Press Release

Annex to Press Release 117/11 on the 143rd Regular Session of the IACHR

November 4, 2011

Washington, D.C., November 4, 2011—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held its 143rd regular session from October 19 to November 4, 2011. The IACHR is composed of Dinah Shelton, Chair; José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez, First Vice-Chair; Rodrigo Escobar Gil, Second Vice-Chair; and Commissioners Luz Patricia Mejía, María Silvia Guillén, Felipe González, and Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro. The Executive Secretary is Santiago A. Canton.

During its 143rd session, the Commission held 46 hearings and 29 working meetings. It also approved reports on individual cases and petitions.

This session marked the first time the IACHR Legal Assistance Fund of the Inter-American Human Rights System was used. It defrayed the travel expenses of two alleged victims, who offered testimony in public hearings related to Cases 12.738 and 12.791.

Friendly Settlement Processes

During the session's working meetings, significant progress was made on several cases being processed by the IACHR.

The IACHR expresses its satisfaction over the significant step forward represented by a decision—issued October 21, 2011, by Peru's Office of the Public Prosecutor—to reopen the investigation into the case of María Mamérita Mestanza Chávez, which has to do with the practice of forced sterilizations in that country. On March 27, 1998, María Mamérita Mestanza, a peasant woman who was approximately 33 years old, was coerced into having tubal ligation surgery, which resulted in her death. The State recognized its international responsibility in the case. In the context of following up with the Friendly Settlement Report approved by the IACHR, a working meeting was held in which the State informed the IACHR that its investigations were being reopened. The Commission notes that this decision is a first and important step in the State's compliance with the friendly settlement agreement, given the State's commitment to carry out a thorough investigation of the facts and apply legal sanctions against those who were responsible, including public officials. The IACHR urges the State to conduct this investigation thoroughly and quickly.

On another matter, the Commission commends the signing of an agreement between the State of Panama and the petitioners in Case No. 12.522, Rita Irene Wald Jaramillo, during a working meeting held on October 26, 2011, at the IACHR. Rita Irene Wald Jaramillo was the victim of a forced disappearance on March 27, 1997, when she was 17 years old— presumably at the hands of officials of General Omar Torrijos' military regime—in reprisal for her political leadership in the student opposition. The IACHR considers that this agreement constitutes a significant step in the ongoing friendly settlement process before the IACHR, and it appreciates the efforts undertaken by the parties.

The IACHR welcomes the Argentine State's willingness—expressed in the hearing on Petition 273/05 – Nam Qom Indigenous Community of the Toba People—to initiate a friendly settlement proceeding. The Commission likewise welcomes the State of Chile's intention, expressed in working meetings, to initiate friendly settlement proceedings in Case 12.143 – Eduardo Perales Martínez and Case 12.676 – Juan Vergara Reyes.

Situation of Indigenous Peoples

In this session, several hearings were held on the situation of indigenous peoples in the Americas. The Commission reiterates its concern over the consequences of exploiting natural resources and undertaking massive infrastructure projects in indigenous and Afro-descendant territories, which in many cases jeopardizes the survival of these peoples. In this regard, the IACHR urges the States to take steps to overcome the obstacles that keep indigenous and Afro-descendant populations from fully exercising their right to prior, free, and informed consultation regarding decisions that affect their territories.

Situation of Human Rights Defenders

The Commission received information during the session on the situation of human rights defenders in the region and the obstacles they continue to face in carrying out their work of promoting and protecting human rights. In addition to the threats, acts of harassment, and attacks on their life and safety, the Commission received information about an increase in criminal charges brought against them, with accusations of rebellion, terrorism, sedition, and conspiracy, among others.

The Commission was informed in a hearing about the state of particular risk being faced by women human rights defenders in Mesoamerica, in countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador, when compared to other groups of defenders. In addition to the obstacles they face in defending their causes, they are subject to discrimination for their historical role and the gender-related stereotypes attributed to their sex. In terms of obstacles to their work, the Commission received information regarding murders and threats, the criminalization of activities to defend sexual and reproductive rights, the repression of protest demonstrations, socio-cultural barriers, and structural problems in promoting access to justice.

In addition, the IACHR received information regarding labor-union freedom in the region, with particular emphasis on the situation of union leaders in several countries. In this regard, the IACHR was told about situations such as the lack of recognition of the right to strike and a prohibition on independent trade unionism in Cuba; limitations some public workers face in exercising union activity in El Salvador; and, in Venezuela, a growing number of murders of union leaders and the criminalization of such leaders.

Finally, the IACHR received extremely serious information regarding the lack of effectiveness of protection measures to benefit human rights defenders in the context of precautionary measures ordered by the Commission or provisional measures ordered by the Inter-American Court. Along these lines, the Commission condemns the murder of the Triqui indigenous leader Antonio Jacinto López Martínez, a beneficiary of precautionary measures; he was killed on October 17, 2011, in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca. The IACHR urges the State of Mexico to carry out an effective investigation into these crimes and punish those responsible, as well as to take corrective action to ensure full implementation in the future of precautionary measures requested by the Commission or provisional measures ordered by the Court.

Situation of Women

During this session, the IACHR received information on forms of discrimination and violence that continue to affect women in the region.

Along these lines, it received information on the magnitude and gravity of the problem of sexual violence in educational institutions and on gaps in access to education for indigenous women, peasant women, women of African descent, and women from rural areas. These gaps keep women from being able to pursue an educational path that is free from discrimination, with an intercultural perspective and under equal conditions, and keep them from fully exercising their economic, social, and cultural rights.

The IACHR also received information on the obstacles women of African descent face throughout the hemisphere in being able to fully exercise their civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. The petitioners drew attention to intersecting discrimination factors, such as gender, race, ethnicity, and poverty, which expose this segment of women to greater risk of human rights violations; forms of social exclusion and racism they suffer; manifestations of discrimination that affect their access to health-care services, employment, and education; the lack of statistics broken down by sex, race, and ethnicity, which makes their needs invisible on the public agenda; and obstacles in their access to justice. The IACHR reminds the States of the need to recognize diversity and the specific needs of women in adopting laws, public policies, and programs geared toward advancing and guaranteeing their rights. Moreover, the IACHR recalls that States have an obligation to act with due diligence to eliminate all types of discrimination, racism, and social exclusion.

