7. Moreover, the IACHR received information from the petitioner on the following dates: May
11 and September 28, 2004; October 21, 2005; January 13, March 8, April 25, July 14, and
October 31, 2006; March 26, May 9, June 14, June 20, and August 15, 2007; and January 21,
2009. Those communications were duly transmitted to the State.
8. The IACHR received observations from the State on the following dates: August 19 and
October 28, 2004; April 6, July 28, and August 18, 2006; and April 23, April 30, June 27 and
July 2, 2007. Those communications were duly transmitted to the petitioner.
9. During the processing of the case, a public hearing was held before the IACHR on March 7,
2006 (124th regular period of sessions), and two working meetings were held, on March 5,
2007 (127th regular period of sessions) and July 20, 2007 (128th regular period of sessions of
the IACHR).
Friendly Settlement Procedure
10. At the public hearing held March 7, 2006, the parties agreed to begin a friendly settlement
process. On March 8, 2006, the IACHR received the proposed friendly settlement drawn up by
the petitioner. On March 26, 2007, the petitioner expressed its interest in withdrawing from
the effort to reach a friendly settlement and going forward with the processing of the petition,
alleging a lack of political will by the State to carry out the commitments assumed during this
process. At the working meeting of July 20, 2007, which was attended by both parties, the
petitioner reiterated its decision.
Precautionary Measures 109-07
11. On June 15, 2007, the petitioner requested the adoption of precautionary measures on
behalf of the Garifuna Community of Punta Piedra and, in particular, one it its members,
Marcos Bonifacio Castillo 3, because he would had received death threats. On August 20, 2007,
the IACHR granted precautionary measures on behalf of Marcos Bonifacio Castillo. 4 On
September 13, 2007, Honduras sent its response. The precautionary measures are in force.
III.

POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES

A.

The petitioner

12. The petitioner notes that the presence of the Garifuna people in Honduras dates back to
1797, and that it is a culturally differentiated people who maintain their own traditional way of
life, cosmovisions, uses and customs, forms of social organization, institutions, beliefs, values,
dress, and language. It notes that for a long time the Garifuna communities, among them the
Community of Punta Piedra 5, called on the State to recognize their rights to the land they have
ancestrally possessed. 6
13. In this respect, it reports that as of the early 1900s a gradual and systematic dispossession
of the ancestral lands of the Garifuna began, and that since that time efforts have been made
vis-à-vis the State authorities to secure recognition of their ancestral territories.
14. As regards the Garifuna Community of Punta Piedra, petitioner argues that after years of
struggle, they were able to have the State grant full title over the territories they possessed

3
4

The petitioner reiterated this request during the working meeting of July 20, 2007

In particular, the Commission asked the Honduran State: (1) To adopt the measures necessary to guarantee the life
and physical integrity of Mr. Marcos Bonifacio Castillo; (2) to coordinate the measures to be adopted with the
beneficiary and the petitioners; and (3) to report on the actions taken to judicially clarify the facts that justify the
adoption of precautionary measures
5
The Community is made up of approximately 1,500 members
6

The petitioner refers, among others, to the Garifuna Community of Triunfo de la Cruz. See IACHR, Report No 29/06,
Petition 906-03, Admissibility, Garifuna Community of Triunfo de la Cruz and its members, paragraph 11
2

Select target paragraph3