Press Release

IACHR Welcomes Progress Made in 2019 Toward Compliance with Friendly Settlement Agreements

April 22, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is happy to report that eleven friendly settlement agreements attained full compliance in 2019.

Over the course of 2019, the Commission approved 14 friendly settlement agreements, eight of which had attained full implementation of the measures that had been agreed. These involved Cases 12,190—José Luis Tapia and Others and 12,233—Víctor Améstica Moreno and Others in Chile; Case 12,942—Emilia Morales in Costa Rica; Cases 12,961 A—Bolívar Salgado Welban and Others12,961 C—Marcial Coello Medina and Others; and 12,961 D—Jorge Enrique Valladares Argueñal and Others in Honduras, and Case 13,408—Alberto Patishtán Gómez and Petition 1224-07—David Rabinovich in Uruguay.

Further, in light of monitoring efforts reported in its 2019 Annual Report, the Commission noted that full compliance had been attained in friendly settlement agreements concerning Cases 12,078—Ricardo Semoza Di Carlo in Peru12,813—Blanca Olivia Contreras Vidal and Roberto Clemente Álvarez Alvarado in Mexico; and 12,642—José Iván Correa Arévalo in Mexico.

Concerning the degree of compliance with the provisions and measures stipulated in approved settlements, the IACHR noted in its 2019 Annual Report that progress had been made to implement 111 reparation measures (with 76 attaining full compliance, 18 attaining substantial partial compliance, and 17 attaining partial compliance). Of the 111 measures where progress was made in 2019, 25 were structural and 86 were individual measures. The Commission observed an improvement in full compliance with reparation measures, compared to the 69 provisions where full compliance had been attained in 2018.

In its 2019 Annual Report, the IACHR observed that the States that saw the most progress in measure implementation were Mexico (where 34 measures were implemented in 2019); Colombia (where 23 provisions were implemented); Chile (where 13 measures stipulated in friendly settlements were implemented); and Argentina (where major progress was made in 11 reparation measures). Other States that showed progress in the implementation of settlements they had signed were Peru (where full compliance was attained concerning eight measures); Uruguay (where full compliance was attained regarding four provisions); Honduras and Paraguay (where full compliance was attained concerning six measures); Ecuador and Brazil (that attained full implementation of two provisions each); and, finally, Guatemala and Costa Rica (each of which attained implementation of one measure).

The Commission appreciates the efforts made by the States of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. The IACHR congratulates those countries on progress made to implement friendly settlements containing the commitments they made in agreement with victims and their families, and on compliance with the IACHR’s decisions to approve such settlements. (To access compliance details, please go to the Appendix.)

In the 2019 Annual Report, five new issues were accepted for monitoring. These issues were: Report 138/18 on Petition 687/11—Gabriela Blas Blas and Her Daughter C.B.B. (Chile); Report 92/18 on Case 12,941—Nicolasa and Family and Report 93/18 on Petition 799/06—Isidoro León Ramírez and Others (Colombia); Report 167/18 on Case 12,957—Bolívar Hernández (Ecuador); Report 130/18 on Case 12,699—Pedro Antonio Centurión (Paraguay); and Report 123/18 on Petition 1516/08—Juan Figueroa Acosta (Perú). Cases in Chile and Paraguay attained substantial compliance with friendly settlement agreements.

The Commission considers that the progress highlighted in Chapter II.G.3 of the 2019 Annual Report is historic and lays the groundwork to continue to encourage the implementation of friendly settlement agreements, based on the parties’ joint efforts and on the will of States to ensure compliance with the decisions of the Inter-American System. In this context, the IACHR will continue to make every effort—in its advisory, mediation and cooperation capacities—to encourage greater compliance with its decisions.

“Very significant progress was observed in efforts to implement concrete measures, concerning the effectiveness of the friendly settlement mechanism to ensure reparations in favor of victims of human rights violations and their families,” said Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño.

“The IACHR will continue to engage in mediation and monitoring efforts to facilitate dialogue among the parties, with a view to ensuring full implementation of all commitments made in friendly settlement agreements,” said IACHR Executive Secretary Paulo Abrão.

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. 086/20