as to implement any necessary measures so that Félix Díaz and his family can return to the community under safe conditions.

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PM 269/08 − Members of the Lof Paichil Antriao Community of the Mapuche Indigenous People, Argentina

On April 6, 2011, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for the members of the Lof Paichil Antriao community of the Mapuche indigenous people. The request for precautionary measure alleges that there is a grave and urgent situation involving risk of irreparable harm stemming from acts of harassment; that there is a risk that a sacred place known as a Rewe will be destroyed; that access by members of the Lof Paichil Antriao community to the Rewe is being obstructed; and that families of the community have been displaced from territory they claim as their ancestral land. The request also alleges that while the Rewe is currently being protected by a domestic legal measure, the members of the community have not been able to gain access to the site to practice the rituals called for by their culture. It also indicates that the families that are displaced in areas adjacent to the disputed territory are facing a precarious situation with regard to health and food. The Inter-American Commission asked the State of Argentina to adopt the necessary measures to guarantee that the protective legal measure to prevent alteration of the Rewe located on the property that is the object of the litigation is not lifted until the IACHR has ruled on the merits of Petition 962-08, currently being examined. On this matter, the Commission also requested that the State adopt measures to ensure effective compliance with the aforementioned legal measure so that this sacred place is preserved. In addition, the IACHR asked the State to take the necessary steps to guarantee that members of the Lof Paichil Antriao community who need to access the Rewe to practice their rituals may do so, without police forces or other public or private security or surveillance groups hindering their access or their stay for whatever time they wish, and without episodes of violence, attacks, harassment, or threats on the part of the police of other security groups. Finally, the Commission requested that the State adopt the necessary measures to look after the health of the community families that are displaced in areas adjacent to the disputed territory, in order to guarantee their well-being.

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PM 105/11 − Communities of the Kuna of Madungandí and Emberá of Bayano Peoples, Panama

On April 5, 2011, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for the Kuna of Madungandí and Emberá of Bayano peoples, in Panama. This precautionary measure is connected with Case 12.354, which is being processed by the IACHR and is now in the merits phase. (Admissibility Report No. 58/09 was approved on April 21, 2009.) The request for precautionary measure alleges that in February and March of 2011 there were massive intrusions into the territories of the Kuna of Madungandí and Emberá of Bayano indigenous reserve. It alleges that colonists violently seized and destroyed virgin forests that would have been used by the indigenous communities to ensure their food supply. The petitioners noted that this has been a recurring situation and alleged that the State is not adopting diligent measures to stop such invasions. In order to ensure that the subject of the petition in this case does not become moot, the Commission requested that the State of Panama adopt any necessary measures to protect the ancestral territory of the communities of the Kuna of Madungandí and Emberá of Bayano peoples from intrusions by third parties and from the destruction of their forests and crops, until such time as the IACHR has adopted a final decision in Case 12.354.

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PM 382/10 - Indigenous Communities of the Xingu River Basin, Pará, Brazil

On April 1, 2011, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for the members of the indigenous communities of the Xingu River Basin in Pará, Brazil: the Arara of Volta Grande do Xingu; the Juruna of Paquiçamba; the Juruna of "Kilómetro 17"; the Xikrin of Trincheira Bacajá; the Asurini of Koatinemo; the Kararaô and Kayapó of the Kararaô indigenous lands; the Parakanã of Apyterewa; the Araweté of the Igarapé Ipixuna; the Arara of the Arara indigenous lands; the Arara of Cachoeira Seca; and the Xingu Basin indigenous communities in voluntary isolation. The request for precautionary measure alleges that the life and physical integrity of the beneficiaries is at risk due to the impact of the construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant. The Inter-American Commission requested that the State of Brazil immediately suspend the licensing process for the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Plant project and stop any construction work from moving forward until certain minimum conditions are met. The State must (1) conduct consultation processes, in fulfillment of its international obligations—meaning prior consultations that are free, informed, of good faith, culturally appropriate, and with the aim of reaching an agreement—in relation to each of the affected indigenous communities that are beneficiaries of these precautionary measures; (2) guarantee that, in order for this to be an informed consultation process, the indigenous communities have access beforehand to the project's Social and Environmental Impact Study, in an accessible format, including translation into the respective indigenous languages; (3) adopt measures to protect the life and physical integrity of the members of the indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation of the Xingu Basin, and to prevent the spread of diseases and epidemics among the indigenous communities being granted the precautionary measures as a consequence of the construction of the Belo Monte hydropower plant. This includes any diseases derived from the massive influx of people into the region as well as the exacerbation of transmission vectors of water-related diseases such as malaria.

On July 29, 2011, during its 142nd regular session, the IACHR evaluated Precautionary Measure 382/10, based on information submitted by the State and the petitioners, and modified the aim of the measure. The IACHR requested that the State: 1) Adopt measures to protect the lives, health, and physical integrity of the members of the Xingu Basin indigenous communities in voluntary isolation and to protect the cultural integrity of those communities, including effective actions to implement and execute the legal/formal measures that already exist, as well as to design and implement specific measures to mitigate the effects the construction of the Belo Monte dam will have on the territory and life of these communities in isolation; 2) Adopt measures to protect the health of the members of the Xingu Basin indigenous communities affected by the Belo Monte project, including (a) accelerating the finalization and implementation of the Integrated Program on Indigenous Health for the UHE Belo Monte region, and (b) designing and effectively implementing the recently stated plans and programs that had been specifically ordered by the FUNAI in Technical Opinion 21/09; and 3) Guarantee that the processes still pending to regularize the ancestral lands of the Xingu Basin indigenous peoples will be finalized soon, and adopt effective measures to protect those ancestral lands against intrusion and occupation by non-indigenous people and against the exploitation or deterioration of their natural resources. Moreover, the IACHR decided that the debate between the parties on prior consultation and informed consent with regard to the Belo Monte project has turned into a discussion on the merits of the matter, which goes beyond the scope of precautionary measures.

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PM 61/11 − Members of the Awá Indigenous People of the Departments of Nariño and Putumayo, Colombia

On March 16, 2011, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for the members of the Awá indigenous people of the departments of Nariño and Putumayo, Colombia. According to the request for precautionary measure and information from various sources, the Awá people have been the target of numerous attacks, murders, and threats in the context of the armed conflict in Colombia. The information indicates that clashes between the Army and irregular armed groups have taken place recently in territory of the Chinguirito Mira indigenous reserve and of the community of La Hondita, leaving members of the Awá people caught in the middle of the crossfire. The request indicates, moreover, that in 2011 three accidents have reportedly taken place involving antipersonnel landmines planted in Awá ancestral territory by participants in the armed conflict. The Inter-American Commission requested that the State of Colombia adopt measures, agreed upon with the beneficiaries, to guarantee the life and physical integrity of the members of the Awá indigenous people of the departments of Nariño and Putumayo, including landmine removal their ancestral territory and landmine risk education for the members of the Awá people.

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PM 321/10 - Rapa Nui Indigenous People, Chile

On February 7, 2011, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for the Rapa Nui Indigenous People of Easter Island, Chile. The request for precautionary measure alleges that the Rapa Nui people's life and integrity are at risk due to acts of violence and intimidation reportedly carried out by police in the context of demonstrations and evictions. The Inter-American Commission asked the State of Chile to immediately bring an end to the use of armed violence in the execution of State administrative or judicial actions against members of the Rapa Nui people, including evictions from public spaces or from public or private property; to guarantee that the actions of State agents in the framework of protests and evictions do not jeopardize the life or physical integrity of the members of the Rapa Nui people; to inform the IACHR within 10 days about the adoption of these precautionary measures; and to update this information periodically.

2010

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PM 395-09 – Maho Indigenous Community, Suriname

On October 27, 2010, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for the inhabitants of the Maho Indigenous Community, in Suriname. The request for precautionary measures alleges that since 1990, the organization Stichtung Mohsiro and other third parties have allegedly been encroaching upon the 65 hectares of land that was reserved for the Maho Community in 1971. It is also alleged that at times, the invaders have destroyed the community’s crops and threatened its members’ physical integrity. It is alleged that as a result of these actions, the extinction of this community may be imminent. The Inter-American Commission asked the State of Suriname to take the measures necessary to ensure that the Maho Community can survive on the 65 hectares that have been reserved for it free from incursions from persons alien to the community, until the Commission has decided on the merits of the petition.