In another vein, the IACHR received troubling information about violence against women in the region. Specifically, it received information about sexual violence in Nicaragua; killings of women in Honduras; violence against indigenous women in the United States; alarming forms of violence against women in Colombia; and difficulties in the implementation of precautionary measures. The IACHR notes with concern that these situations tend to be accompanied by impunity and an inadequate response on the part of the States. The IACHR urges the States to diligently continue to carry out efforts through laws, policies, and programs to address all forms of violence against women, in close collaboration with the women affected and their representatives.

In addition, the IACHR received information regarding structural obstacles that make it difficult to implement the "Maria da Penha Law" in Brazil, which aims to address domestic violence. The hearing on this issue included the participation of Maria da Penha Maia Fernandes and the petitioning organizations in the case. The State of Brazil reiterated its commitment to the letter and spirit of this law. The IACHR urges the State to continue adopting measures to guarantee its effective implementation at the federal and state level.

Situation of the Rights of Children and Adolescents

The Commission received information about grave violations to the rights of children and adolescents in the region. The IACHR especially is concerned over the information it received, in the hearing on juvenile criminal justice, on regressive measures by various States that have passed or are trying to pass laws that would lower the maximum age of responsibility in the juvenile justice system from 18 to 16 years or increase the length of incarceration for children and adolescents convicted of breaking criminal laws. The Commission calls to mind that, in accordance with its Report on Juvenile Justice and Human Rights in the Americas, sentences involving deprivation of liberty may be applied only as a last resort in the case of minors under 18 years of age.

The Commission also received information related to the disproportionate use of force and alleged arbitrary detentions against students, many of them minors, by Chilean law enforcement in the context of student demonstrations throughout 2011. The Commission reiterates that States have the obligation to investigate, prosecute, and punish—diligently and in the regular court system—those who are allegedly responsible for violating the human rights of children and adolescents. They also have the obligation to legally guarantee the rights of freedom of expression and assembly of children and adolescents, in accordance with international standards.

Finally, the Commission received information on the situation of sexual violence experienced by many women, mainly girls, in educational institutions in various countries of the region, as well as the lack of adequate mechanisms for them to be heard and to be guaranteed access to justice. The Commission urges the States to monitor educational institutions in order to diligently prevent violations of children's and adolescents' human rights, and to guarantee that they can be heard and have the same access to justice as anyone else, through effective mechanisms that are adapted to their particular needs.

Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Bisexual, and Intersex Persons

The IACHR received information during a public hearing on the situation of lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual, and intersex (LGTBI) persons in several countries of the hemisphere.

Representatives of the organization REDLACTRANS presented information on the exclusion faced by trans women and men in the Americas, particularly in the Central American region. This exclusion keeps these individuals from health care, employment, justice, and political participation, and places trans persons in a situation of particular vulnerability that leads to grave human rights violations. The petitioners stated that one of their principal demands is their right to recognition of their identity and to legal personhood concordant with their gender identity. The hearing participants also demanded more opportunities to defend their rights and to influence public policy on the protection and promotion of those rights.

The Peruvian TLGB Network stated that Peruvian society and the State have tolerated discrimination, violence, and torture for decades, citing as evidence the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Network drew attention to the cruelty of crimes committed against LGTBI persons. They spoke with great concern about the barriers for access to justice and particularly about the fact that the vast majority of human rights violations against lesbians, gays, and trans, bisexual, and intersex persons are not even reported due to the ongoing impunity of such crimes.

The LGBTI Network of Venezuela reported to the Commission that international standards are not being observed, and focused on the lack of effective protection actions and the failure to combat homo-lesbo-transphobia; the particularly vulnerable situation of trans persons; and the insufficient protection of families created by same-sex persons. The group also drew attention to legal inequality and the failure to categorize certain crimes as hate crimes, which means that attacks on LGTBI persons end up being invisible.

All those who participated in the hearings called for an end to impunity and asked that all necessary steps be taken to safeguard the rights of LGTBI persons in the States concerned. They also requested that the IACHR issue a hemispheric report on the situation of the rights of LGTBI persons; that it include considerations on this issue in its thematic and country reports; that it carry out visits to Central America, Peru, and Venezuela to observe the problem of trans persons and their defenders; that it move forward petitions and precautionary measures; and that it consider the creation of an Office of the Rapporteur on the rights of lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual, and intersex persons.

Situation of Afro-Descendants

In recognition of the International Year of Persons of African Descent—as proclaimed in Resolution A/RES/64/169 of the United Nations General Assembly—the IACHR continued to place special emphasis on the situation of Afro-descendants in the region. During this session, the IACHR continued to receive with concern information with respect to the special situation of risk faced by women of African descent, who have suffered triple discrimination historically based on their gender, poverty, and race, and find that they are invisible in public policies and in the statistics that exist in most countries of the region. All of this makes them less able to enjoy their civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. In this regard, the IACHR emphasizes the importance of continuing to monitor the situation of the Afro-descendant population, particularly that of women of African descent, based on a cross-cutting and intersectoral approach.

The IACHR also received information on the situation of the Afro-Peruvian population, through the presentation of the report titled "Beyond Historical Pardon: Report on the Situation of the Afro-Peruvian Population's Human Rights." With respect to the situation in Peru, the IACHR welcomes the government's announcement of an agenda of activities involving the Afro-Peruvian population for the 2011-2014 period, organized by the office in charge of intercultural affairs [Dirección General de Interculturalidad y Derechos de los Pueblos]. With regard to the three central themes on the agenda, the government underscores the need to "promote the recognition and visibility of the Afro-Peruvian population."

The IACHR appreciates the information provided during this session both by the States and by civil society, which will be useful in finalizing the regional report that the Office of the Rapporteur is preparing on the situation of persons of African descent in the Americas.

Situation of Migrant Persons

The Commission received information with respect to actions by the Dominican Republic that reportedly led to the denationalization of Dominicans of Haitian descent through the suspension of civil registrations, as well as the use of racial profiling in the implementation of domestic provisions. The State reiterated its invitation to the IACHR to carry out a visit to the Dominican Republic in order to verify the actions the State has taken in the area of civil registries. The petitioners, in turn, asked the IACHR to visit the Dominican Republic to observe how the denationalization process is being carried out.

