IACHR

Press Release

IACHR Publishes Report No. 35/19 Concerning Petition 1014-06, Antonio Jacinto López, Mexico

April 12, 2019

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María Isabel Rivero
IACHR Press and Communication Office
Tel: +1 (202) 370-9000
mrivero@oas.org

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to approve the friendly settlement concerning Petition 1014-06—Antonio Jacinto López, Mexico—and to publish the relevant approval report.

The case concerns the State’s international responsibility for the failure to investigate threats against indigenous Triqui peasant leader Antonio Jacinto López, and later the man’s death. López had been chosen by his community as the constitutional municipal president in the municipality of San Martín Itunyoso, in accordance with that community’s ancestral usage and customs. On October 17, 2011, Antonio Jacinto López was murdered by unknown attackers with a point-blank shot to the head when he was a beneficiary of Precautionary Measure No. 165-05, issued by the IACHR on July 29, 2005.

On September 23, 2015, the parties signed a friendly settlement in the context of a working meeting held in Mexico. On September 28, 2015, the parties signed an addendum to that friendly settlement. The friendly settlement includes the following clauses:

1. Clause 2.1. Acknowledgement of international responsibility: The Mexican State acknowledges that these events [...] involve violations of articles 4, 5, 8 and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights [...].

2. Clause 3.2. Duty of the Mexican State to investigate and punish: The Mexican State, through the Oaxaca Public Prosecutor’s Office, commits to conducting in a diligent and timely manner all investigations and actions necessary to establish who is responsible for the murder of Mr. López Martínez and, once it has been established, to punish whoever perpetrated it [...].

3. Rehabilitation measures:

1. Clause 3.3. Integral healthcare: The Mexican State commits to granting preferential, free and integral healthcare to the Victim’s immediate family. This obligation involves both medical and psychological care.

2. Clause 3.4. Agreement concerning healthcare provision. The specific care needs of the Victim’s immediate family will be attached to this Agreement in [Annex 1]. [Annex 1] will be defined based on medical examinations and psychological assessments of the Victim’s immediate family and will be agreed with the Parties once this Agreement has been signed. The Victim’s immediate family will need to hand over to the Mexican Interior Ministry (SEGOB, by its Spanish acronym) any information necessary, so they may be registered, examined and/or treated in public healthcare institutions before and after the Parties agree on the terms of [Annex 1].

3. Clause 3.5. Admission to the public health insurance scheme known as Seguro Popular. SEGOB will have to register the Victim’s immediate family in the Seguro Popular, where they will be granted access to the pharmaceutical goods and services provided in the scheme’s medical coverage.

4. Clause 3.6. Care in case of a change of place of residence. Should the Victim’s immediate family move to a different federal unit in the Mexican Republic, healthcare will be provided to them in their new place of residence, through the Seguro Popular or through a comparable program that grants a similar level of care, as agreed in [Annex 1] […].

5. Clause 3.7. Student grants The Mexican State will provide student grants to the Victim’s four children, should they want it, in keeping with the terms of the trust. Grants will be provided until beneficiaries complete their university education.


4. Satisfaction measures:

1. Clause 3.8. Event to publicly acknowledge responsibility: The Mexican State will hold a public event to acknowledge its responsibility and issue a public apology. The Victim’s family members and their representatives will be able to participate in that event, if they wish to do so. Violations of rights mentioned in Clause 2.1 will be acknowledged, and so will the fact that the State failed to comply with its duty to implement precautionary measures granted by the IACHR [...].

2. Clause 3.9. Promotion of the event to publicly acknowledge responsibility: The event will be promoted just once in two media outlets: the newspapers La Jornada and Contralínea. The press release will be issued once the Victim’s family members and their representatives have expressed their consent. The Parties will summon the media in general to that event […].

5. Guarantees of non-repetition:

1. Clause 3.10. Training courses for officials of the state of Oaxaca: The Mexican State will provide training to public servants of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government of the state of Oaxaca concerning the implementation of international human rights standards. Such training will address the importance and significance of compliance with precautionary measures granted by the IACHR, the National Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Ombudsperson for the People of Oaxaca […].

2. Clause 3.11. Protocol to implement IACHR precautionary measures: SEGOB commits to issuing—in accordance with its own legal attributions—the Protocol and Guidelines of the Interior Ministry to implement precautionary and provisional measures granted by national and international institutions active to protect and defend human rights, based on national and international human rights standards.

