Press Release

IACHR Announces the Publication of Report No. 212/20 on Case 12.981, Adán Guillermo López Lone and Others, Concerning Honduras

September 24, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced its decision to approve the friendly settlement of Case 12.891, Adán Guillermo López Lone and others, signed on June 19, 2019, between the state of Honduras and Ms. Bertha Oliva de Nativí, Coordinator of the Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), the petitioner organization representing the victims.

On April 27, 2006, the IACHR received a petition presented by the Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras, which alleged that the state of Honduras was internationally responsible for events relating to the raid on the home of Mr. Rafael Rivera Torres and the arbitrary detention and subsequent torture and cruel, inhumane, degrading treatment suffered by victims Adán Guillermo López Lone, Edwin Dagoberto López Lone, Gilda María Rivera Sierra, Ana Suyapa Rivera Sierra, Marlén Irasema Jiménez Puerto, and Milton Danilo Jiménez Puerto, and the sexual violence suffered by Gilda María Rivera Sierra and Marlene Irasema Jiménez Puerto, in acts carried out by state agents in 1982.

On November 13, 2012, the IACHR issued Admissibility Report No. 114/12, in which it declared itself competent to examine the alleged violation of the rights enshrined in articles 5 (humane treatment), 7 (personal liberty), 8 (fair trial), 11 (protection of honor and dignity), 13 (freedom of thought and expression), 16 (freedom of association), and 25 (judicial protection), in accordance with article 1(1) of the American Convention.

On June 19, 2017, the state of Honduras signed a friendly settlement agreement with Ms. Bertha Oliva de Nativí, representing the victims, in which the state committed to complying with measures of reparation in favor of the victims for the harm caused and to create the necessary conditions for them to return to their lives and live them fully, by implementing the following actions:

1. Continue implementing the human rights-related reforms and training programs for members of the National Police Force and Armed Forces and establish internal mechanisms to protect and defend the human rights of the Honduran population;
2. Hold a public ceremony to acknowledge the state’s responsibility and apologize to the victims;
3. Continue investigating, prosecuting, and sanctioning those responsible for the events in question;
4. Implement the right to truth of the victims, their relatives, society as a whole, and collective memory by transferring sufficient money to the Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras to purchase the farm that belonged to Colonel Amilcar Zelaya, where the events in question took place, such that a site of memory can be established there;
5. Grant economic compensation to remedy the material and moral damage that were caused.

In response, in approval report no. 212/20, the IACHR declared that both parties to the agreement had complied fully with the requirements regarding the right to the truth and economic compensation. The IACHR decided to continue following up on the aspect relating to investigating, prosecuting, and sanctioning those responsible. Consequently, the IACHR deemed that the agreement had been partially fulfilled at the time of publication.

The IACHR monitored the development of this friendly settlement closely and praised the two parties for the efforts they made during the negotiations toward reaching a friendly settlement agreement that would be compatible with the objectives of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights. The IACHR commended both parties for their willingness to move toward settling this issue through nonadversarial means. It will continue to monitor implementation of the remaining measures until they have been fully complied with.

The IACHR also congratulated the state of Honduras for its efforts to develop public policy on friendly settlements and alternative forms of dispute resolution.

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. 230/20