At the request of the State of Mexico, a hearing was held to follow through on the visit made to that country by the Office of the Rapporteur from July 25 to August 2, 2011. The State's representatives talked about the actions they have taken nationally to follow up on the preliminary recommendations the IACHR Office of the Rapporteur made at the end of the visit. These include consultations with civil society organizations on regulations for the Immigration Law; steps taken to investigate, prosecute, and punish those who have committed crimes against migrants; transit visas for migrants; and actions related to the establishment of exceptions to detention for children, crime victims, and women. The civil society organizations expressed their concern over the way the State is responding to the Commission's recommendations, in particular with respect to the lack of an open mechanism that allows for civil society's real participation in drafting regulations for the Immigration Law. The IACHR also received information on acts of xenophobia that have caused the deaths of several migrants in Lechería, in the state of Mexico, and on threats and harassment that have victimized migrants and their defenders in Tenosique, Tabasco.

A regional hearing was also held on the systematic and progressive deterioration of the working conditions of both regular and irregular migrants in the States of Costa Rica, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic.

Situation of Persons Deprived of Liberty

In the hearing on juvenile criminal justice systems in the Americas, the Commission received information to the effect that incarceration conditions for children and adolescents being held in custody continue to be extremely poor in several countries of the region. The main shortcomings, according to the organizations, included the lack of adequate sanitation, few possibilities for privacy during visits, violence against inmates exercised by the staff, the lack of awareness and dissemination of the rules that govern life in correctional facilities, and the absence of study and training programs.

Likewise, in the hearing on administration of justice in Haiti, the petitioners denounced the persistent practice of arbitrary detentions and disproportionate use of force during arrests; the mistreatment suffered by detainees during interrogations conducted without a lawyer being present; the excessive use of pretrial detention; the lack of timely court oversight of detentions; the degrading conditions in prisons; and the lack of access to medical services despite the presence of cholera. The petitioners also talked about detention conditions for minors, indicating that in some prisons they live alongside adults, and in unhygienic and unhealthy conditions. They also mentioned that in Haiti the majority of children and adolescents held in custody spend most of the day and night in enclosed conditions, without any chance to carry out productive or recreational activities.

Situation of the Right to Freedom of Expression

The IACHR held a hearing on attacks against journalists in Mexico, in which the State recognized the importance of the work of journalism and the need to guarantee a safer environment for the full exercise of freedom of expression. The Mexican State talked about the creation, at the end of 2010, of the Consultative Committee to Evaluate and Recommend Prevention and Protection Actions for Journalists, as well as the investigative efforts of the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Freedom of Expression. The petitioners, from the organization Article 19, called attention to the situation of violence against journalists in Mexico, the impunity that exists in the majority of these cases, and the lack of concrete progress in the creation of a protection mechanism.

The IACHR also received information about the situation of freedom of expression in Ecuador. The Commission recognized the presence of high-level authorities from the State of Ecuador, and called to mind that the hearings should serve to foster a respectful dialogue and pave the way for solving any problems that are raised. In the hearing, information was presented regarding civil and criminal cases brought against those who have expressed themselves on matters of public interest, such as official actions of State officials, and regarding a draft criminal code that would maintain the criminalization of this type of expression. The Commission recalls, in that regard, that the protection of reputation must be guaranteed only through civil sanctions in cases in which the person offended is a public official or public figure.

In another vein, the IACHR welcomed and supports the fact that the State of Guatemala and civil society organizations agree on the need to protect, consolidate, and institutionally strengthen the Project to Recover the National Police Historical Archive. The Commission shares the aspiration that this will become a State project that transcends the will of the current government authorities and guarantees the right of access to information.

Finally, the Commission received information on human rights and public demonstrations in Chile—including Decree No. 1086 of 1983, which governs demonstrations in the country—and on incidents of violence that reportedly occurred in the context of this year's student protests. The State informed the Commission about administrative proceedings that have taken place with regard to members of law enforcement accused of committing abuses, and recognized the pending obligation to reform its legal framework in the area of military jurisdiction. The IACHR reiterates its concern over the acts of violence that have taken place in the student protests in Chile, and once again calls on the Chilean State to take the necessary steps to ensure complete respect for the rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and protest, imposing only those restrictions that are strictly necessary and proportionate and that take into account the State's special obligation to guarantee the rights of high-school and university students.

Reprisals against Individuals who Come Before the IACHR

The Commission expresses its deepest concern over the fact that some of the individuals who appear at IACHR hearings and working meetings have been subject to threats, reprisals, and actions to discredit them, on the part of both private individuals and, in some cases, high-level State officials.

Specifically, the IACHR received information indicating that after the October 25, 2011, hearing on the "Situation of the Right to Freedom of Expression in Ecuador," the State of Ecuador issued a broadcast, which all radio and television stations had to air, with statements clearly meant to discredit the petitioning organization Fundamedios, its director, and the other participants in the hearing. Given the seriousness of this situation, the Commission requested information from the State.

The IACHR has also learned about statements made by high-level government authorities of the Dominican Republic against one of the petitioners in the hearing on "Judicial Response in Denationalization Cases" in that country. The authorities accused the petitioner of having asked for the hearing in order to put on a "show" and to benefit herself, and they summoned her to submit information to the courts on the cases she would be presenting at the IACHR hearing. The Commission also requested information from the State regarding this situation.

The IACHR also received with concern information indicating that individuals who had planned to travel to participate in the hearings decided not to, apparently for fear of suffering reprisals after having received threats. This reportedly occurred in the case of a member of the Garifuna community who was a beneficiary of precautionary measures, as well as a group of individuals from the Bajo Aguán region, both of these cases involving Honduras.

The Commission considers absolutely unacceptable any type of action a State might undertake that is motivated by the participation or actions of individuals or organizations before inter-American human rights bodies, in the exercise of their rights under the Convention. The Inter-American Commission condemns these acts and reminds the States that Article 63 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure establishes that the States "shall grant the necessary guarantees to all the persons who attend a hearing or who in the course of a hearing provide information, testimony or evidence of any type to the Commission," and that the States "may not prosecute the witnesses or experts, or carry out reprisals against them or their family members because of their statements or expert opinions given before the Commission."

