REPORT No. 114/18
CASE 12.722
MERITS
PATRICIO FERNANDO ROCHE AZANA ET AL.
NICARAGUA
October 5, 2018

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On December 23, 1998, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Inter-American Commission,” “the Commission,” or “the IACHR”) received a petition lodged by Mr. Patricio
Barrera Tello, representing Messrs. Pedro Bacilio Roche Azaña and Patricio Fernando Roche Azaña (“the
petitioning party” or “the petitioner”), alleging the international responsibility of the State of Nicaragua
(hereinafter “the Nicaraguan State,” “the State,” or “Nicaragua”) to the detriment of Pedro Bacilio Roche Azaña
and Patricio Fernando Roche Azaña.
2.
The Commission approved Admissibility Report No. 88/09 on August 7, 2009.1 On September
1, 2009, the Commission notified the parties of that report and offered its good offices to help reach a friendly
settlement. The parties had the prescribed deadlines in which to present their additional observations on the
merits. The petitioning party presented its observations on the merits on October 26, 2009, expressing its
willingness to reach a friendly settlement. For its part, the State presented observations on September 2, 2011,
without referring to a potential friendly settlement. All information received was duly forwarded to the other
parties.
3.
The petitioning party alleged that Nicaraguan police in the municipality of Chinandega fired
indiscriminately and in a discriminatory manner at a van in which 30 to 40 migrants were traveling, trying to
get to the United States of America. The petitioner indicated that the migrants were abandoned in a deserted
area and that on the morning of the next day they received assistance from a group of locals, who took them to
the hospital. The petitioner indicated that as a result of that attack, Pedro Bacilio Roche Azaña lost his life and
five individuals were seriously wounded, including Patricio Roche Azaña, who states that he was hospitalized
for three months, the first of these in a coma, and was subsequently able to return to Ecuador, where he was
operated on six times and currently suffers permanent physical impairment. The petitioning party also claimed
that the alleged victims did not have access to justice due to the acquittal and release of the defendants, as well
as to violations of due process, as the petitioner’s statements were not taken during the criminal prosecution,
nor was he informed of any decision.
4.
The State alleged that the van went through a police checkpoint after being given multiple
warnings to stop, and that the driver ignored the warnings and continued to flee at high speed, forcing the
police officers to fire. The State maintained that it was impossible for the police to know that these were
migrants. It added that it was the police who, upon being alerted by locals, assisted the migrants and humanely
took them to the hospital in Chinandega. Finally, the State maintained that procedural guarantees were
respected at all times and that the events in question were analyzed and decided upon by means of a jury
verdict. It claimed that Patricio Fernando Roche Azaña’s statement could not be taken before the legal
procedural deadline due to his critical medical condition, and that he was not notified of the judgment because
he was not a private complainant in the case.
5.
Based on the determinations of fact and law, the Inter-American Commission concluded that
the State is responsible for violating Articles 4.1 (right to life), 5.1 (right to humane treatment), 8.1 (right to a
fair trial), and 25.1 (right to judicial protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the

1 IACHR. Report No. 88/09. Petition 405-99. Admissibility. Patricio Fernando Roche Azaña et al. Nicaragua. August 7, 2009. The
Commission declared the petition admissible with respect to Articles 1.1, 4.1, 5.1, 8.1, and 24 of the American Convention on Human Rights;
it also declared the petition inadmissible with respect to Article 22 of the American Convention on Human Rights.

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