3. Clause 3.12. The Interior Ministry will hold a consultation process that is open to civil society, in order to find out and apply civil society opinions and experiences concerning the implementation of precautionary and provisional measures granted by national and international human rights institutions.

4. Clause 3.13. The consultation process mentioned in the previous clause will be structured as follows:

• An open online consultation process that allows any individual or civil society organization to contribute suggestions or comments concerning the implementation of precautionary and provisional measures granted by national and international human rights institutions.

• The relevant Internet portal will be available on the Interior Ministry website and will remain open for at least three weeks.

• The consultation process will need to be opened up to the public a maximum of three months after the friendly settlement is signed.

• A forum for dialogue that enables debate on civil society experiences and on the pending challenges and needs concerning the implementation of precautionary and provisional measures granted by national and international human rights institutions. National and international human rights experts will be summoned to address that forum.

• The forum will be organized by the Interior Ministry and will target civil society organizations active in the promotion and defense of human rights.

• The Victim’s representatives will submit a guest list at least three weeks before the forum’s scheduled date.

• The forum will be held in Mexico City a maximum of three months after the end of the consultation process.

• The Interior Ministry will take into consideration the experiences and comments of all civil society organizations and of private individuals in its guidelines to implement precautionary and provisional measures granted by national and international institutions.

• In keeping with its legally granted powers, the Interior Ministry will issue its guidelines to implement precautionary and provisional measures granted by national and international institutions a maximum of three months after the forum takes place. The Victim’s representatives will be notified of the content of those guidelines before they are issued.

5. Clause 3.14. The Interior Ministry will publicize its guidelines to implement precautionary and provisional measures granted by national and international institutions in the Federation’s official gazette (Diario Oficial de la Federación).

6. Clause 3.15. The government of the state of Oaxaca commits to submitting to the state Congress as soon as possible a bill aimed at ensuring the adoption of a procedure to implement precautionary measures granted by national and international human rights institutions. The Victim’s representatives in this case will be involved in the process of drafting that bill.

6. Compensatory Damages:

1. Clause 3.16. Compensation for immaterial damage. SEGOB is set to pay the victim the sum of 40,000 USD (forty thousand US dollars) for immaterial damage, in keeping with the justification provided in [Annex 3], which was calculated based on the terms of the trust […].

2. Clause 3.17. Compensation for material damage. SEGOB is set to pay the Victim the sum of $593,207.88 MXN (five hundred and ninety-three thousand two hundred and seven Mexican pesos and 88 cents of a Mexican peso) for material damage (loss of earnings), in keeping with the justification provided in [Annex 3], which was calculated based on the terms of the trust […].

3. Clause 3.18. Methods to pay such compensation. The sums established in Clauses 3.16 and 3.17 will be paid to the Victim within one month after this Settlement is signed, as long as the Victim complies with the essential formal requirements established for such payments under Mexican law […].

The Inter-American Commission closely followed the implementation of the friendly settlement that was agreed in this case and highly commends both parties for their efforts while negotiating the friendly settlement, which turned out to be compatible with the Convention’s aims and purposes.

In its Approval Report, the IACHR considered that clauses 3.5 (admission into the public health insurance scheme); 3.7 (student grants); 3.8 (public event to acknowledge responsibility); 3.10 (training course for officials of the state of Oaxaca); 3.11, 3.12 and 3.13 (precautionary measure protocol); 3.16, 3.17 and 3.18 (financial compensation) had all been fully implemented.

Concerning clauses 3.2 (investigation); 3.3 (integral healthcare); 3.9 (promotion of the public event to acknowledge responsibility); and 3.15 (bill to adopt a procedure to implement precautionary measures), the Commission considered that the State had started to take measures towards their implementation, so the Commission deemed that there had been partial compliance with those portions of the settlement. Concerning Clause 3.14 (promotion of the precautionary measure protocol), the Commission considered that compliance was still pending.

The IACHR noted that this friendly settlement had been executed to a significant degree, with partial compliance. The Commission therefore noted that it would continue to monitor the implementation of clauses of that friendly settlement where only partial compliance had been attained, until they were fully implemented.

Finally, the Commission commends the Mexican State on its efforts to solve cases that are taken before the friendly settlement mechanism and to develop a friendly settlement policy and a policy based on compliance with decisions made by the Inter-American Human Rights System. The Commission further congratulates the petitioning party for all its efforts to contribute to improving the friendly settlement procedure.

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 and to defend 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. 095/19