Press Release

Progress in Friendly Settlements and in Cases Pending before the IACHR involving Mexico

October 15, 2015

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Washington, D.C. - Commissioner James Cavallaro, in his role as Rapporteur on Mexico, conducted a working visit to that country on September 22-24, 2015. The purpose of the visit was to carry out activities related to the mechanisms for friendly settlement and follow-up on petitions and cases.

Rapporteur Cavallaro chaired six working meetings to facilitate engagement between the parties involved in petitions and cases, for the purpose of encouraging friendly settlements and following up on recommendations made by the IACHR. On September 23, the parties held a first event to sign a compliance agreement with respect to Case 11.411, Severiano Santíz López et al. (El Ejido Morelia), regarding compliance with the recommendations made by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in its Merits Report No. 48/97. The Commission looks forward to the second event that will complete the signing of this agreement on compliance with recommendations, with the participation of family members of the victims and authorities from the state of Chiapas.

In addition, the parties involved in Petition P-1014-06, Antonio Jacinto López, signed a friendly settlement agreement establishing comprehensive reparation measures; this will be submitted to the IACHR for approval in the time frame established by the parties, to verify that the terms of the agreement are in line with the American Convention on Human Rights. At the time of the signing of this agreement, the Mexican State held a public ceremony to acknowledge international responsibility for the events in this case. During the ceremony, the State extended an apology to the family of Antonio Jacinto López, who was under the protection of IACHR precautionary measures when he was a victim of the attack that took his life. Commissioner Cavallaro attended the public ceremony as a witness of honor. He emphasized the provisions in the friendly settlement agreement that had to do with issuing a protocol for implementing IACHR precautionary measures and with the obligation to investigate and punish what happened.

On September 24, Commissioner Cavallaro facilitated four working meetings between the parties in Cases 12.847, Vicente Sánchez Valdivieso; 12.915, Ángel Díaz Cruz et al.; and 12.550, Silvia Arce, as well as in Petition P-1171-09, Ananías Laparra. With regard to this last case, the parties signed the minutes of the meeting, which detail the progress the Mexican State has made in complying with the commitments it made in the friendly settlement agreement signed on September 5, 2014, and the points on which compliance is still pending.

The IACHR welcomes the Mexican State’s efforts to build a policy of seeking friendly settlements and complying with matters pending before the Commission’s system of individual petitions and cases. This was reflected in the State’s participation in the working meetings, as well as its respectful approach toward the victims and their representatives to work together to find common solutions in the search for truth, justice, and reparation. The Commission views as a best practice the establishment of a Trust for Compliance with Human Rights Obligations; this was expanded on April 11, 2014, to include friendly settlements, reparations that come out of IACHR recommendations and resolutions, and other human rights protection mechanisms.

Similarly, the IACHR welcomes the petitioners’ stated willingness and openness to consider reparation measures in the context of friendly settlement agreements and agreements on compliance with the IACHR’s recommendations. 
The IACHR would like to thank the Mexican State for its outstanding collaboration in organizing this visit and for the support of the Secretariats of Foreign Affairs and the Interior to be able to carry out the working meetings with positive results. The Commission will continue to follow up on compliance with the commitments made by the State in the agreements signed during this working visit.

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. 117/15