Other Activities during the 143rd Session

The Commission has been receiving requests from victims, family members, and judges seeking to obtain access to documents and historical archives related to the onsite visit the IACHR made to Argentina in 1979. The requests for information from judges have been made in the framework of ongoing domestic criminal investigations of crimes committed during the last military dictatorship. In view of this situation, and in the Commission's spirit of judicial cooperation in investigating, prosecuting, and punishing serious human rights violations committed during the dictatorship and the importance of the right of access to information, in March 2011 the IACHR adopted Resolution 3/11, which provides that access to the archives related to that visit shall be granted to Argentine judges in the context of judicial proceedings underway in domestic courts.

In this framework, during this session the IACHR received a judicial delegation headed by Federal Judge Sergio Torres, of the National Federal Criminal and Correctional Court No. 12, who is presiding over Case No. 14.217/03, docketed as Escuela Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA) s/delito de acción pública. The delegation had access to the historical archives held by the IACHR related to the ESMA case. For the purpose of guaranteeing the safety and personal integrity of the individuals referenced in the documents, Judge Torres and the IACHR, by means of its Executive Secretary, signed an agreement in which they adopted certain measures for the protection of information of a sensitive nature related to victims and complainants, to be incorporated into the case being carried out in domestic jurisdiction. The judicial delegation and the IACHR also agreed that if additional information should arise that could be useful to the case, the IACHR pledges to provide it in a timely manner, by whatever means is deemed most appropriate. In addition, during the judicial delegation's visit, Judge Torres made a presentation to the Commission in which he talked about the trials for human rights violations committed during the last military dictatorship in Argentina.

The IACHR also received a visit from the MERCOSUR Human Rights Public Policy Institute (IPPDH) and representatives of the MERCOSUR States Parties, in the context of an ongoing dialogue on potential areas in which to cooperate and coordinate efforts.

Next IACHR Sessions

The 144th regular session will take place March19-30, 2012. The deadline for submitting requests for hearings and working meetings for that session is January 18, 2012.

The 145th session will be held July 16-20, 2012, and will not include any hearings or working meetings. Finally, the 146th session will take place October 29-November 16, 2012. The deadline for submitting requests for hearings and working meetings will be announced in due time.


The IACHR continued to study numerous individual petitions and cases that allege violations of human rights protected by the American Convention of Human Rights, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, and other inter-American instruments. Following is the list of the petitions and cases for which reports were approved during the 143rd session. Once the parties have been notified, the Inter-American Commission will publish on its website the reports in which the decisions are of a public nature.

A. Admissibility Reports

During its 143rd session, the Commission approved the following admissibility reports:

  • 303-05 − Mauricio Hernández Norambuena, Brazil
  • 1050-66 − Pedro Stábile Neto et al., Brazil
  • 1140-04 − Clélia de Lourdes Goldenberg and Rita de Cassia da Rosa, Brazil
  • 405-07 − Hildebrando Silva de Freitas, Brazil
  • 897-04 − Alejandro Daniel Esteve and Children, Brazil
  • 873-06 − Families of the Blanquicet Agricultural Workers' Cooperative, Colombia
  • 123-05 − Ángel Alberto Duque, Colombia
  • 1077-06 − Luis Giován Laverde Moreno et al., Colombia
  • 1400-06 − Luis and Leonardo Caizales Dogenesama, Colombia
  • 13-04 − Ricardo Vaca Andrade, Ecuador
  • 4418-02 and 980-03 − José Antonio Gómez Tello and Iván Víctor Enríquez Feijóo, Sussy Ivette, and Wendy Estahel Encalada Cherrez, Ecuador
  • 12.268 − Gonzalo Orlando Cortéz Espinoza, Ecuador
  • 189-03 − Danny Honorio Bastidas Meneses et al., Ecuador
  • 12.197 − Ramón Rosendo Alarcón, Ecuador
  • 12.087, 12.089, and 12.235 − Walter Ernesto Reyes Mantilla, Vicente Hipólito Arce Ronquillo, José Frank Serrano Barrera, Ecuador
  • 11.777 − Diego Patricio Jacome Maldonado, Ecuador
  • 902-03 − René Mauricio Artiga Navarro et al., El Salvador
  • P593-11 − Kevin Cooper, United States
  • 194-04 − Gregory Thompson, United States
  • 259-11 − Félix Rocha Díaz, United States
  • 1190-06 − Undocumented Workers, United States
  • 512-08 − Mariana Selvas Gómez et al., Mexico
  • 737-03 − Vicenta Sánchez Valdivieso, Mexico
  • 13-08 − I.V.N.R, Panama
  • 733-99 − Juan de los Santos Giménez, Paraguay
  • 1474-10 − L. M. et al., Paraguay
  • 11.054 − Teresa Díaz Aparicio, Peru
  • 490-01− Freddy Bill Cordero Palomino, Peru
  • 96-04 − María Angélica Gonzáles, Olimpíades Gonzáles and Family, Venezuela
  • 454-06 − Dianora Maleno, Venezuela
  • B. Inadmissibility Reports

    During the 143rd session, the Commission approved the following inadmissibility reports:

    342-02 − Joel Arriaga Navarro, Mexico

    492-08 − Rafael Rodríguez Castañeda, Mexico

    970-06 − Heirs of Ballinas Granados and Ballinas López, Peru

    12.077 − Joffré Fernández Valdivieso et al., Peru

    C. Friendly Settlement Reports

    During the 143rd session, the Commission approved one friendly settlement agreement, in Case No. 11.670, Menéndez and Caride, Argentina, having deemed that the agreements reached by the parties are in line with the object and purpose of the American Convention on Human Rights.

    D. Reports on the Merits

    During the 143rd session, the IACHR approved a total of 10 reports on the merits.

