Press Release

IACHR Visits Paraguay to Promote Compliance with Friendly Settlement Agreements

August 26, 2016

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) conducted a working visit to Paraguay on August 17 and 18 with the aim of promoting compliance with friendly settlement agreements subscribed by different petitioners and the Paraguayan State within the framework of petitions and cases before the IACHR. The delegation was headed by Commissioner Paulo Vannuchi, in his capacity as Country Rapporteur, and also sought to follow up on the developments in cases such as the land dispute in Curuguaty, 2012, which resulted in the death of 11 peasants and 6 police officers.

On August 17, 2016, Commissioner Paulo Vannuchi chaired four working meetings to advance in friendly settlement processes. In this regard, petitioners and the Paraguayan State held a working meeting on case 12,358, Octavio Gonzalez Acosta, concerning his alleged arbitrary detention, torture and forced disappearance by agents of the Investigative Department of the Capital Police during Alfredo Stroessner’s regime, to monitor the compliance of the agreement subscribed by the parties on August 5, 2011, and which was approved by the Commission through its Report No. 24/13 of March 20, 2013. The parties have partially implemented this friendly settlement agreement and the IACHR urges the State to take the necessary actions to implement the matters still pending.

In addition, Commissioner Paulo Vannuchi facilitated three working meetings on Case 12.374, Jorge Enrique Patiño Palacios, concerning the alleged lack of an investigation into the death of a 20-year-old man at the time of the events; Case 12,330, Cristina Aguayo Ortiz and others, concerning alleged violations of human rights of children and adolescents within the framework of mass raids and arrests that took place between November 2000 and January 2001 in the city of Asuncion; and on Case 12.330, Marcelino Gomez Paredes, concerning the alleged disappearance of two children while serving compulsory military service in Paraguay. The parties signed friendly settlement agreements with respect to these cases, which are still in the process of implementation, and through these working meetings made progress in discussing the matters still pending and the measures needed in order to fully implement those agreements.

On August 17, a training workshop on practical and procedural aspects for the use of the mechanism of friendly settlement was also held for officials of several institutions responsible for the negotiation and implementation of friendly settlement agreements in Paraguay.

The Rapporteur also met with state officials and members of civil society to address various issues under the monitoring of the Commission. In this regard, as part of the follow-up that the Commission has made of the events in Curuguaty, the Rapporteur met with petitioners, family members, members of civil society and state authorities to obtain updated information on investigations and listen to their concerns. At a meeting with the President of the Senate and Senate party leaders, the Rapporteur was informed that the Senate will continue to analyze the best way to respond to the recommendation of the United Nations to create an independent commission to investigate the events in Curuguaty and expressed to the senators the Commission’s willingness to provide whatever support they may need.

During these days, the Commissioner also met with several petitioners to discuss their cases, visited a trade union of workers where he received information of possible violations of the right of association and met with a group of inhabitants of the Bañados to hear their grave issues of poverty and the loss of their homes as a result of the flooding of the Paraguay River and the construction of roads and other development projects.

The Commission appreciates the efforts of the Paraguayan State to seek the resolution of cases pending before the system through friendly settlement mechanism and also recognizes the efforts of petitioners to participate in the search for progress in this regard. The Commission wishes to thank the Paraguayan State for their assistance in organizing the visit and the support of the Chancellery and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to conduct the meetings.

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. 121/16