REPORT No. 63/10
PETITION 1119-03
ADMISSIBILITY
GARIFUNA COMMUNITY OF PUNTA PIEDRA AND ITS MEMBERS
HONDURAS
March 24, 2010
I.

SUMMARY

1. On October 29, 2003, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter the
“Commission,” the “Inter-American Commission” or the “IACHR”) received a petition filed by
the Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña 1 (hereinafter “the petitioner” or “OFRANEH”), on
behalf of the Garifuna Communities of Cayos Cochinos, Punta Piedra, and Triunfo de la Cruz,
against the Republic of Honduras (hereinafter the “Honduran State,” “Honduras,” or the
“State”). The petition argues that the State of Honduras is internationally responsible for
alleged violations of the rights protected at Articles 8 (right to a fair trial), 21 (right to
property), and 25 (right to judicial protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights
(hereinafter the “American Convention” or the “Convention”), in relation to Article 1 of the
same instrument, and Articles 13(1), 14, 15(1), 17, 18 and 19 of Convention 169 on
Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries of the International Labor
Organization (hereinafter “ILO Convention 169”), to the detriment of the communities and
their members.
2. On December 19, 2003, the IACHR decided to separate the claims submitted by each
Garifuna community, and to assign each one a number. 2 The petition of the Garifuna
Community of Punta Piedra was identified as P-1119-03, which was reported to the petitioner
and the State.
3. The petitioner alleges that the rights of the Garifuna Community of Punta Piedra and its
members (hereinafter the “Community,” the “Community of Punta Piedra,” “Punta Piedra,” or
the “alleged victims”) were violated, since the State failed to adopt the measures necessary,
for the members of the Community could not fully exercise their rights to their territories given
the limitations in their enjoyment due to the acts of third persons, without the proper
measures of protection or a response by the State. As regards the admissibility of the petition,
it states that domestic remedies have been duly exhausted.
4. For its part, the State argues that without prejudice to the rights of the Garifuna Community
of Punta Piedra over its ancestral territories, recognized in the property titles issued to it, this
petition is inadmissible due to the failure to exhaust domestic remedies.
5. After analyzing the petition, the Commission concludes in this report that the complaint is
admissible pursuant to Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention and Articles 30, 36, and
related articles of its Rules of Procedure, in terms of the claims presented in relation to Articles
21 and 25 of the American Convention, in relation to Articles 1 and 2 of the same instrument.
Finally, the Commission resolves to notify the parties, publicize this report, and include it in its
Annual Report to the OAS General Assembly.
II.

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION

6. The IACHR received the petition on October 29, 2003, and identified it as petition P-111903. On January 30, 2004, it transmitted the pertinent parts to the State, asking that it submit
its observations within two months. Honduras’s response was received on March 29, 2004.

1

By communication received January 21, 2009, the petitioner designated Professor Joseph P. Berra as its legal
representative attorney.
2
On March 14, 2006, the IACHR approved Admissibility Report 29/06, Petition 906-03, Garifuna Community of Triunfo
de la Cruz and its members; and on July 24, 2007, it approved Admissibility Report 39/07, Petition 1118-03, Garifuna
Community of Cayos Cochinos and its members
1

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