Press Release

IACHR Takes Case involving Peru to the Inter-American Court

December 18, 2013

Washington, D.C. -  The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Case No. 12.214, Canales Huapaya et al. v. Peru.

The facts of this case involve the violation of the right to a fair trial and judicial protection to the detriment of Carlos Alberto Canales Huapaya, José Castro Ballena, and María Gracia Barriga Oré, as a result of the lack of an adequate, effective judicial response to their dismissals as permanent employees of the Congress of the Republic of Peru. In terms of Mr. Carlos Alberto Canales Huapaya, on August 6, 1998, the Constitutional Court ruled that his claim for injunctive relief (amparo) was inadmissible, on grounds that he could not pursue it by that procedural means. In the case of José Castro Ballena and María Gracia Barriga Oré, on September 25, 1998, the Constitutional Court ruled that their action was unfounded on grounds that their termination of employment was in compliance with the law and the Constitution. The facts in this case share the essential characteristics of those heard by the Inter-American Court in the Case of the Dismissed Congressional Employees v. Peru, which, as the Court indicated in its judgment, occurred in the context of a legal framework that kept the victims from having clarity regarding what procedural means they could use to challenge their terminations.

The case was sent to the Inter-American Court on December 5, 2013, because despite the extensions granted to the State of Peru to comply with the recommendation, the Commission did not receive substantive information as to implementation. In its report on the merits, the Inter-American Commission recommended that the State provide adequate reparation for the material and immaterial damages caused by the human rights violations determined by the IACHR, pursuant to the provisions established by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in its November 24, 2006, judgment in the Case of the Dismissed Congressional Employees and by the Special Commission created by the State of Peru for the purpose of complying with that ruling.

This case reflects a context of judicial uncertainty and attendant lack of judicial protection from potential arbitrary acts by the government in the framework of the collective dismissals that took place during that era. The case will also enable the Court to examine the absence of a mechanism for response and remedy as regards this problem of lack of effective access to justice over the collective dismissals, inasmuch as the submission of the case to the Court shows that the measures ordered by the State as part of its compliance with the ruling in the Case of the Dismissed Congressional Employees have not had an impact on other individuals in the same situation.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 100/13