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PM 197-10 - 135 Inhabitants of San Juan Copala, Mexico

On October 7, 2010, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for 135 inhabitants of San Juan Copala, Mexico. The request for precautionary measures alleges that 135 members of the Triqui indigenous people of San Juan Copala, in Oaxaca state, are displaced as a result of repeated violent attacks carried out against them by an armed group. The information received indicates that in the previous eleven months, 25 persons have been killed and 17 injured as a result of the acts of violence in San Juan Copala. The Inter-American Commission requested that the State of Mexico adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the life and personal integrity of the 135 inhabitants of San Juan Copala, Mexico; reach agreement with the beneficiaries and their representatives on the measures to be adopted; and inform the Commission about the steps taken to investigate the facts that led to the adoption of precautionary measures.

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PM 102-10 − Inhabitants of the Mixteca Indigenous Community of Lázaro Cárdenas, Putla, Oaxaca, Mexico

On August 4, 2010, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for the inhabitants of the Mixteca indigenous community of Lázaro Cárdenas, Putla, Oaxaca, Mexico. The request for precautionary measures alleges that a series of acts of violence have taken place against the inhabitants of the Mixteca indigenous community of Lázaro Cárdenas, in the state of Oaxaca, in the context of a violent dispute between two communities to define their territory and the access to it. According to the information received, the situation was aggravated in March and May of 2010, with the reported disappearance of Marcelino Pedro Hernández Jiménez and Eleazar Asunción Sánchez Hernández and the purported invasion by approximately 1,500 people from another community, which took place in July 2010 and which allegedly places all inhabitants of Lázaro Cárdenas at risk. The Inter-American Commission asked that the State of Mexico adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the life and personal integrity of the members of the Mixteca community of Lázaro Cárdenas; that it adopt the necessary measures to remove the risk factors tied to the demarcation of lands between both communities, in order to prevent further confrontations; that it establish a mechanism for constant monitoring and ongoing communication with the beneficiaries, so that the measures can be implemented by mutual agreement with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and that it provide updated information on the steps taken to discover the whereabouts of Marcelino Pedro Hernández Jiménez and Eleazar Asunción Sánchez Hernández.

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PM 260-07 – Communities of the Maya People (Sipakepense and Mam) of the Sipacapa and San Miguel Ixtahuacán Municipalities in the Department of San Marcos, Guatemala

On May 20, 2010, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for the members of 18 communities of the Maya indigenous people: Tres Cruces, Escupijá, Pueblo Viejo, La Estancia, Poj, Sipacapa, Pie de la Cuesta, Cancil, Chual, Quecá, Quequesiguán, San Isidro, Canoj, Ágel, San José Ixcaniché, San José Nueva Esperanza, San Antonio de los Altos, and Siete Platos, in Guatemala. The request for precautionary measures alleged that in November 2003, the Ministry of Energy and Mines granted the Montana company a license to mine for gold and silver for 25 years, within an area of 20 square kilometers in the municipalities of Sipacapa and San Miguel Ixtahuacán. The concession’s environmental and hydrological impact area would encompass the territories of at least 18 communities of the Maya people in both municipalities. The petitioners alleged that the mining concession was issued and mining began without the prior, complete, free, and informed consultation of the affected communities of the Maya people. Montana reportedly began constructing the Marlin I Mine in 2003 and extracting gold and silver in 2005. The petitioners maintained that the mining  produced grave consequences for the life, personal integrity, environment, and property of the affected indigenous people, since the Tzalá River and its tributaries are the only sources of water for consumption and subsistence activities. According to the request, a number of water wells and springs dried up, and the metals present in the water as a result of the mining activity had harmful effects on the health of members of the community. The Inter-American Commission asked the State of Guatemala to suspend mining of the Marlin I project and other activities related to the concession granted to the company Goldcorp/Montana Exploradora de Guatemala S.A., and to implement effective measures to prevent environmental contamination, until such time as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights adopts a decision on the merits of the petition associated with this request for precautionary measures. The IACHR likewise asked the State to adopt the necessary measures to decontaminate, as much as possible, the water sources of the 18 beneficiary communities and to ensure their members access to water fit for human consumption; to address the health problems that are the subject of these precautionary measures, in particular to begin a health assistance and health care program for the beneficiaries aimed at identifying those who may have been affected by the consequences of the contamination, so as to provide them with appropriate medical attention; to adopt any other necessary measures to guarantee the life and physical integrity of the members of the 18 aforementioned Maya communities; and to plan and implement the protection measures with the participation of the beneficiaries and/or their representatives.

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PM 12-09 – Community of Alto Guayabal–Coredocito of the Emberá People, Colombia

On February 25, 2010, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for 87 families of the Emberá People’s Community of Alto Guayabal-Coredocito—declared “So Bia Drua,” a humanitarian area of the Uradá Jiguamiandó Indigenous Reserve—in the municipality of Carmen del Darién, department of Chocó, Colombia. The request for precautionary measure alleged that this community had been subjected to acts of violence that placed their lives and personal integrity at risk. It was alleged, among other facts, that on January 30, 2010, two helicopters and a plane belonging to the armed forces carried out a machine-gun attack and bombing 300 meters from the community’s main settlement, hitting the house of a family where there were three adults and two children, who were wounded. The request indicated, for example, that Mr. José Nerito Rubiano Bariquí was wounded in the thorax with a firearm, as a result of which he broke his spinal column and was left paraplegic. According to the applicants seeking the measures, the military presence in the area was related to the resumption of mining activity. The Inter-American Commission requested that the State of Colombia adopt the measures necessary to protect the life and personal integrity of 87 families of the Community of Alto Guayabal-Coredocito; that it come to an agreement with the beneficiaries and their representatives on the measures to be adopted; and that it inform the Commission on actions taken to investigate the events that led to the adoption of precautionary measures so as to remove the risk factors for the beneficiaries.

2009

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PM 118/09 – Naso Indigenous People of the Bocas del Toro Region, Panama

On November 30, 2009, the IACHR granted precautionary measures to protect the life and physical integrity of Naso People leaders Eliseo Vargas, Tony Vargas, Oscar Vargas, Lupita Cargas, Marcial Gamarra, and Lucho Gamarra; to prevent the continuation of collective forced evictions and/or removal of dwellings; and to guarantee the free circulation and security of the Naso Indigenous People of the Bocas del Toro Region in Panama. The request for precautionary measures alleged that on March 30, 2009, police and employees of the Ganadera Bocas company arrived at the Naso community of San San Druy to execute an eviction order. According to the information received, the police agents proceeded to violently evict the families that occupied the land in conflict with the company, throwing tear gas bombs where there were children and destroying some 30 houses, the Naso cultural center, the school, the church, and other community facilities. The request indicates that the indigenous people who were evicted had installed themselves in encampments and that agents of the National Police had surrounded several Naso communities and used roadblocks to restrict the free movement of community members, which impeded the delivery of food and water to the people inside the camp. It added that on April 15, 16, and 17, 2009, Ganadera Boca employees escorted by police agents allegedly fired gunshots into the air and knocked down six houses and the community's encampment. It was also reported that on October 2, 2009, approximately 40 heavily armed police arrested eight Naso indigenous people, including Eliseo Vargas and Lucho Gamarra, who were conducting a peaceful protest in front of the Cathedral Plaza. These individuals were reportedly freed on October 4. The information adds that on November 19, 2009, presumably without a court order, some 200 police agents arrived at the Naso communities of San San and San San Druy and threw tear gas bombs, and employees of the Ganadera Bocas company allegedly knocked down several houses with their equipment. The IACHR asked the State of Panama to take the measures necessary to prevent the continuation of collective forced evictions and/or removal of dwellings of the Naso indigenous people; provide emergency health care and housing to the members of these communities who were victims of eviction and of the destruction of homes, crops, and animals; adopt the measures necessary to preserve the life and physical integrity of the beneficiaries; guarantee the free movement and security of the members of the Naso Indigenous People so that they would not become targets of new acts of violence or intimidating measures; and investigate the facts that led to the adoption of these precautionary measures.

