Press Release

IACHR Welcomes Progress by the States of the Americas in Implementing Recommendations in Merits Reports in 2018

April 29, 2019

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Washington, DC—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is pleased to report that 2018 brought significant progress in the implementation and compliance with the recommendations issued in merits reports published in accordance with Article 51 of the American Convention on Human Rights.

Over the course of 2018, progress was made in the implementation of 38 reparation measures related to published merits reports, resulting in the total compliance of 11 measures, the substantial partial compliance of 10, and the partial compliance of 17. Of these 38 measures, 23 are structural and 13 are individual in nature. The structural measures that saw the highest levels of compliance were those relating to legislation and regulations, while the individual measures with the greatest levels of compliance were those that concerned financial reparation.

The IACHR highlights the financial and satisfaction reparation measures implemented by the State in the case of Valentín Basto Calderón, a peasant leader who was extrajudicially executed (Case 10.455, Report No. 45/17, Colombia); the payment of a sum of money to the victim’s mother for the purchase of a home in the case of Paloma Angélica Escobar Ledezma, which concerns the disappearance and subsequent death of a 16-year-old girl (Case 12.551, Report No. 51/13, Mexico); the elimination of the victim’s criminal record in the case of Dayra María Levoyer Jiménez, who was deprived of her liberty for more than five years without a court order (Case 11.992, Report No. 66/01, Ecuador); and, the order to carry out further DNA testing on four pieces of evidence in relation to the victim’s clemency request in the case of Kevin Cooper, who has been incarcerated on death row in the state of California since 1985 (Case 12.831, Report No. 78/15, United States).

The IACHR acknowledges the efforts of the States of Argentina, the Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Grenada, Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States, and welcomes the progress that they have made in implementing the recommendations of the IACHR and in providing responses to the victims of human rights violations. The Commission reiterates that such compliance is crucial for providing full reparations to victims of human rights violations, legitimizing the Inter-American System of Human Rights, and building trust in the good faith of States’ to comply with their international obligations. In this regard, the IACHR takes the opportunity to call on all of the Member States of the Organization of American States to advance in the implementation of the recommendations issued in the merits reports published by the Commission, so that the total compliance of these recommendations can be assessed.

In 2018, the IACHR adopted a strategy regarding published merits reports that are in the follow-up of recommendations stage. This strategy focused on increasing the number of follow-up actions carried out over the course of the year, with a view to building consensual routes of implementing the recommendations. The strategy also involved reestablishing contact with victims and their representatives in cases in which the IACHR had not received information in recent years.

The IACHR is pleased to report that these actions resulted in a more than 200% increase in the level of response to requests for information from parties on compliance with recommendations, increasing from an average of 20 responses received from States and petitioners in 2017, to over 60 in 2018. Further, with respect to the 70 cases in which the IACHR had not received information from the parties in the last 3 years, the IACHR notes that, in 2018, it received information from at least one of the parties in 35 of these cases, which allowed it to register important advances in the implementation of recommendations in the 2018 Annual Report.. The IACHR is grateful to the parties for the information provided as part of its follow-up work in 2018 and calls on them to present updated information on the actions adopted by States to comply with the recommendations issued by the Commission.

The IACHR underscores that Chapter II.G of the 2018 Annual Report is the product of the new methodologies to follow up on recommendations adopted within the framework of Program 21 of the IACHR’s 2017-2021 Strategic Plan. These new methodologies include the use of new categories of analysis related to the information provided by the parties, as well as the status of compliance of the recommendations, and a new design of Chapter II.G, notably the inclusion of individual follow-up factsheets about each case, in which the IACHR has classified the level of compliance of each recommendation for the first time ever.

The sections of the 2018 Annual Report on follow-up provide the different users of the Inter-American System with a tool that permits them to quickly and easily identify the actions that States have adopted and the results that have been achieved in each case. The Report also provides greater information on and visibility to the status of the recommendations issued in the IACHR’s merits reports, highlighting the progress that has been made and the challenges associated with complying with the decisions of the IACHR. This lays the groundwork for promoting the implementation of the recommendations established in merits reports in the countries of the Americas. In this regard, the Commission invites all of the users of the Inter-American System to view the follow-up factsheets that are published in the 2018 Annual Report.

“The Inter-American Commission call on all of the States of the region to continue implementing the recommendations issued in published merits reports, in an effective manner and in consultation with the victims and their representatives, in order to guarantee that all victims of human rights violations receive full and comprehensive reparations,” said IACHR President Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño.

The Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Paulo Abrão, stated that “the IACHR is at the disposal of the victims, their representatives, and States to promote dialogues between the parties with a view to reaching consensus on ways to implement the recommendations issued in the merits reports published by the IACHR and to provide technical assistance to States in this regard.”

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 and to defend 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. 105/19