    E. Archive Reports

    During the 143rd session, the Commission approved the following archive reports:

    12.123 − Domingo Felipe Cavallo, Argentina

    11.786 − José Ángel Aparicio Gómez, Colombia

    11.747 − Jairo Colmenares Araque and Fernando Ávila Barreto, Colombia

    12.304 − Jorge E. Aguilar Cabezas, Ecuador

    1005-03 − Rubén Alfredo Morales Ramos, Mexico

    2569-02 − Luis Martínez Hernández, Mexico

    200-04 − José Gustavo Plaza Rocío, Mexico

    436-03 − Honorio Gallegos González, Mexico


    On October 24, 25, 27, and 28 of 2011, the Commission held hearings with respect to individual cases and petitions, precautionary measures, and general and specific human rights situations. The videos, audio recordings, and photographs of the public hearings are available on the IACHR website. Their use is authorized, as long as appropriate credit is given to the OAS.

    The following hearings took place during this session (list by the order in which they were held):

    · Access to Public Information in Latin America

    · Judicial Response in Denationalization Cases in the Dominican Republic

    · Protection and Guarantee of Access to the National Police Historical Archive in Guatemala

    · Situation of Victims of Forced Displacement in Guatemala

    · Human Rights Situation of Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala

    · Situation of the Inhabitants and Human Rights Defenders of Las Granadillas Mountain, Guatemala

    · Sexual Violence in Educational Institutions in the Americas

    · Situation of Women’s Rights in Nicaragua

    · Case 12.738 − Opario Lemoth Morris and Others (Buzos Miskitos), Honduras (Testimony)

    · Human Rights Situation in the Bajo Aguán, Honduras

    · Human Rights Violations in the Context of Natural Resource Concessions in Honduras

    · Case 12.720 − Border Action Network, United States

    · Violence against Indigenous Women in the United States

    · Criminal Due Process in Law No. 8837, Costa Rica

    · Human Rights Situation in Venezuela

    · Access to Public Information in Venezuela

    · Petition 273/05 – Nam Qom Indigenous Community of the Toba People, Argentina

    · Human Rights Policy of the Peruvian Government

    · Human Rights Situation of the Afro-Peruvian Population

    · Right to the Benefits of Scientific Progress in the Americas

    · Access to Education for Indigenous, Peasant, Afro-descendant, and Rural Women

    · Situation of the Right to Freedom of Expression in Ecuador

    · Human Rights Situation in Colombia

    · Violence against Women in Colombia

    · Situation of the Defense of Territory by Peasants in Colombia

    · Labor Union Rights in Colombia

    · Situation of the Rights to Territory and Self-Government of Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon Region

    · Follow-Up to the Visit to Mexico by the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrants

    · Citizen Security and Human Rights in Mexico

    · Attacks on Journalists in Mexico

    · Case 12.791 – Jesús Angel Gutiérrez Olvera, Mexico (Testimony)

    · Juvenile Criminal Justice

    · Migrants in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic

    · Obstacles to the Effective Implementation of the Maria da Penha Law, Brazil

    · Human Rights Situation of Afro-descendant Women in Latin America

    · Access to Public Information in Panama

    · Situation of Labor Union Rights in the Americas

    · Administration of Justice and Violations of Human Rights in Panama

    · Situation of Women Human Rights Defenders in Mesoamerica

    · Case 12.734 – Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group, Canada

    · Situation of the Judiciary in Haiti

    · Situation of the Rights of LGTBI Persons in the Americas

    · Human Rights and Public Protest in Chile

    · Case 12.741 – Agricultural Community of Diaguita de los Huascoaltinos, Chile

    · Citizen Security and Human Rights in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras

    · Environment and Human Rights in El Salvador

    The Commission also held one private hearing, on the Situation of Civil and Political Rights in Nicaragua.


    The following working meetings were held during the 143rd session:

    · Petition 33/03 – Unratified Judges, Peru

    · Compliance with recommendations from the joint communiqué of February 22, 2001, Peru

    · Case 12.041– M.M.

    · Case 12.191 – María Memérita Mestanza, Peru

    · Situation of Women and Children in Ouanaminthe (border area), Haiti

    · Precautionary Measure 367/10 – Evictions from Camps for Displaced Persons in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

    · Case 12.676 – Juan Vergara Reyes, Chile

    · Petition 1345/05 – Professors of Chañaral, Chile

    · Case 12.143 – Eduardo Perales Martínez, Chile

    · Precautionary Measure 121-11 – Evicted Communities in Panzós, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

    · Case 10.897 – Arnoldo Cruz Sosa / Case 9.265 – Alma Samayoa et al., and Case 9.552 – Jorge Granados Hernández, Guatemala

    · Environmental Policy and Human Rights in Mexico

    · PM 91/06 – Tagaeri and Taromenani Indigenous Peoples, Ecuador

    · Lack of Adequate State Response to Femicides in Honduras

    · Precautionary Measures 304-05 and 109-07 – Garifuna Communities of San Juan and Punta Piedra, Honduras

    · Precautionary Measure 09-02 – Afro-Descendant Communities of the Bajo Naya, Colombia

    · Precautionary Measure 273-06 – MOVICE, Sucre Chapter, Colombia

    · Precautionary Measure 629-03 – Members of the Justice and Peace Commission, Colombia

    · Petition 140/09 – María G., Colombia

    · Precautionary Measures 93-08, 119-09, and 269-07 – Magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice, Colombia

    · Women's Right to Land in the Colombian Region of the Caribbean

    · Follow-up to the Agreement Signed with the Working Group on Violence against Women, Colombia

    · Case 12.553 – Peirano Basso Brothers, Uruguay

    · Case 12.552 – Rita Wald, Panama

    · Precautionary Measure 56-08 – Ngobe Indigenous Communities, Panama

    · Follow-up to the Recommendations of the IACHR Report on Immigration in the United States: Detention and Due Process

    · Precautionary Measure 5-11 – Haitians in the Process of Deportation, United States

    · Follow-up to Recommendations in Cases 11.481 – Monsignor Romero / 10.488 – Ignacio Ellacuría et al. / 10.287 – "Las Hojas" Massacre, El Salvador

    · Case 12.577 – José Rochac et al., El Salvador


    This section contains a summary of some of the main activities that have been carried out by the IACHR, through its special rapporteurships and thematic areas, since its 141st session, which took place in March 2011. The rapporteurships do promotion-related work, prepare and publish thematic reports, and provide support related to the system of individual petitions and cases, the processing of precautionary measures, and hearings before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, among other activities.

    a. Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Afro-Descendants and against Racial Discrimination

    The Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Afro-Descendants and against Racial Discrimination, led by Commissioner María Silvia Guillén, has been working on the first regional and thematic report on the situation of people of African descent in the Americas. In May 2011, the Office of the Rapporteur published a questionnaire geared toward the States and civil society, for the purpose of gathering information that will shine a light on the situation, problems, and challenges faced by Afro-descendants in the Americas. Also, in the interest of having international experts contribute and collaborate, the Office of the Rapporteur organized a technical meeting July 14-15, which included the participation of international experts from the United States, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Colombia, and Costa Rica.