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PM 290/09 – Jesús Tecú Osorio and his family, Guatemala

On October 6, 2009, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for Mr. Jesus Tecu Osorio and his family, in Guatemala. The request seeking precautionary measures alleged that Mr. Jesus Tecu Osorio received death threats and that on September 14, 2009, he received several telephone calls with death threats for his family. The request also alleged that these threats could be linked to the activities of Mr. Osorio as a human rights defender in Guatemala. Mr. Tecu Osorio allegedly requested protection to several instances of the National Civilian Police, which offered him protection to the perimeter of his house, but the request says that this would not be adequate for the situation of risk of the beneficiaries. The Inter-American Commission asked the State of Guatemala to adopt the measures necessary to guarantee the life and physical integrity of the beneficiaries, and to inform the IACHR about any actions taken to investigate these facts.

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PM 56/08—Ngöbe Indigenous Communities et al., Panama 

On June 18, 2009, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for members of the indigenous communities of the Ngöbe people, who live along the Changuinola River in the province of Bocas del Toro, Panama. The request for precautionary measures alleged that in May 2007, a 20-year concession was approved for a company to build hydroelectric dams along the Teribe-Changuinola River, in a 6,215-hectare area within the Palo Seco protected forest. It added that one of the dams authorized to be built was the Chan-75, which had been under construction since January 2008 and which would flood the area in which four Ngöbe indigenous communities have been established—Charco la Pava, Valle del Rey, Guayabal, and Changuinola Arriba—with a population of approximately 1,000 people. Another 4,000 Ngöbe people would also be affected by the construction of the dam. They alleged that the lands affected by the dam are part of their ancestral territory and are used to carry out their traditional hunting and fishing activities. The Inter-American Commission believed that precautionary measures should be granted to avoid irreparable harm to the right to property and security of the Ngöbe indigenous people in the province of Bocas del Toro.

The IACHR requested that the State of Panama suspend construction and other activities related to the concession until the bodies of the inter-American human rights system can adopt a final decision on the matter raised in Petition 286/08, which alleges violations of the rights protected under Articles 5, 7, 8, 13, 19, 21, 23, and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights. The IACHR also asked the State of Panama to adopt the measures necessary to guarantee the free circulation as well as the life and physical integrity of the members of the Ngöbe community, in order to prevent acts of violence or intimidation measures.

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PM 301/08—Leaders of the Indigenous Regional Council of Cauca (CRIC) and their Advisers, Colombia

On January 14, 2009, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of 32 leaders and advisers of the Indigenous Regional Council of Cauca (Consejo Regional Indígena del Cauca, CRIC), in Colombia. The request for precautionary measures alleged that the CRIC leaders and advisers had been the targets of acts of violence, threats, and stigmatization as a result of their activities as indigenous leaders. It also alleged that murders, threats, and acts of harassment against the CRIC leadership had increased since August 2008 and referred to, among others, the death of Edwin Legarda Vásquez, husband of the CRIC Senior Counselor Aída Marina Quilcué Vivas. The Inter-American Commission requested that the State of Colombia adopt the measures necessary to guarantee the life and personal integrity of the beneficiaries, as well as report on the actions taken to remove the risk factors that justified the adoption of these precautionary measures. The Commission continues to monitor the situation.

2007

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Marcos Bonifacio Castillo, member of the Garifuna Community of Punta Piedras, Honduras

On August 20, 2007 the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of Marcos Bonifacio Castillo, a member of the Garifuna community of Punta Piedras. The available information indicated that members of that community had been subjected to threats and attacks by inhabitants of the community of Río Miel, and that on June 11, 2007, Mr. Félix Ordóñez Suazo was assassinated. The beneficiary was said to have been an eyewitness to that homicide, for which he was said to have received death threats.  It was noted that the attacks on members of the Garifuna community of Punta Piedras were reported to the local authorities, who were said not to have intervened to forestall new confrontations. The Commission asked the Honduran State to take the measures needed to guarantee the life and physical integrity of the beneficiary, and to report on the actions taken to investigate judicially the assassination of Mr. Ordóñez Suazo and the death threats received by Mr. Marcos Bonifacio Castillo. The Commission continues to monitor the beneficiary’s situation.

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Indigenous peoples of Mashco Piro, Yora, and Amahuaca in voluntary isolation, Peru

On March 22, 2007, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of the indigenous peoples of Mashco Piro, Yora, and Amahuaca, living in voluntary isolation, who live in the area of the Las Piedras river, department of Madre de Dios, in Peru. Already in 2006 the Commission had requested information of the Peruvian State with respect to the situation of those indigenous communities, in particular on the implementation of measures to guarantee their life and personal integrity, and to halt illegal logging in their territory. At the same time, the IACHR was informed that illegal logging had continued in territory legally protected and designated to those communities in the department of Madre de Dios, exposing them to the risk of extinction. In view of the situation, the Commission asked the Peruvian State to adopt all measures necessary to guarantee the life and personal integrity of the members of the Mashco Piro, Yora, and Amahuaca indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation, especially the adoption of measures aimed at preventing irreparable harm resulting from the activities of third persons in their territory. On October 12, 2007, during its 130th regular period of sessions, the IACHR held a public hearing in which it received information from the State and the representatives of the beneficiaries on the implementation of the precautionary measures issued. The Commission continues to monitor the beneficiaries’ situation.

2006

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The Union of Guarayo Native Peoples (COPNAG), Bolivia

On November 27, 2006, the IACHR granted precautionary measures on behalf of Élida Urapuca Priori, Felipe Male Uraeza, Ángel Yubanore Zerobei, Modesto Checuire, Silvia Aracae, Miguel Manguari, Alfredo Añez, Edil Sánchez, and Cataline Castro, in their capacity as directors of the Union of Guarayo Native Peoples (COPNAG); Juan Pablo Encinas, Miriam Guzmán, Wilson Añez, Osbin Abiyna, and Francisco Uraruin, in their capacity as members of the Disciplinary Tribunal of COPNAG; Ovidio Yubanore Zerobé, Eladio Uraeza Abacay, Ambrosio Yaboo, Hildeberto Urapovi, Gastón Estrada, Severiano Abancay, in their capacity as leaders of the Community Unions in Urubichá, Yotaú, Cururú, Salvatierra, Momené, and Yaguarú, respectively; Venancio Morobanchi, in his capacity as member of the Urubichá Municipal Council; Benigno Urapuca Priori, in his capacity as ex-leader of  COPNAG; and Alicia Tejada Soruco, in her capacity as Technical Consultant. The Commission’s decision was based on the request for precautionary measures in which it was alleged that these persons were at risk as a consequence of the conflict between COPNAG’s leaders, members of the Disciplinary Tribunal and community leaders, and the Guarayo Indigenous People, and former leaders of COPNAG, which had given rise to threats, physical aggression, and forced displacements. The Commission requested that the State adopt the measures necessary to ensure the safe return of community leaders to their localities; ensure the presence of police at COPNAG headquarters and the Urubichá Community headquarters during the assemblies and activities in which the beneficiaries were taking part; and report on action taken to investigate judicially the events that gave rise to the precautionary measures.

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Maya Sitio El Rosario-Naranjo Comunity, Guatemala

On July 14, 2006, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of the Sitio El Rosario-Naranjo Community of the Maya, identified as both area and archaeological monument, and sacred place for those in Guatemala who practice Mayan spirituality. The available information stated that Government Decision No. 1,210 protects the areas identified as archaeological sites. It is stated that the area of El Rosario-Naranjo belonged to third parties who started to build a housing project on the protected land and commissioned a study that reduced the sacred area from six to three mounds (mounds I, II, and III). In 2005, the general directorate of the Office of National and Cultural Patrimony, at the request of the firm LEXUS, authorized building work in the areas adjacent to Mounds I, II, and III. However, the Supreme Court of Justice declared that building in El Rosario-Naranjo obstructed the holding of Mayan religious and social celebrations, in violation of the Guatemalan constitution, and ordered the suspension of the building work on the site to be suspended, in spite of which they continued building and argued that they had not been notified of the decision. In response to a request from the IACHR for information prior to the granting of precautionary measures, the State indicated that until final judgment was reached in the summary proceedings, there was nothing to prevent the granting of precautionary measures to protect the Rosario-Naranjo Archaeological Center. In view of this, the Commission requested that the Government of Guatemala adopt the measures necessary to protect the Rosario-Naranjo Archaeological Center. The Commission is monitoring the beneficiaries’ situation.

