REPORT Nº 33/01* CASE 11.552 ARAGUAIA GUERRILLA MOVEMENT JULIA GOMES LUND ET AL. BRAZIL March 6, 2001 I. SUMMARY 1. On August 7, 1995, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Commission") received a petition from the Brazil section of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL/Brazil) and Human Rights Watch/Americas (HRWA) against the Federative Republic of Brazil (hereinafter "the State" or "Brazil"). Subsequently, the Rio de Janeiro Section of the Grupo Tortura Nunca Mais [Torture Never Again Group] (GTNM/RJ) and the Comissão de Familiares de Mortos e Desaparecidos Políticos de São Paulo [Committee of the Families of Those Who Died or Disappeared for Political Reasons] (CFMDP/SP) were added as co-petitioners. The petition relates to the disappearance of members of the Araguaia guerrilla movement from 1972 to 1975, and the State's failure, since that time, to investigate those facts. Julia Gomes Lund and 21 others were presumably killed during military operations conducted in the Araguaia region, in the south of the state of Pará. Since 1982, family members of these 22 persons have been trying, by means of proceedings brought in Federal Court, to obtain information on the circumstances of the disappearances and deaths of the guerrillas, and to recover their bodies. 2. The petition alleges that the facts described constitute violations of rights guaranteed under Article I (right to life, liberty, and personal security); Article XXV (right of protection from arbitrary arrest); and Article XXVI (right to due process of law) of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (hereinafter "the American Declaration" or "the Declaration"), and of Article 4 (Right to Life); Article 8 (Right to a Fair Trial); Article 12 (Freedom of Conscience and Religion); Article 13 (Freedom of Thought and Expression); and Article 25 (Right to Judicial Protection), as well as Article 1(1) (Obligation to Respect Rights) of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the American Convention” or “the Convention”). 3. The State responded by alleging that the available domestic remedies had not been exhausted and that, owing to the enactment of a law that provides for the investigation of and reparation in cases involving those who disappeared for political reasons, the petition no longer has substance, as reparation has already been made for the alleged violations, and that the responsibility of the State for the facts has already been acknowledged. 4. After analyzing the petition, and concluding that the requirements for application of the Convention had been met, the Commission decided to reject the claim that the grounds for the petition lack substance and to declare the case admissible. II. PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION 5. On August 7, 1995, the Commission received a communication from the petitioners. On December 12, 1995, the pertinent parts of the file were transmitted to the State, and at the same time the State was requested to provide information regarding the case. 6. On May 20, 1996, the Commission received a communication from the petitioners containing two new pieces of information. The first relates to the enactment by the State of a law 1 acknowledging the responsibility of the Brazilian State for the disappearances arising from political activity that took place from September 1961 to August 1979, and providing for indemnification of the families of the victims. The second piece of information was that in several newspaper articles, individuals who participated in events in the Araguaia region identified places where the bodies of guerrillas were buried and provided secret documents and * As prescribed in Article 19(2)(a) of the Commission’s Regulations, Member of the Commission Hélio Bicudo, of Brazilian nationality, did not participate in the discussions or the voting on this case. 1 Law Nº 9140 of December 15, 1995. 1

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