Press Release

IACHR Takes Case Involving the Dominican Republic to the Inter-American Court

February 16, 2011

Washington, D.C  — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Case 12.688, Nadege Dorzema et al. ("Guayubín Massacre"), with respect to the Dominican Republic.

The case involves events that took place along the Dominican Republic's border with Haiti on June 18, 2000, when members of the Dominican army opened fire on a vehicle that was transporting a group of Haitians. Seven individuals lost their lives, and several others were wounded. The acts were prosecuted in military courts, even though family members of those executed had requested that the case be subject to the jurisdiction of the regular courts. After several years of proceedings, the military courts acquitted the soldiers involved. The case also involves the fact that some of the victims who survived suffered a violation to their personal liberty and violations to their right to a fair trial and their right to judicial protection, given that they were expelled from the Dominican Republic without having received due guarantees based on their status as migrants. Finally, the case falls within a context of structural discrimination against Haitians or persons of Haitian origin at the hands of Dominican agents.

The case was sent to the Inter-American Court on February 11, 2011, because the Commission deemed that the State had not complied with the recommendations contained in the report on the merits.

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 matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 12/11