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Garifuna Community of San Juan, Honduras

On July 7, 2006, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for the Garifuna community of Triunfo de San Juan, in Honduras. The situation of this indigenous community vis-à-vis the conflicts related to ownership of their ancestral lands is the subject of a petition being processed by the IACHR under No. P-674-06. In the request for precautionary measures, the Commission asked the government of Honduras to adopt the necessary measures to protect the life and personal integrity of the leaders of the community, especially Jessica García, Wilfredo Guerrero, and Ellis Marín; to protect the right to ownership of said lands; and to prevent or suspend the implementation of any judicial or administrative action that could affect the rights derived from the beneficiary community's ancestral property, until such time as the bodies of the inter-American system adopt a final decision with respect to Petition 674-06. The IACHR continues to follow the situation of the beneficiaries.

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The Tagaeri and Taromenami Indigenous Peoples, Ecuador

On May 10, 2006, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of the Tagaeri and Taromenami indigenous peoples who inhabit the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle in the area bordering Peru and who are currently voluntarily isolated or “hidden”. The available information stated that members of the Taromenami tribe were murdered on April 26, 2006 in the Cononaco (River Chiripuno) area during reprisals linked to illegal logging in the Yasuní Park and encroachments onto indigenous lands. In view of this, the IACHR requested that the Ecuadorian State adopt the measures necessary to protect the territory inhabited by the beneficiaries from third parties.

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Garifuna Community of Triunfo de la Cruz, Honduras

On April 28, 2006, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for the Garifuna community of Triunfo de la Cruz, in Honduras. The situation of this indigenous community vis-à-vis the conflicts related to ownership of their ancestral lands is the subject of a petition being processed by the IACHR under No. 12.548. In the request for precautionary measures, the Commission asked the government of Honduras to adopt the necessary measures to protect the right to ownership of said lands and to prevent or suspend the implementation of any judicial or administrative action that could affect the rights derived from the beneficiary community's ancestral property, until such time as the bodies of the inter-American system adopt a final decision with respect to Case 12.548.

2005

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Aura Lolita Chávez Ixcaquic, Guatemala

On November 7, 2005, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of Aura Lolita Chávez Ixcaquic, the representative in El Quiché department of women’s organizations to the Departmental Development Council, Pedro Chávez Terrasa, Auxiliary Mayor of Xemamatze village and representative of the local authorities of Nebaj, José Raymundo Cedillo, a member of the Heath Commission of Saquil Grande village, Andrés Hermoso De León, a representative of traders from Santa María Nebaj, Manuela Cedillo Brito, a member of the women’s organization of Nebaj, Diego Rivera Santiago, a representative of the “Integral Victims Movement” association in northern Quiché (municipalities of Nebaj, Cotzal, Chajul), Pedro Brito Guzaro, an evangelical pastor, Domingo Brito Raymundo, a member of the Security, Justice, and Human Rights Commission in El Quiché department, Teresa Santiago De León, a member of the indigenous women’s organization of Nebaj, Tomás Ceto López, president and legal representative of the Ixil Civil Association for Community Social Development, and Francisco Raymundo Hernández, president and legal representative of the Maya Defense Office. The information available indicated that on September 21, 2005, the eleven beneficiaries were traveling to Guatemala City in order to discuss the situation in Nebaj municipality with judicial authorities and the Public Prosecution Service. Subsequently and by various means, the Mayor of Nebaj municipality began to make a series of threats, some of which targeted the beneficiaries’ lives and personal integrity, in order to dissuade them from continuing to publicize a number of alleged irregularities in the municipal administration.

Given the risks facing the beneficiaries, the Commission asked the Guatemalan State to adopt the measures necessary to protect the lives and personal integrity of Aura Lolita Chávez Ixcaquic, Pedro Chávez Terrasa, José Raymundo Cedillo, Andrés Hermoso de León, Manuela Cedillo Brito, Dieto Rivera Santiago, Pedro Brito Guzaro, Domingo Brito Raymundo, Teresa Santiago de León, Tomás Ceto López, and Francisco Raymundo Hernández, and to investigate the incidents that led to the adoption of the precautionary measures. The Commission continues to monitor the situation of the beneficiaries.

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Tacana Indigenous Community of Miraflores, Riberalta, Bolivia

On March 11, 2005, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of the Tacana indigenous community of Miraflores (Riberalta), a group comprising 53 families (270 people) settled on Multiethnic Indigenous Territory II (“TIM II”) in Gonzalo Moreno municipality of Madre de Dios province, Pando department, in the Northern Amazon region of Bolivia, and on behalf of members of the Center for Juridical Studies and Social Investigation (CEJIS). The available information indicated that on December 17, 2004, armed individuals attacked and violently evicted 50 members of the Miraflores indigenous community, set fire to their homes, made threats against them, and occupied a part of the community’s land. Subsequently, on January 5, 2006, thirty armed individuals with ties to the Riberalta Agroforestry Association (ASAGRI) forcibly entered the offices of the CEJIS, made death threats, and ransacked and destroyed office equipment and documents that proved the existence of a large estate in the Northern Amazon region. During this incident the armed individuals gave the CEJIS a deadline of “48 hours to get out of Riberalta” and threatened to harm Cliver Rocha, the person responsible for the office, if he ever returned to the municipality. In light of the risks facing the beneficiaries, the IACHR asked the Bolivian State to adopt the measures necessary to ensure the lives and personal integrity of the Tacana and Cavineño indigenous community of Miraflores (Riberalta) and to guarantee the physical integrity of CEJIS members Carlos Gustavo Romero Bonifaz, Leonardo Tamburini, Ignacio Franco Semo, Mónica Lijerón Aponte, Mabel Herrera Montaño, Leslie Peñarrieta Justiniano, Juan Carlos Mérida Romero, and Margot Céspedes, including the installation of a police guard post for the indigenous community during the nut harvest and a permanent police guard post at the offices of CEJIS in the municipalities of Riberalta (Beni department) and Cobija (Pando department). The Commission also asked the State to conduct an exhaustive investigation of the reported acts of intimidation and threats. On May 11, 2005, the IACHR requested that the precautionary measures be amplified in favor of Cesar Blanco Álvarez and Oscar Vargas Herrera, two lawyers connected with the CEJIS office in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The Commission continues to monitor the situation of the beneficiaries.

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Wiwa indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, Colombia

On February 4, 2005, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of the members of the Wiwa indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta. The information available indicates that during the two previous years, these indigenous people had suffered a series of violent acts by paramilitaries, including the murder of approximately 50 indigenous leaders, the forced displacement of more than 800 individuals, and a deteriorating humanitarian situation in the communities of La Laguna, El Limón, Marokazo, Dudka, Linda, and Potrerito. It was reported that on January 19, 2005, Angel Milciades Loperena Díaz, the General Treasurer of the Wiwa Yugumaiun Bukuanarúa Tayrona Organization, was murdered, along with his brother Darío Loperena, a community schoolteacher, in San Juan del Cesar (La Guajira department). Responsibility for the killings was attributed to the Northern Bloc of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia under the command of “Jorge 40.” Given the risks facing the beneficiaries, the Commission asked the Colombian State to adopt the measures necessary to protect the lives and personal integrity of the members of the Wiwa People of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, respecting their cultural identity and protecting the special relationship they enjoy with their lands, in accordance with the obligations entered into by the State. The Commission also asked the State to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of the displacements and food crises, in particular the indigenous people’s children, to agree on collective protection measures, including the presence of a community defender, with the beneficiaries through their representative organizations Wiwa Yugumaiun Bukuanarrúa Tayrona OBYBT, the Gonawindúa Tayrona Organization, and the petitioners, and to take the steps necessary to end the acts of violence and threats carried out against the beneficiary community. The Commission continues to monitor the situation of the beneficiaries.