    Meanwhile, on May 10, 2011, in Lima, Peru, the Rapporteur gave a lecture at the "Empowerment Workshop for Afro-Descendant Civil Society Organizations in the Inter-American System," organized by the OAS Department of International Law. In addition, she gave a presentation on the role of the Office of the Rapporteur in a seminar cosponsored by the Human Rights Institute of "José Simeón Cañas" Central American University and the nongovernmental organization Global Rights−Partners for Justice. The event was held on June 2, 2011, in San Salvador, El Salvador. On September 29-30, 2011, the Office of the Rapporteur gave a presentation at the "First Seminar on Prevention of Torture," held in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, with a talk on "Vulnerable Groups: Social and Historical Perspectives." This activity was organized by the Social Development Secretariat of Minas Gerais and its Human Rights Subsecretariat. In addition, the Office of the Rapporteur provided support to organize and hold the Sixth Training Course on the Inter-American and International Human Rights Systems. The event took place October 17-28, 2011, in Washington, D.C., with the participation of 26 human rights activists from 12 countries. This year, the course focused on issues related to equality and nondiscrimination, with an emphasis on the rights of persons of African descent. The Sixth Training Course was cosponsored by the IACHR and the Washington College of Law at American University, with cooperation from the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas. Finally, the Office of the Rapporteur gave a presentation as part of a training course on "Increasing the Participation and Impact of Afro-descendant Women and Men in the OAS and in the Summits of the Americas Process." This event, which was cosponsored by the OAS Department of International Affairs and Global Rights−Partners for Justice, took place November 2, 2011, in Washington, D.C., with the participation of 15 activists of African descent from 10 countries in the Americas.

    b. Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Women

    The Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Women, under the direction of Commissioner Luz Patricia Mejía, continued implementing various initiatives to compile qualitative and quantitative information to identify the main advances women have made and the challenges they face in exercising their rights free of discrimination—particularly in the spheres of their economic, social, and cultural rights; access to justice for women victims of sexual violence; and women's reproductive rights. These projects, which have the financial support of the governments of Finland and Spain and the United Nations Population Fund, aim to publish thematic reports with recommendations to the States. The Office of the Rapporteur also continued to implement a project to promote the development of case law and legal standards on gender equality in the inter-American human rights system, with the support of the government of Canada.

    In the framework of these initiatives, the Office of the Rapporteur has prepared six drafts of thematic reports on the abovementioned subjects. On October 21, 2011, the IACHR published the report The Road to Substantive Democracy: Women’s Political Participation in the Americas.

    In addition, the Office of the Rapporteur continued to support the Commission's work in processing individual petitions and precautionary measures. In this context, it participated in a hearing before the Inter-American Court in the Case of Karen Atala and Daughters v. Chile, on August 23-24, 2011. This is the first case decided by the IACHR on discrimination due to sexual orientation, and it raises new legal issues concerning the scope of the rights to privacy and protection of family, and the rights of girls.

    c. Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

    The Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, under the direction of Commissioner Dinah Shelton, participated in the 10th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which took place May 16. On May 5, the Rapporteur traveled to Tucson, Arizona, to meet with James Anaya, the United Nations Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to coordinate the two offices' work agendas and discuss matters of common interest. In addition, in the context of a July 6-7 academic visit to Geneva, the Rapporteur met with various working areas of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, including its Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section.

    Meanwhile, the Office of the Rapporteur participated in a meeting of women lawyers as part of a Rights & Democracy project called "Creation of Jurisprudence for Indigenous Women in the Inter-American System." The meeting took place from August 30 to September 1 in Washington. On September 27, the Office of the Rapporteur participated in an International Seminar on Indigenous Peoples' Property and Ownership Rights in the Framework of Human Rights, organized by the Human Rights Office of the Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay and held in Asunción. At the invitation of Peru's Legal Defense Institute, on September 23-27 the Office of the Rapporteur participated in a series of workshops to promote the IACHR report on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples' Rights over their Ancestral Lands and Natural Resources. The workshops were held in Cusco and Tarapoto.

    d. Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child

    The Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child, led by Commissioner Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, continued its work of promotion and publication of reports on international standards and recommendations to the States for responding to human rights violations suffered by children and adolescents in the Americas.

    On September 7, 2011, the Office of the Rapporteur published its report on Juvenile Justice and Human Rights in the Americas, which identifies international human rights standards that should be observed by juvenile justice systems in the Americas. The preparation of the report was made possible thanks to a memorandum of understanding between the IACHR, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); financial support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Save the Children-Sweden, and the State of Luxembourg; and the cooperation of the UN Special Representative on Violence against Children.

    The Office of the Rapporteur and UNICEF, with the support of the OHCHR Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and the UN Special Representative on Violence against Children, are in the final development stages of preparing a report on the situation of children and adolescents in the Americas who are in institutions that provide protection and care. As part of this project, the Office of the Rapporteur held three sub-regional consultations: in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, May 3-4; Lima, Peru, June 23-24; and Guatemala City, Guatemala, July 25-26.

    The Office of the Rapporteur has been following up on the recommendations issued by the IACHR to the OAS Member States in its Report on Corporal Punishment and Human Rights of Children and Adolescents.

