REPORT Nº 73/08
PETITION 1236-06
October 16, 2008


On November 9, 2006, the Center for Justice and International Law
(CEJIL) and the Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT) (hereinafter “the petitioners”),
lodged a petition before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
(hereinafter “the Commission”, “the Inter-American Commission” or “the IACHR”)
against the Federative Republic of Brazil (hereinafter “the State” or “Brazil”) alleging
the violation of the right to life, liberty and personal security, the right to a fair trial,
and the right of association, all guaranteed in Articles I, XVIII, and XXII respectively
of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (hereinafter “the
Declaration” or “the American Declaration), and the alleged violations of the rights
to a fair trial and to judicial protection established respectively in Articles 8 and 25 of
the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention” or “the
American Convention”) all in relation to the general obligation to protect rights
established in Article 1.1 of the same instrument, to the detriment of Gabriel Sales
Pimenta (hereinafter “the alleged victim”).
The petition denounces the murder, on July 18, 1982, of the alleged
victim, a human rights worker and founding partner of the National Association of
Lawyers for Agricultural Workers (Asociación Nacional de Abogados de los
Trabajadores de la Agricultura) who was working as a lawyer for the Marabá Rural
Workers Union, in the State of Pará. According to the petitioners, the motive for the
crime was Gabriel Sales Pimenta’s participation in the struggle for the rights of rural
workers in the region, and they allege that the State did not take the appropriate
measures to prevent it, nor to subsequently investigate it, and as a result, the
perpetrators remain unpunished.
On June 4, 2007, the State lodged its response to the petition and
argued that it was inadmissible in accordance with the terms of Article 47.b of the
Convention. The State alleged that it was not responsible for the murder of the
alleged victim because this was not perpetrated by state agents and therefore the
petition did not describe events which could amount to a violation of rights enshrined
in the American Convention or other applicable instruments.
After examining the positions of the parties in the light of the
requirements for admissibility established in Articles 46 and 47 of the American
Convention, the Commission decided to declare the case admissible in relation to
Articles I, XVIII, and XXII of the American Declaration, as well as to Articles 8.1 and
25 of the American Convention in relation to the general obligation established in
Article 1.1 of the same international instrument. Consequently, the Commission
decided to notify the parties, to publish the present admissibility report and to include
it in its Annual Report.


1 Pursuant to Article 17.2.a of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission, Commissioner Paulo Sérgio
Pinheiro, who is Brazilian, did not participate in the deliberations or voting on this case.

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