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Obtilia Eugenio Manuel et al, Mexico

On January 14, 2005, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of Obtilia Eugenio Manuel and others. The information available indicated that Mrs. Obtilia Eugenio Manuel was a member of the Me Phaa (Tlapaneco) people, a resident of the community of Barranca de Guadalupe, and was known for her commitment over recent years in defending and promoting indigenous rights in the Mexican state of Guerrero. In addition, apparently due to her advocacy work, she had been targeted over the years by a series of threats. Specifically, during December 2004, Mrs. Obtilia received written threats and was monitored and harassed, and these activities continued into January 2005. Given the risks facing the beneficiaries, the Commission asked the Mexican Government to adopt the measures necessary to protect the lives and personal integrity of Obtilia Eugenio Manuel and others, and to inform the Commission of the steps taken to investigate the incidents that gave rise to the request for precautionary measures. The Commission continues to monitor the situation of the beneficiaries.

2004

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Indigenous Peoples Ingaricó, Macuxi, Wapichana, Patamona and Taurepang in Raposa Serra do Sol, Roraima State, Brazil 

On December 6, 2004, the Commission granted precautionary measures in favor of the members of the indigenous peoples of Ingaricó, Macuxi, Wapichana, Patamona, and Taurepang in Raposa Serra do Sol, state of Roraima.  Available information indicated that the lives, personal safety, and territorial occupation of the members of these indigenous peoples were in imminent danger because of the process of delimiting lands, which had been pending since 1977.  It was alleged that, on November 23, 2004, an armed group attacked the indigenous communities with chainsaws, tractors, and fire, resulting in one death, one missing person, and the destruction of 34 homes, one school, and the local health clinic.  In view of this situation, the IACHR requested the Brazilian State to adopt the necessary precautionary measures to protect the lives, physical integrity and free circulation of the beneficiaries and to report on the actions undertaken to investigate the facts.  The Commission has continued to receive information on the situation of the protected communities.

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Holmes Enrique Fernández, Jorge Salazar and other members of the Cauca  Association of Persons Displaced from the Naya (Asociación Caucana de Desplazados del Naya, ASOCAIDENA), Colombia

On October 14, 2004, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of Holmes Enrique Fernández, Jorge Salazar, and other members of the Cauca Association of Displaced Persons from Naya (Asociación Caucana de Desplazados del Naya--ASOCAIDENA), which, since December 2003, brought together 70 families of displaced persons of African descent, indigenous people, and colonizers who survived the massacre perpetrated on April 12, 2001 in Alto Naya.  Available information indicated that the members of ASOCADEINA–now relocated in La Laguna, Timbío, Department of Cauca—had been the target of threats against their life and personal safety by members of paramilitary groups operating in the zone and that, on September 30, 2004, Holmes Enrique Fernández and Jorge Salazar were the targets of an ultimatum by paramilitary groups, indicating that the time had come to settle scores with the leaders of the association for their activity in the zone.  In view of the situation of the beneficiaries, the Commission requested the Colombian Government to adopt the measures necessary to guarantee the lives and physical integrity of Holmes Enrique Fernández, Jorge Salazar, and other members of ASOCAIDENA and to report on the actions adopted for the purpose of putting an end to the incidents justifying the adoption of precautionary measures.  The Commission continues to monitor the situation of the protected persons.

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Indigenous Community Kelyenmagategma of the Enxet People, Paraguay

On October 12, 2004, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of the members of the Kelyenmagategma Indigenous Community of the Enxet People.  Available information indicated that, on August 29, 2004, members of this community had allegedly been displaced by force from their ancestral land, through the actions of individuals who destroyed their homes and working tools.  The Petitioners alleged that the displaced persons were living in deplorable conditions and that their personal safety was in imminent danger.  In view of the situation, the IACHR requested the Paraguayan State to adopt precautionary measures necessary to protect the lives and physical integrity of the members of the Kelyenmagategma Indigenous Community of the Enxet People, to provide humanitarian support to the displaced persons and guarantee their prompt return to their ancestral land, and to report on the actions undertaken to clarify the facts justifying the adoption of precautionary measures.  The Commission continues to monitor the situation of the beneficiaries.

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Raúl Javier Gatica Bautista, Mexico

On September 27, 2004, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of Raúl Javier Gatica Bautista, member of the Organizational Board of the Ricardo Flores Magón Oaxaca People’s Indigenous Council.  Available information indicated that Mr. Gatica Bautista had been the target of threats and harassment because of his work defending the human rights of the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca, which had allegedly undermined official, political, and paramilitary group interests.  In view of the risks to the beneficiary, the Commission requested the Mexican State to adopt measures to protect Mr. Raúl Javier Gatica Bautista’s life and physical integrity and the free exercise of his activities as a human rights defender.  The State and the beneficiaries have reported on agreements reached concerning measures of protection.  The Commission continues to monitor the situation of the protected person.

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Women leaders of the Wayúu indigenous people, Colombia

On September 23, 2004, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of Mariana Epinayú, Carmen Cuadrado Fincé, Débora Barros, and Karmen Ramírez, women leaders of the Wayúu indigenous people in the Department of La Guajira.  Available information indicated that during the past three years, the Wayúu indigenous community had sustained acts of violence by paramilitary groups led by “Jorge 40,” with the collaboration or acquiescence of State agents.  The petitioners claimed that some of the so-called “women leaders” (liderezas, orspokeswomen for Wayúu families with national and international entities) had been the target of threats against their life and personal safety as a result of their reports.  Among them were Mariana Epinayú, Carmen Cuadrado Fince, Débora Barros Fince, and Karmen Ramírez Boscán, leaders and relatives of indigenous men who were murdered or missing as a result of a massacre perpetrated on April 18, 2004, who had been the target of threats and harassment.  In view of the situation of the beneficiaries, the Commission requested the Colombian Government to adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the life and physical integrity of Mariana Epinayú, Carmen Cuadrado Fincé, Débora Barros, and Karmen Ramírez; and to report on the actions adopted to put an end to the situation justifying the adoption of precautionary measures, including judicial proceedings that might be relevant.  On November 16, 2004, the IACHR extended the precautionary measures to include Roland Fince Uriana, Ana Julia Fince Uriana, Telemina Barros Cuadrado, José Miguel Barros Fince, and Katty Fince Uriana.  The Commission continues to monitor the situation of the protected persons.

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Community of San Mateo de Huanchor, Peru

On August 17, 2004, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of Oscar González Anchurayco and members of the Community of San Mateo de Huanchor.  Available information indicated that the living conditions, health, food, farming and livestock of five indigenous campesino communities, comprised of more than 5,000 families, would be severely affected by deposits from an open-air mine in the vicinity of the Rimac River.  The studies conducted by the Department of Environmental Health of the Ministry of Health concluded that the cumulative power and chronic effect of arsenic, lead, and cadmium in the deposits generated a high risk of exposure for the communities of the zone; that environmental pollution was affecting the health of the dwellers of the communities; and that children were suffering from very high levels of lead concentration in their blood.  In view of the risks to the beneficiaries, the Commission granted precautionary measures to protect the life and personal safety of Oscar González Anchurayco and the members of the Community of San Mateo de Huanchor.   Likewise, the Commission requested the Peruvian State to implement a health assistance and care program for the population, particularly for children, to identify the persons who might have been affected by the consequences of pollution and provide the relevant medical care; and to begin transferring the deposits in accordance with the best technical conditions as determined by the relevant environmental impact study.

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Leonidas Iza, Ecuador

On February 27, 2004, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of Leonidas Iza, President of the Confederation of Indigenous Nations of Ecuador (Confederación de las Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador—CONAIE) and his family.  Available information indicated that on February 1, 2004, Mr. Iza and members of his family were victims of an armed assault at CONAIE headquarters, as a result of which they were severely injured.  In view of the risk for the beneficiaries, the Commission requested the Ecuadorian State to adopt measures to protect the life and physical integrity of Mr. Leonidas Iza and his family.  The Commission continues to monitor the situation of protected persons.