    Meanwhile, the Rapporteur participated in an activity on the prevention of sexual abuse of children and adolescents and HIV risk, which took place April 6-9 in San Agustín, Trinidad and Tobago. On May 19, he participated in a seminar on experiences with legislation against corporal punishment of children and adolescents, organized by Brazil's Human Rights Secretariat and held in Brasilia. On August 24, 2011, the Rapporteur gave a lecture in the city of San Ignacio, Belize, on how to effectively guarantee the legal protection of children and children against corporal punishment, as part of a series of conferences organized by UNICEF on "Putting Children's Rights at the Centre of Development in Belize." The Rapporteur visited San Salvador, El Salvador, September 1-3, 2011, where he participated in various working meetings with Salvadoran State authorities and members of civil society to discuss issues relevant to the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child.

    The Rapporteur also visited Peru September 6-11, 2011, to meet with various civil society organizations and United Nations personnel, to exchange information on the main problems affecting children and adolescents. As part of his activities during the visit, the Rapporteur traveled to the city of Puerto Maldonado via the Trans-Oceanic Highway and was able to observe the situation of children and adolescents in the area's mining settlements.

    e. Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Their Families

    The Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Their Families, under the direction of Commissioner Felipe González, made a presentation on the IACHR individual petition mechanism at a seminar on "International Mechanisms and Experiences for the Defense of Defenders of Migrants' Human Rights in Mexico." The event took place April 11-13, 2011, in Mexico City and was organized by the Project Counselling Service (PCS) and Colectivo ANSUR, with the financial support of the Ford Foundation's Office for Mexico and Central America and ICCO, Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation.

    On April 13, 2011, the Office of the Rapporteur participated in a workshop called "Learning from Experience: Bilateral Cooperation in Migration Management," organized by the OAS Migration and Development Program. The Office of the Rapporteur gave a presentation on standards for protecting the human rights of migrants and their families, with a view that the States will incorporate these standards when designing their migration management policies.

    The Office of the Rapporteur participated in a roundtable on Alternatives to Detention for Migrants, organized by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and OHCHR. It took place April 12-13, 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland. Rapporteur Felipe González gave a presentation on how alternative detention programs have been addressed with regard to refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, and irregular migrants in the Americas. He also talked about the standards laid out by the bodies of the inter-American human rights system on matters involving the detention of migrants and alternatives to detention.

    The Office of the Rapporteur provided advisory support to participants in the Model OAS General Assembly (MOAS), which took place May 18-20, 2011, in San Salvador, El Salvador, as part of the promotional activities held prior to the XLI Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly. The purpose of the Model General Assembly was to raise awareness of the priorities of the inter-American agenda. It included as a special focus the situation of migrant workers and their families, as well as the issue of citizen security. The MOAS was jointly organized by the OAS Secretariat for External Relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, the Secretariat for Social Inclusion, "José Simeón Cañas" Central American University, and the University of El Salvador.

    On June 2, 2011, the Office of the Rapporteur gave a presentation on standards developed by the inter-American human rights system in the area of protection of migrants, as part of the International Seminar on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law organized by the Inter-American Defense College in Washington, D.C.

    In the framework of the Seminar on the Protection of Migrant Women in a Situation of Special Vulnerability—held June 7-8, 2011, in Madrid, Spain—the Rapporteur gave a talk June 7 on "International Protection of the Rights of Migrant Women." The seminar was organized by the Research Group on Law and Justice, Madrid's Carlos III University, and the Culture of Legality Research Program.

    On June 15-16, 2011, the Rapporteur participated in a Joint Colloquium on the role of regional human rights systems in interpreting and enforcing legal standards for the protection of persons who have been forcibly displaced. Held in Strasbourg, France, the Joint Colloquium was organized by the Council of Europe and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

    The Office of the Rapporteur carried out a visit to Mexico from July 25 to August 2, 2011.

    f. Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty

    The Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas, under the direction of Commissioner Rodrigo Escobar Gil, continues to work on the preparation of the Thematic Regional Report on Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas. The Office of the Rapporteur is also organizing the Second Regional Seminar on Best Prison Practices, which will take place in December in Kingston, Jamaica, and will be geared toward the States of the English-speaking Caribbean.

    g. Office of the Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

    The Office of the Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, led by Commissioner José de Jesús Orozco, is continuing to work on the follow-up report on the situation of human rights defenders in the Americas.

    On April 11-12, 2011, the Rapporteur participated in a seminar titled "International Mechanisms and Experiences for the Defense of Defenders of Migrants' Human Rights in Mexico," organized by the Project Counselling Service (PCS) and Colectivo ANSUR. The seminar focused on the challenges faced by defenders of migrants' rights in Mexico, as well as on the protection mechanisms that are available and how they are applied, with comparisons drawn between the experiences of Colombia and Mexico. In addition, on April 13 the Office of the Rapporteur met with human rights defenders who work in Mexico, to talk about the Office of the Rapporteur's projects and activities of shared interest.

    Meanwhile, on April 28 the Office of the Rapporteur participated in a workshop on the criminalization of human rights defenders, which took place in Brussels, Belgium, at the invitation of Peace Brigades International, the FIDH, OMCT, CIAN, and other organizations. On June 17, Commissioner Orozco participated in an informal meeting on protection mechanisms for journalists and human rights defenders in the inter-American system, convened by the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

    On July 28, 2011, the Office of the Rapporteur gave a lecture as part of the "Discussion on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders" organized by Peace Brigades International in Guatemala City, Guatemala. In addition, on September 14-15 the Office of the Rapporteur, at the invitation of the organization Front Line, participated in a panel on protection mechanisms for defenders, at the Sixth Platform for Human Rights Defenders, held in Dublin, Ireland.

    Finally, the Office of the Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders will participate in a regional conference called the "Meeting of Human Rights Defenders of Latin America." The conference is being organized by CELS with the support of the Embassy of Germany, and will take place December 5-6, 2011, at the Law School of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. As part of this event, the Rapporteur will hold a discussion with human rights defenders participating in the event, to exchange information and to present, on a preliminary basis, aspects addressed in the follow-up report on the situation of human rights defenders in the Americas. In March 2012, the Office of the Rapporteur will hold another meeting in Washington, D.C., to present the aforementioned report.

    h. Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression

    The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, under the direction of Catalina Botero, continued to work on promotion efforts, which included giving 18 seminars, conferences, and training workshops. The Office of the Special Rapporteur also advised the OAS Member States in this area.

