REPORT No. 152/10 PETITION 459-97 ADMISSIBILITY ALFREDO LAGOS DEL CAMPO PERU November 1, 2010 I. SUMMARY 1. This report concerns Petition 459-97, which the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter, "Inter-American Commission," "Commission," or "IACHR") began processing based on a petition lodged by Mr. Alfredo Lagos del Campo (hereinafter, "the petitioner") against the Republic of Peru (hereinafter, "Peru" or "the State"). The petition was received by the IACHR on August 5, 1998, and in it the petitioner alleges that the State violated, to his detriment, its obligation to respect rights in connection with the rights to a fair trial, equality under the law, and judicial protection contained in Articles 1(1), 8, 24, and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter, "American Convention"). 1 2. The petitioner alleges that on June 26, 1989, he was unjustly dismissed from the CeperPirelli S.A. company, where he worked as an electrician operator in the maintenance department. The petitioner moreover alleges that on the date he was dismissed, he was acting as president of the Electoral Committee of that company's workers union. The petitioner asserts that he was dismissed because a media outlet quoted him as making statements which, in the judgment of his employers, had injured the company. The petitioner alleges that the responsible party should be the journalist who wrote the article or the media outlet that published it, since he was not the author of the text. In any case, he believes that even if it were established that he did make the statements, these would not constitute a "serious offense" warranting his dismissal since, according to the petitioner, insults or injuries may not refer to legal persons but only to natural persons who have been individually named. In addition, he believes that the statements attributed to him would be protected by the freedom of expression that shields union leaders. Finally, the petitioner maintains that the legal proceedings initiated in Peru did not respect due process guarantees. 3. The State, for its part, considers that the internal proceedings unfolded normally and that there was no violation whatsoever of the petitioner's right to due process. In addition, the State asserts that if the petitioner did not acknowledge that he had made the statements ascribed to him, he should have exercised his right of reply. The State alleged that by not doing so, the petitioner took on these statements as his own and was sanctioned in accordance with Peruvian laws. 4. The Inter-American Commission concludes that it is competent to decide on the complaint lodged by the petitioner, which it declares to be admissible in light of the provisions of Article 46 of the American Convention in regard to the alleged violations of the rights recognized in Articles 8 and 13 in conjunction with Articles 1(1) and 2 of the American Convention. The Commission also declares that the violations alleged with regard to the rights recognized in Articles 24 (equality under the law) and 25 (judicial protection) are inadmissible. The Commission thus decides to notify the parties of this decision, continue with the analysis on the merits with regard to the alleged violations of the American Convention, publish this Admissibility Report, and include it in its Annual Report to the OAS General Assembly. 1 The IACHR received numerous submissions in which various labor unions and social organizations in Peru supported the petition lodged by Alfredo Lagos del Campo. The petitions submitted include those of the Federation of Workers of the Metallurgy Industry of Peru (FETIMP); Federation of Peruvian Light and Power Workers; Unitary Union of Employees of Electrolima and EE.CC.EE.; Federation of Plastics Workers; Federation of Textile Workers of Peru; Autonomous Confederation of Textile Workers of Peru; National Federation of Peruvian Electricity Workers; Workers Union of the Compañía Peruana de Teléfonos S.A.; National Association of Peruvian Journalists (Lima Affiliate); Federation of Municipal Employees of Peru; Federation of Employees of Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones del Perú; National Federation of Paper, Chemical, and Related Workers of Peru; Confederation of Mining Communities of Peru; Lima College of Attorneys (Office of Human Rights); and General Confederation of Peruvian Workers.