Mexico: IACHR Publishes Friendly Settlement Agreement Regarding the Disappearance of Víctor Pineda

December 18, 2023

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Washington, D.C. — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced its decision to approve and publish the friendly settlement agreement for Case 11.733, Víctor Pineda Henestrosa, concerning Mexico, and to publish Approval Report no. 214/23.

The case concerns the international responsibility of the State for the alleged disappearance of Professor Víctor Pineda Henestrosa, allegedly at the hands of Mexican army soldiers on July 11, 1978, in the city of Oaxaca, and for the subsequent failure to investigate the facts and punish those responsible. The alleged victim was a Zapotec indigenous man who provided support and advice regarding land conflicts to campesinos, mostly from indigenous communities. According to the petition, a complaint was filed with the local authorities the day he disappeared, but to no avail.

On February 27, 2002, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement, which was modified by a second friendly settlement agreement signed on July 8, 2003. The State requested that the IACHR approve and publish the agreement reached in this case as part of the implementation of Resolution 3/20 on differentiated measures to eliminate the procedural backlog in friendly settlement proceedings.

In the agreement, the State undertook to implement a measure related to the granting of economic support, as well as investigation-related measures. The IACHR evaluated the progress made in each of the clauses and decided to declare full compliance with the clause regarding the payment of the agreed economic support and partial compliance with the clause regarding the investigation of the case.

In light of these findings, the IACHR deemed that a substantial level of partial compliance with the friendly settlement agreement had been reached and decided to continue monitoring the aspects that have not yet been fully complied with until the agreement has been implemented effectively.

The IACHR acknowledges the efforts made by both parties during the negotiation of the agreement to reach a friendly settlement, which was reached quickly and was consistent with the object and purpose of the Inter-American Convention. The IACHR welcomes the efforts made by the State to resolve these matters before the individual petition and case system through the friendly settlement mechanism. It also congratulates the petitioning party and values its efforts to participate in the negotiations and to advance the friendly settlement process.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate stems from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has the mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as an advisory body to the OAS on the matter. The IACHR is made up 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. 299/23

4:00 PM