2003

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Amílcar Mendez, Guatemala

On October 3, 2003, the Commission granted precautionary measures on behalf of Amílcar Méndez, a prominent human rights defender, founder and legal representative of the Consejo de Comunidades Étnicas “Runujel Junam” (CERJ). The available information indicated that on September 27, 2003, Mr. Eusebio Macario Chicoj was assassinated; he was a member of CERJ who had worked on issues related to compensation for the victims of the internal armed conflict in the community of Chulumal in Chichicastenango. On September 30, 2003, Amílcar Méndez received a telephone threat indicating “... we brought Eusebio to justice [ajusticiamos, i.e. “we killed him”], we’re going to bring you to justice ... complain to your father the Ombudsman, to the gringo shits (los gringos cerotes)....” In view of the risk to which he was exposed, and the context of danger facing human rights defenders in Guatemala, the IACHR asked the Guatemalan State to adopt the measures needed to protect the life and personal integrity of Amílcar Méndez. In response, the State indicated that the Minister of Interior, the Director General of the National Civilian Police, and the Chief of the Human Rights Unit had been informed, and told to provide perimeter security to the offices of the CERJ and the beneficiary’s residence.

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Members of 15 cabildos and resguardos of the Pijao indigenous people, Colombia

On October 2, 2003, the Commission issued precautionary measures on behalf of 15 cabildos (indigenous peoples’ governing bodies) and resguardos (indigenous peoples’ recognized territories) of the Pijao indigenous people in the department of Tolima. The available information indicated that members of these cabildos and resguardos were facing imminent danger to their lives, personal integrity, and permanence in their territory. Specifically, the paramilitary groups were said to have a list of more than one hundred members of indigenous and campesino communities whom they had declared to be military targets. On September 28, 2003, indigenous community member Iván Montiel was kidnapped by paramilitary groups; his dismembered corpse later appeared at the place known as Punto Papagalá, between Coyaima and Saldaña. In view of the situation, the IACHR asked the Colombian State to adopt the measures needed to protect the life and physical integrity of the beneficiaries and to report on the actions taken to investigate the facts and put an end to the threats. The Commission has continued receiving information about the situation of the persons protected.

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Kankuamo indigenous people, Colombia

On September 24, 2003, the Commission granted precautionary measures on behalf of the Kankuamo indigenous people, who live in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The available information indicated that in the first half of 2003, 44 Kankuamo were assassinated. On August 11, 2003, Andrés Ariza Mendiola was assassinated by the AUC in a paramilitary incursion on his farm; on August 18, 2003, Alcides Arias Maestre and Robinson Villazón were assassinated by the AUC in a paramilitary incursion in the district (corregimiento) of Los Haticos; and on August 29, 2003, the corpse of Ever de Jesús Montero was found with his face disfigured, dressed in camouflage, and presented to the media as a member of the Ejército de Liberación Nacional killed in combat with the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC). In addition, there were displacements of the indigenous population, as a result of the constant acts of violence against the community. In view of the situation, the IACHR asked the Colombian State to adopt the measures needed to safeguard the life and personal integrity of the members of the Kankuamo people, respecting their cultural identity and protecting the special relationship they have with their territory; to offer emergency attention to the victims of forced displacement; and to adopt the measures needed to investigate judicially the acts of violence and threats against the beneficiary community. On October 30, 2003, the IACHR issued a press release expressing its serious concern over the situation of the Kankuamo people. The Commission has continued to receive information about the situation of the persons protected.

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Rosalina Tuyuc, Guatemala

On August 11, 2003, the Commission granted precautionary measures on behalf of Rosalina Tuyuc, a prominent defender of human rights and indigenous rights, and her daughter Julia Ixmucané Tuyuc. The available information indicated that on July 26, 2003, unknown persons entered Rosalina Tuyuc’s home and took school supplies and other objects of scant economic value. In addition, in the course of an exhumation organized by CONAVIGUA, the beneficiary was threatened and harassed by several persons. In view of the risk to which the beneficiaries were exposed, the IACHR asked the Guatemalan State to adopt the measures needed to protect the life and personal integrity of Rosalina Tuyuc and her daughter. In response the State reported that it had adopted measures to coordinate the adoption of protective measures with her.

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Mercedes Julia Huenteao et al., Chile

On August 1, 2003, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for Mercedes Julia Huenteao, Rosario Huenteao Beroiza, Berta Quintreman Calpan, and Aurelia Marihuan Mora, members of the Pehuenche people of Alto Bío Bío. The Commission requested that the State of Chile refrain from taking any action that would alter the status quo of the matter before the IACHR, until such time as the bodies of the inter-American human rights system adopt a final decision on the matter, and that it especially prevent or suspend the implementation of any judicial or administrative action that would imply the displacement of the petitioners from their ancestral lands. On March 11, 2004, the Inter-American Commission approved a friendly settlement report in this case.

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Members of the Sarayacu indigenous community

On May 5, 2003, the Commission granted precautionary measures on behalf of Franco Viteri, José Gualinga, Francisco Canti, Fabián Grefa, Marcelo Gualinga, and all other members of the Sarayacu indigenous community. The available information indicated that at least 10 members of the community had been disappeared since January 26, 2003, and that the girls of the community were subject to harassment by members of the Army and civilians from outside the community. In view of the risk to which the beneficiaries were exposed, the IACHR asked the Ecuadoran State to adopt the measures needed to protect the life and physical integrity of the members of the Sarayacu indigenous community, to protect the community’s special relationship with its territory, and to investigate judicially the events of January 26, 2003, at the “Tiuthualli Camp for Peace and Life.” On July 6, 2004, the Inter-American Court, at the request of the Commission, ordered provisional measures. (See also: Report No. 62/04 on admissibility).

2002

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Zenilda Maria de Araujo and Marcos Luidson de Araujo (Cacique Marquinhos), indigenous leaders of the Xucuru people, Brazil

On October 29, 2002 the Commission granted precautionary measures on behalf of Zenilda Maria de Araujo and Marcos Luidson de Araujo (Cacique Marquinhos), indigenous leaders of the Xucuru people. The petitioners indicated in their request that for over 13 years they had been awaiting completion of the demarcation of their lands in the state of Pernambuco and that, throughout the process, Xucuru indigenous leaders had been killed or threatened each time implementation of the demarcation process was announced.They added that the process of demarcating land and awarding titles for indigenous lands was at a defining point, endangering the life and person of those for whom protection was sought.The precautionary measures requested by the IACHR were aimed at protecting the life and person of those threatened and investigating the threats.  The State did not provide any information on the compliance with the measures by the deadline and, on January 21, 2003, it indicated that Marcos Luidson de Araujo had refused the protection offered to him by the federal government.  The Commission summoned both parties to a hearing to be held in February 2003 during its 117th regular session.

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De Vereninig van Saramakaanse (Twelve Saramaka clans), Suriname

On August 8, 2002 the Commission issued precautionary measures to protect the twelve Saramaka clans which inhabit 58 villages located on the Upper Suriname River.  The Petitioners claimed that the State of Suriname had granted numerous logging, road-building and mining concessions in the Saramaka territory, without consulting the clans and that this constituted an immediate, substantial and irreparable threat to the physical and cultural integrity of the Saramaka people.  The Petitioners claimed that an estimated 30,000 Brazilian gold miners operated in the Saramaka territory and that as a consequence 20 to 30 tons of mercury had been released into the environment, contaminating the water sources and the fish.  The Commission requested that the State take the appropriate measures to suspend all concessions, including permits and licenses for logging and mine exploration and other natural resource development activity on lands used and occupied by these clans, until the substantive claims raised in by the petitioner were examined in Case 12.338 (See the application to the Inter-American Court and the Court’s decision in the case).  The Commission also requested that the State take all appropriate measures to protect the physical integrity of the clan members.

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Members of the Rigoberta Menchú Foundation, Guatemala

On July 29, 2002 the Commission contacted the Guatemalan State to request precautionary measures to protect the rights to life and personal safety of members of the Rigoberta Menchú Foundation, based on threats and acts of intimidation against them.  Among the incidents considered by the Commission in issuing the measures was the murder of Guillermo Ovalle, a Foundation member, on June 26, 2002 in a restaurant near that organization.  On August 12, 2002 the State presented information on fulfillment of the precautionary measures and indicated that a decision was reached at a meeting with the petitioners to have continuous police surveillance of Foundation facilities. Following that reply from the State, the parties continued to present information and observations in connection with these precautionary measures. The Commission continues to monitor compliance with the precautionary measures.