    The Special Rapporteur participated in the "Hemispheric Forum on Freedom of Expression," which took place April 3-6, 2011, in La Jolla, California. The event was attended by journalists, directors of institutions, legislators, and academics who specialize in freedom of expression from several countries.

    In April, the Office of the Special Rapporteur offered two training seminars in Ecuador on "The Inter-American Human Rights System and Freedom of Expression." These took place April 12 in Guayaquil and April 13 in Quito.

    On May 12, 2011, the Office of the Rapporteur spoke at the "Sub-Regional Dialogue of the Members of the Central American Integration System: Democracy for Peace, Security, and Development," held in San José, Costa Rica. The event was organized by Costa Rica's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, the OAS, International IDEA, the Foundation for Peace and Democracy (FUNPADEM), and the Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO).

    On June 24, 2011, the Special Rapporteur participated in a journalism workshop— "Silencing the Press: Who are they? Why do they want to silence us? What can we do about it?" The event was sponsored by the University of California and the Institute of the Americas.

    The Special Rapporteur participated in an international conference on transitional justice, held July 7-8 in Brasilia. It was organized by ICTJ, the Amnesty Commission of Brazil, and the Catholic University of Brasilia. The Special Rapporteur talked about the States' obligations to preserve archives on human rights violations and to disseminate this information.

    On July 18, the Office of the Special Rapporteur gave a training on inter-American standards on access to information to the five members of the Information Commission of Bangladesh.

    On September 13-14, the Special Rapporteur participated in the "UN Inter-Agency Meeting on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity," which was organized by UNESCO and took place in Paris. The meeting provided a forum to come up with a coherent, focused plan to respond to the issue of journalists' safety and the impunity of those responsible for attacks on journalists. The Special Rapporteur addressed the issue of strengths and weaknesses of international legal instruments. Also in Paris, the Special Rapporteur met with representatives of the Americas section of Reporters Without Borders.

    The Office of the Special Rapporteur participated in five academic events held between September 19 and 23 in Peru. On September 19, she participated in an event in Lima called "Evidence: The Right to Truth and Justice," organized by the National Security Archive, the Open Society Institute, and IDL. The Special Rapporteur also participated in a panel on "Access to Official Information and Human Rights: Experiences from the Americas." On September 20, she gave a training on inter-American standards on freedom of expression and access to information to a group of 200 Peruvian public servants, as part of the "National Conference on Access to Public Information." On September 22, the Rapporteur gave a seminar on freedom of expression for public employees and members of the academic community at the Catholic University of Peru. On September 21 and 23, the Office of the Rapporteur offered seminars in Lima and Ayacucho on "Inter-American Standards on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information," geared toward journalists and members of human rights organizations.

    The Office of the Special Rapporteur also participated in several events via videoconference. On July 25, for example, she talked about inter-American standards on freedom of expression for an event in Uruguay on regulation of official advertising, organized by CAINFO; on May 2-3 she spoke about "Challenges of Freedom of the Press in the New Millennium," as part of a seminar held in Manizales, Colombia; and she spoke at a forum on "Journalism and Access to Public Information: Challenges of the 21st Century," organized in Paraguay.

    On October 24, an event was held in Mexico City to present reports produced by the IACHR Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and the Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, as a follow-up to their joint official visit to Mexico in August 2010. Rapporteur Catalina Botero and UN Rapporteur Frank La Rue participated via videoconference.

    With regard to litigation activities, the Special Rapporteur spoke at the Inter-American Court's public hearings in the cases of González Medina v. Dominican Republic and Fontevecchia and D'Amico v. Argentina.

    i. Unit on the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Bisexual, and Intersex Persons

    During this session, the IACHR decided to create a Unit on the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Bisexual, and Intersex (LGTBI) Persons.

    j. Other Activities

    The Commission is currently evaluating possible measures related to its role as facilitator in the friendly settlement process. In this context, on October 26, 2011, the IACHR published two questionnaires on the IACHR friendly settlement process, one for States and civil society organizations and another geared toward experts, programs, schools, and mediation and alternative dispute resolution clinics.

    V. Work Related to the Inter-American Court

    The Inter-American Commission has submitted 170 contentious cases to be heard by the Court. Between June and September of 2011, the Commission filed applications with the Court in the following cases: César Alberto Mendoza et al. (Life Imprisonment), Argentina; Marino López (Operation Genesis), Colombia; Gretel Artavia Murillo et al. (In Vitro Fertilization), Costa Rica; Hugo Quintana Coello (CSJ Justices), Ecuador; Segundo Aniceto Norín et al. (Mapuches), Chile; Jorge Omar Gutiérrez and Family, Argentina; and García Lucero et al., Chile.

    Of the total number of cases taken to the Court, 3 are pending notification of the respective State; 18 are awaiting public hearing; 8 are awaiting judgment; 122 are in the stage of compliance with judgment; and 17 are closed.

    The Commission participated in the hearings during the Court's regular period of sessions held August 21-24, 2011, in Bogotá, Colombia. During that session, public hearings were held in the following cases: Karen Atala and Daughters (Chile) and Fontevecchia and D'Amico (Argentina). The Commission also participated in public hearings on the following provisional measures: Urso Branco Prison and Socio-Educational Internment Unit (both Brazil).

    The Commission also participated in the hearing on the Fornerón Case (Argentina) during the Court's special session held October 10-14, 2011, in Barbados.

    VI. Financial Contributions

    The IACHR would like to express its special appreciation for the significant financial contributions made by countries both within and outside the region, as well as by international organizations and agencies, foundations, and other entities. These donations make it possible for the IACHR to carry out a great many of its activities related to the mandates handed down by the OAS political bodies.

    The IACHR particularly appreciates the contributions made so far in 2011 by the governments of the following OAS member countries: Argentina, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, United States, and Mexico. The Commission would also like to thank the observer countries that support the Commission’s activities: Azerbaijan, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, and Switzerland. The Commission also values and appreciates the contributions it has received from the Canadian International Development Agency, the United Nations Population Fund, the Swedish Foundation for Human Rights, the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), Save the Children/Sweden, and the University of Notre Dame. These donations contribute concretely to the strengthening of the inter-American human rights system in the Americas.

    No. 117A/11