REPORT Nº 16/02
ADMISSIBILITY
PETITION 12.331
MARCO ANTONIO SERVELLóN GARCÍA, RONY ALEXIS BETANCOURT HERNÁNDEZ, DIÓMEDES
OBED GARCÍA, AND ORLANDO ALVAREZ RÍOS
("THE CARDINAL POINTS" CASE)
HONDURAS
February 27, 2002

I.

SUMMARY

1. On October 11, 2000, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and Covenant
House Latin America (hereinafter the petitioners) lodged a petition with the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Inter-American Commission", or "the IACHR").
The petition alleges the international responsibility of the State of Honduras ("the State",
"Honduras" or "the Honduran State"), for the illegal detention, torture, and subsequent murder
of Marco Antonio Servellón García (aged 16), Rony Alexis Betancourt Hernández (aged 17),
Diómedes Obed García (aged 18), and Orlando Alvarez Ríos (aged 32).
2. The petitioners assert that the facts alleged in the petition constitute violation of the
following rights recognized in the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter "the
American Convention"): right to life (Article 4); right to humane treatment (Article 5); right to
personal liberty (Article 7); right to a fair trial (Article 8), and right to judicial protection
(Article 25); and, furthermore, as regards Marco Antonio Servellón García and Rony Alexis
Betancourt Hernández, the rights of the child (Article 19). They also allege violation of the
general obligation of the State to ensure the rights protected in Article 1 of the Convention.
3. With respect to admissibility, the State holds that the petition is inadmissible for failure to
exhaust domestic remedies in accordance with Article 46(1) of the American Convention. For
their part, the petitioners alleged unwarranted delay in investigation and in rendering a
decision under those remedies, and that said remedies were not effective because they were
not capable of producing the results for which they were designed. Therefore the exceptions
provided at Article 46(2) of the American Convention apply.
4. Without prejudging the merits of the matter, the IACHR concludes in this report that the
petition is admissible in accordance with the exceptions contained in Article 46(2) (a) and (b)
of the American Convention. On that basis, it finds that the petitioners are exempt from the
requirement to exhaust the remedies under domestic law provided at section 1(a) of the same
provision and decides to continue its examination of merits with regard to alleged violation of
Articles 1(1), 4, 5, 7, 8, 19, and 25 of the above-mentioned international instrument.

II.

PROCESSING BY THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION

5. The petition was received on October 11, 2000, and transmitted to the Honduran State on
October 24, 2000, as case number 12.331, in keeping with the Regulations of the Commission
then in effect. On June 12, 2001, the petitioners presented a communication in which they
requested that Article 39 of the Rules of Procedure of the IACHR currently in force be applied
and the facts alleged in the petition be presumed to be true, 1 because since the processing of
the petition began the State had not disputed the allegations. 2 The request was duly brought
to the attention of the State, which replied on September 10, 2001.

1

Article 39 of the Rules of Procedure of the IACHR: The facts alleged in the petition, the pertinent parts of which have
been transmitted to the State in question, shall be presumed to be true if the State has not provided responsive
information during the maximum period set by the Commission under the provisions of Article 38 of these Rules of
Procedure, as long as other evidence does not lead to a different conclusion.
2
In this connection, the petitioners say that:
1

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