IACHR Announces Publication of Report No. 40/21 on Case 11.562, Dixie Miguel Urbina Rosales, Concerning Honduras

April 28, 2021

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Washington, D.C. — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced its decision to approve the friendly settlement of Case 11.562, Dixie Miguel Urbina Rosales, concerning Honduras, which was signed on June 17, 2017, between the State of Honduras and Miguel Antonio Urbina Ortega and the Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), the organization representing the victim.

The case concerns the international responsibility of the State of Honduras for violations of the rights to life, personal integrity, a fair trial, and guarantees of judicial protection as a consequence of the forced disappearance of Dixie Miguel Urbina Rosales, who was allegedly arrested on October 22, 1995, by a Public Security Force (FUSEP) patrol. To date, his whereabouts remain unknown, and those responsible have yet to be identified, tried, and punished.

In 2014, the parties began a friendly settlement negotiation process. They held working meetings on September 24, 2019, as part of the IACHR's 173rd Period of Sessions, and again on September 2, 2020. These negotiations resulted in the signing of the friendly settlement agreement on March 17, 2021.

In the friendly settlement agreement signed by the parties, the Honduran State acknowledged its international responsibility for the human rights violations that were perpetrated to the detriment of Dixie Urbina Rosales and committed to implementing the following measures of reparation: 1) continue investigating the events and the whereabouts of the victim's remains; 2) create and implement a Detainee Registry or adapt existing ones according to the terms set out in the ruling issued by the IA Court in the case of Juan Humberto Sánchez v. Honduras, of June 7, 2003; 3) publish a summary of the facts and a statement acknowledging public responsibility in the Official Gazette and in La Tribuna newspaper, which is published in Tegucigalpa; 4) contribute financially to the construction of a new building on the premises of the Home to Prevent Forgetting, to be known as Center for Reflection, Analysis, and Training, as a measure relating to memory; 5) provide free, comprehensive medical, psychiatric, and psychological care to the victim's relatives through the public health institutions they use; and 6) make financial reparations to the victim's relatives for material and nonmaterial damages, including compensation for the costs and expenses incurred as part of these legal proceedings.

The IACHR monitored the friendly settlement process closely and praised the two parties for the efforts they made during the negotiations toward reaching an agreement that would be compatible with the objectives and ends of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights. Likewise, the IACHR commended both parties for their willingness to move toward settling this issue through nonadversarial means.

To this end, in Friendly Settlement Report No. 40/21, the IACHR deemed that total compliance had been reached with clauses 3, 4, and 6 of the agreement, which relate to the State publicly acknowledging responsibility for the events in question; the State's contribution to the Home to Prevent Forgetting; and the payment of the corresponding economic reparation, costs, and expenses. It also deemed that partial compliance had been reached with clauses 1 and 5 of the agreement, which relate to the investigation of events and physical and psychological care measures, respectively. Finally, the IACHR deemed that compliance was still pending with clause 2 of the friendly settlement agreement, which concerns the creation of a detainee registry.

The IACHR congratulated the State of Honduras for its efforts to develop public policy on friendly settlements and alternative forms of dispute resolution. It also invited the State to continue to use the friendly settlement mechanism in cases concerning the country that are currently being processed through the petition and case system.

Friendly Settlement Report No. 40/21 on Case 12.562 is available here.

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

No. 105/21