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Members of the Embera Chamí people, Colombia

On March 15, 2002 the IACHR granted precautionary measures on behalf of 40 Embera Chamí indigenous persons in the reservations and settlements of Cañamomo-Lomaprieta, San Lorenzo, Nuestra Señora Candelaria de la Montaña, Escopetera-Pirza, Totumal, La Trina, La Albania, Cerro Tacón, and La Soledad and members of the Regional Indigenous Council of Caldas (CRIDEC).Since June 2001, these communities–which State agents had publicly named as collaborators of the guerillas–had been the victims of threats, harassment, and violence by the AUC.Available information indicated that an armed group made an incursion into the community of Escopetera-Pirza causing material damage, intimidating those present, killing Leonardo Díaz Becerra (former town councilor for the reservation) and wounding Luis Eduardo Flórez (alternate treasurer of the indigenous town council).The petitioners indicated that despite efforts by a number of nongovernmental organizations, the authorities had not taken any steps to prevent paramilitary incursions in the area and did not provide support for going into the area for humanitarian purposes.The IACHR was subsequently informed of the assassination of indigenous leader María Fabiola Largo and an assassination attempt against former indigenous governor Miguel Antonio Largo Pescador, both of whom were beneficiaries of the precautionary measures granted on April 9, 2002 for the Cañamomo-Lomaprieta reservation.The State also reported on a mission conducted by the Administrative Security Department (DAS) to shed light on the attacks, but indicated that the testimony compiled “… did not provide information of interest to individually identify the perpetrators or provide evidence to the investigating authority.”It also said that the Ayacucho Batallion had conducted counter-insurgency raids in Riosucio and that the municipal police were providing security at Community meeting sites. The Commission has continued to receive information on the situation of the indigenous community.

2001

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Aldo González Rojas and Melina Hernández Sosa, Mexico

The Inter-American Commission contacted the Mexican State on November 29, 2001, to request measures to protect Aldo González Rojas and Melina Hernández Sosa. Mr. González Rojas was a leader of the Zapotec indigenous people in Guelatao de Juárez, Oaxaca, and he was serving at the time as that municipality’s mayor by virtue of an election held in accordance with indigenous customs and practices. The petitioners stated that their struggle for the political and economic autonomy of the Zapotec peoples, in which Ms. Hernández Sosa had played a part, had earned them threats from the region’s local political strongmen (caciques). In particular, they claimed to have received an e-mail message referring to their work and that witnesses had informed them that persons with ties to public officials had said that they should be killed. The request referred to specific measures, such as providing them with vehicles, mobile telephones, and closed-circuit TV systems. The Mexican State replied on December 14, 2001, noting that the Oaxaca attorney-general’s office had begun a preliminary investigation.

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Yakye Axa indigenous community, Paraguay

On September 26, the Commission requested the adoption of precautionary measures in connection with petition 12.313, on behalf of the Yakye Axa Indigenous Community, to prevent irreparable harm to its members. For more than four years, the Yakye Axa indigenous community had been occupying a strip of land along the Concepción to Pozo Colorado highway opposite the lands they claimed as part of their traditional habitat. They were in an extremely needy situation, because of their inadequate access to food supplies and health care. On August 29, 2001, Mr. Ramón Martínez Caimén, a criminal judge in the Concepión judicial district, ordered the homes located on the Pozo Colorado to Concepción highway belonging to and serving as the dwellings of the Yakye Axa indigenous community to be removed. In light of the information received, the Commission requested the following measures: (1) To suspend the enforcement of any court or administrative order involving the eviction and/or removal of the homes of the Yakye Axa indigenous community and of its members. (2) To refrain from all other actions and undertakings affecting the right to property, free transit, and residence of the Yakye Axa indigenous community and its members. (3) To take all steps necessary to ensure the life and physical, mental, and moral integrity of the members of the Yakye Axa indigenous community. After the State replied, the parties continued to submit information and comments in connection with these precautionary measures. The Commission continues to monitor compliance with the precautionary measures. On March 17th, 2003, the IACHR presented the case to the Court, which issued a judgment on the merits on June 17th, 2005, and an interpretative judgment on February 6, 2006.

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Anselmo Roldan Aguilar, Guatemala

On July 31, 2001, the Commission contacted the State of Guatemala to request the adoption of precautionary measures to protect the life and person of Anselmo Roldán Aguilar, the president and legal representative of the Ixcán Human Rights Association in the community of La Unión Cuarto Pueblo and of the Association for Justice and Reconciliation. According to the available information, on Sunday, July 22, 2001, Anselmo Roldán Aguilar was attacked by an individual armed with a sharp bladed weapon at around 7:30 p.m. in the vicinity of Cuarto Pueblo. Mr. Roldán Aguilar, who had told the Justice of the Peace in Ixcán that death threats had been made against him because of his activities as a defender of human rights, was wounded with a type of stiletto knife known as a verduguillo, which cut through his left arm and caused him serious bleeding. In his capacity as president of the Ixcán Human Rights Association, Anselmo Roldán Aguilar had denounced, in public and judicial forums, harassment intended to terrorize the Cuarto Pueblo community, particularly those involved as witnesses in the association’s suit against the military high command for the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed between 1982 and 1986. After the State replied, the parties have continued to submit information and comments in connection with these precautionary measures. The Commission continues to monitor compliance with the precautionary measures.

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Kimi Domicó and other members of the Embera Katio indigenous communities of Alto Sinú, Colombia

On June 4, 2001, the IACHR granted precautionary measures on behalf of Kimi Domicó, Uldarico Domicó, Argel Domicó, Honorio Domicó, Adolfo Domicó, Teofan Domicó, Mariano Majore, Delio Domicó, Fredy Domicó, and other members of the Embera Katio indigenous communities of Alto Sinú who had been abducted from the main town and neighboring areas. The State was asked, as a matter of urgency, to take the steps necessary to clarify the whereabouts of these persons and to protect their lives and persons; to take the steps needed to protect the other members of the Embera Katio indigenous communities of Alto Sinú, working in collaboration with the petitioners; and to investigate, judge, and punish those responsible for the attacks perpetrated against the communities. After the State replied, the parties  continued to submit information and comments in connection with these precautionary measures.

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National Association of Peasant and Indigenous Women of Colombia (ANMUCIC), Colombia

On March 2, 2001, the Commission granted precautionary measures and requested that the Colombian State take steps to protect the lives and persons of the members of the National Association of Peasant and Indigenous Women of Colombia (ANMUCIC) and its president, Ms. Leonora Castaño. The available information indicated that several members of ANMUCIC had suffered threats and attacks, forcing them to relocate to different areas of Colombia, to go into exile, or to curtail the organization’s work in certain regions of the country. The Commission asked the State, in collaboration with the petitioners and the persons receiving protection, to adopt measures to guarantee the life and person of Ms. Leonora Castaño, to protect ANMUCIC’s facilities, particularly their premises in Bogotá, and to investigate, judge, and punish the persons responsible for the threats and harassment inflicted on ANMUCIC and its members. After the State replied, the parties continued to submit information and comments in connection with these precautionary measures.

2000

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Maya Indigenous Communities, Belize

On October 20, 2000, the IACHR granted precautionary measures on behalf of the Maya Indigenous Communities of the Toledo District and their members (case 12.053) and requested the State of Belize to take the necessary steps to suspend all permits, licenses, and concessions allowing for the drilling of oil and any other tapping of natural resources on lands used and occupied by the Maya Communities in the District of Toledo, in order to investigate the allegations in this case. The State did not reply to the Commission’s request. (See Report No. 40/04, on the merits of the case).

1999

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Mary and Carrie Dann, United States of America

On June 28, 1999, the Commission issued precautionary measures in the case of Mary and Carrie Dann, case 11.140, and requested that the United States take appropriate measures to stay the efforts of the Bureau of Land Management to impound their livestock, until the Commission had the opportunity to fully investigate the claims raised in the petition. The Commission did not receive a response to this request. (See Report No. 75/02, on the merits of the case).

