Press Release

IACHR Publishes Report 216/20 on Case 11,824—Sabino Díaz Osorio and Rodrigo Gómez Zamorano, Mexico

September 29, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) plans to approve the terms of the agreement signed by victims, their representatives, and the Mexican State—on July 25 and August 27, 2002, on February 6, 2003, and on November 26, 2004—in connection with Case 11,824—Sabino Díaz Osorio and Rodrigo Gómez Zamorano, Mexico.

On October 24, 1997, the IACHR received a petition filed by Bárbara Zamora López, of the law firm Tierra y Libertad A.C., representing the alleged victims against the Mexican State. The petition alleged that the State bore international responsibility for the events that surrounded the homicides of Sabino Díaz Osorio and Rodrigo Gómez Zamorano, who were said to have been murdered by civilians Donaciano and Carmelo Tapia Mendoza on July 15, 1992. The petitioners denounced negligence by the State in subsequent investigations, as well as unjustified delays in the administration of justice.

On July 25, 2002, the parties formally launched negotiations in search of a friendly settlement. In that process, they signed several documents through which the Mexican State committed to implementing the following reparation measures:

• Setting up a mechanism that enables the execution of arrest warrants issued against the individuals responsible for the killings of Sabino Díaz Osorio and Rodrigo Gómez Zamorano;
• Securing a job for the daughter of one of the victims;
• Providing a study grant for the daughter of one of the victims;
• Providing financial reparations to the daughters of one of the victims.

In Friendly Settlement Report 216/20, the Commission highlighted that full compliance had been attained with all the commitments made by the parties in their agreement. Concerning the need for a mechanism that enables the execution of arrest warrants issued against the men responsible for the killings of Sabino Díaz Osorio and Rodrigo Gómez Zamorano, the IACHR assessed—among other aspects—the measures taken by the Mexican State. These measures included international cooperation with the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the inclusion of the suspects in a list of the most wanted individuals in the state of Morelos and the dissemination of their profiles on the Internet; the appointment of a specific officer to deal exclusively with this case and the restoration of migrant alerts, fieldwork investigation, and home visits to exhaust all options to locate the suspects; and the development of a strategy to search for and locate the two men, which was shared with the petitioning party.

Later, the State reported the death of one of the suspects, and the petitioning party asked the Commission to assess compliance with this measure once the State had filed a comprehensive report on measures adopted during this investigation. The State issued the report and sent it to the petitioners, who did not submit any observations. The IACHR therefore considered that full compliance had been attained in connection with this aspect of the agreement.

In its report, the IACHR also confirmed compliance with the need to grant a job to one of the beneficiaries—who was given a position in the PAR program of the Tax Administration System (SAT, by its Spanish acronym)—and with the requirement to pay financial compensation, while the beneficiary withdrew the request for a study grant. The petitioners agreed that the various aspects of this agreement had been enforced. The Commission therefore declared full compliance with the measures that had been agreed upon (except for the one linked to the study grant, which was declared void since the beneficiary withdrew her request).

The Inter-American Commission closely followed the implementation of the friendly settlement that was agreed in this case and highly commends both parties for their efforts while negotiating the friendly settlement, which turned out to be compatible with the Convention’s aims and purposes. The Commission commends the Mexican State on its efforts to solve cases that are taken before the petition and case system—through its friendly settlement mechanism—and congratulates it for the full implementation of this friendly settlement agreement. The IACHR further congratulates the petitioning party for all its efforts to contribute to improving the friendly settlement procedure.

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. 237/20