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Lombardo Lacayo Sambula and Horacio Martínez Calix, Honduras

On May 6, 1999, the Commission granted precautionary measures in favor of Messrs. Lombardo Lacayo Sambula, the former Garífuna mayor of the Municipality of Limón, Department of Colón, and Horacio Martínez Calix, ex-President of the Fraternal Black Organization, who, according to the information before the Commission, had suffered grave acts of harassment and intimidation in connection with land disputes between the indigenous population of Honduras, the Garífuna and certain Honduran land owners. Pursuant to the request to the State to adopt the measures necessary to safeguard the lives and personal integrity of the persons named, the parties continued presenting information and observations in relation to these measures.

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José Rentería Pérez and 14 persons from La Humedad, Oaxaca, Mexico

On April 13, 1999, precautionary measures were granted on behalf of José Rentería Pérez and 14 persons from La Humedad, Oaxaca. According to the request received, on January 15, 1999, unknown individuals broke into the home of the nuns of the community, interrogated them about their activities and made threats against them and the other persons included in the request, including the municipal president elected in accordance with "usage and customs." Pursuant to various communications from the parties in relation to the measures in effect, and the situation of security of the persons protected, the Commission extended the measures for six months as of August 8, 1999, and the parties continued presenting the corresponding information and observations.

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Patricia Ballestero Vidal, Lee Pope and Arnold Fuentes, Chile

On March 3, 1999, the Commission requested precautionary measures on behalf of Patricia Ballestero Vidal, Lee Pope and Arnold Fuentes, of Spanish, United States and French nationality respectively, who, according to the information received, had been ordered expelled for having participated in and expressed their support and solidarity for a demonstration organized by the Pehuenches indigenous population on February 18, 1999 in the Alto Bio-Bio. In reply, the Chilean State informed the Commission that the order for the expulsion of the aforementioned persons had been rescinded.

1998

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Pablo Tiguilá Mendoza, Pedro Tiguilá Hernández, and Manuela Tiguilá Hernández, Guatemala

On January 27, 1998, the Commission requested that the State of Guatemala adopt precautionary measures to protect the life and physical integrity of Pablo Tiguilá Mendoza, Pedro Tiguilá Hernández, and Manuela Tiguilá Hernández, who had been subject to threats and harassment in connection with their work at the "Runujel Junam" Council of Ethnic Communities (CERJ) and their activism in human rights. Another close relative had allegedly been killed by a member of the civilian patrols in 1996, due to his work with the CERJ.

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Maximiliano Campo and other 11 leaders of the Paez indigenous people, Colombia

On January 7, 1998, the Commission requested the adoption of precautionary measures for case 11.101, to protect the personal integrity of Maximiliano Campo and 11 others. These persons were leaders in the Páez indigenous community and were threatened by the presence of a paramilitary group in Caloto and other areas in the north of the Cauca region. (See the admissibility and merits report in this case).

1997

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Survivors of massacre in Acteal in 1997, Mexico

The Commission requested, on December 24, 1997, the State of Mexico to adopt precautionary measures in connection with a massacre on December 22, 1997, the date on which members of paramilitary groups killed 45 persons, including women and children, who were moving from one location to another.  The measures requested related to protecting the life, physical integrity and health of the survivors, conducting a serious and immediate investigation into the facts, punishment of the persons responsible and measures to prevent any repetition of similar events in the area.  On January 31, 1997, the Government reported on the measures taken. 

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Awas Tingni Indigenous Community, Nicaragua

In connection with Case 11577 relating to the Awas Tingni Indigenous Community, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights requested the State of Nicaragua, on October 30, 1997, to adopt precautionary measures for the purpose of suspending the concession given by the government to the SOLCARSA Company to carry out forestry work on the lands of the Awas Tingni Indigenous Community. (See the provisional measures adopted by the Inter-American Court in this case). On August 31st, 2001, the Inter-American Court adopted a judgment on the merits, reparations and costs of the case, and on December 14, 2008, the Government of Nicaragua handed the Awas Tingni community a title deed over 73.000 hectares of its territory on the Atlantic Coast of the country, thereby substantially advancing in the resolution of the case.

1996

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Rosario Hernández Grave, Manuel Hernández Ajbac, Manuel Mendoza Jolomocox, Jesus Chaperón Marroquín, Gustavo Vásquez Peralta and Rogelio Cansi, Guatemala

On August 23, 1996, the Commission requested the State of Guatemala to take urgent precautionary measures to protect the lives and personal integrity of Rosario Hernández Grave, Manuel Hernández Ajbac, Manuel Mendoza Jolomocox, Jesus Chaperón Marroquín, Gustavo Vásquez Peralta and Rogelio Cansi, witnesses to the murder of Martín Pelico Coxic and six other persons, members of the Militia Patrol of San Pedro Jocopilas, which occurred on June 27, 1995, following which the witnesses and the families of the victims had been the object of constant death threats.  Under case 11.658 the Commission reviewed charges with regard to the summary and extra-judicial execution of these persons.  On September 27, 1997, the State of Guatemala responded that it was taking measures to protect the persons indicated.

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Brenda Mayol et al, Guatemala

On July 30, 1996, the Commission requested the State of Guatemala to take urgent precautionary measures to protect the life and personal integrity of Brenda Mayol, her sons, Oscar René, Igor Alfonso and Rembrant Carlos Trujillo Mayol and her fellow workers Vidal Días, Rene Días, Rosa Zinico and Thelma López.  These persons were working in the legal office IXCHEL, which defends human rights, the environment, women and children in Peten and as a result of their work had been the object of constant harassment and threats.  The State of Guatemala responded on September 12, 1996, indicating the measures it was taking to protect the lives and physical integrity of the persons indicated.

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Community of the Zenu indigenous people, Colombia

On June 18, 1996, the Commission transmitted to the State of Colombia a request for urgent precautionary measures on behalf of the Zenú community, of the Department of Córdoba, one of whose leaders had been murdered on May 16, 1996 by paramilitary groups in the San Andrés de Sotavento reserve; on May 25, the Secretary of the Town Council of San Andrés de Sotavento had been murdered and on June 4 pamphlets had been distributed threatening the indigenous leaders.  On July 31,1996, the State of Colombia sent a report on the measures taken.  At the request of the claimants, on December 17, 1996, the Commission requested additional information from the Colombian State.  On January 15, 1997, the State of Colombia sent its response to the observations of the petitioner.

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Rosalina Tuyuc, Manuela Alvarado, Amilcar Méndez and Nineth Montenegro, Guatemala

On March 19, 1996, the Commission requested the State of Guatemala to take urgent precautionary measures on behalf of Rosalina Tuyuc, Nineth Montenegro, Amilcar Méndez and Manuela Alvarado, members of the Guatemalan National Democratic Front elected to the Congress of Guatemala, who had been receiving grave death threats.  On April 15, 1996, the Commission reiterated this request to the State of Guatemala and requested that these measures be extended to the families of the persons indicated.  On May 24, 1996, the response of the State of Guatemala was received indicating that measures were being taken to protect the persons mentioned.

1995

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Union of Communities of the northern zone of Isthmus AC (UCIZONI), México

On December 18, 1995, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights requested the State of Mexico to adopt precautionary measures to protect the life and physical integrity of the members of the Union of Communities of the northern zone of Isthmus AC (UCIZONI) who had been victims of threats and harassment related to land ownership conflicts between villages in Arroyo Tejon and Mazatlan on the one hand and landholders named Fuentes and Raymundo on the other hand.  Mr. Juan Carlos Beas, President of the Commission on Justice and Human Rights of UCIZONI reported that on repeated occasions he had received telephone calls threatening his life.  The State of Mexico sent their response on January 2, 1996.

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César Ovidio Sánchez Aguilar and members of indigenous peoples’ organization in Santa Barbara, Huehuetenango, Guatemala

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, on November 30, 1995, transmitted to the State of Guatemala a request for precautionary measures on behalf of César Ovidio Sánchez Aguilar, official of the Myrna Mack Foundation and of an indigenous peoples’ organization in Santa Barbara, Huehuetenango.  As a result of his work, Mr. Sánchez was threatened and attacked by local militia patrols and commissioned military officers in late 1995.  As a result of these events, Mr. Sánchez was forced to leave the community.  The state declined to implement the measures requested, alleging that the matter was a private problem between individuals.  The Commission reiterated its request for precautionary measures on March 26, 1996.