REPORT No. 24/16
PETITION P-66-07
ADMISSIBILITY
SANTIAGO LEGUIZAMÓN ZAVÁN AND FAMILY
PARAGUAY
APRIL 15, 2016

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On January 19, 2007, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter "the
Commission," "the Inter-American Commission," or "the IACHR") received a petition from Inter American Press
Association (hereinafter “the petitioner”)1, alleging the international responsibility of the State of Paraguay
(hereinafter "the State," or "Paraguay," or "Paraguayan State") for the violation of rights enshrined in the
American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter "American Convention" or "Convention"), as a result of
the murder of journalist Santiago Leguizamón Zaván (hereinafter “alleged victim”).
2.
The petitioner alleged that journalist Santiago Leguizamón, host of the afternoon radio
program “Puertas Abiertas” on Radio Mburucuyá and correspondent for the newspaper Noticias, was murdered
for reasons connected to his profession on April 26, 1991, in the border city of Pedro Juan Caballero, Paraguay.
According to the petition, Leguizamón was murdered by hit men, after receiving earlier threats because of his
constant criticism of local corruption and his reports on smuggling, drug trafficking, and money laundering on
the Paraguay-Brazil border. The petitioner asserted that his investigations and reports “hinted at the alleged
complicity between the crime bosses and President Andrés Rodríguez’s administration,” and that there was
evidence to indicate that local businessmen and then-President Andrés Rodríguez (who died in 1997) were the
masterminds behind the journalist’s murder. The petitioner maintained that the investigation of these events
was not conducted with due diligence, that the relatives of the alleged victim were prevented from taking part
in the criminal proceedings for security reasons, and that to this day the crime has been met with total impunity.
3.
Without prejudging the merits of the case, after examining the positions of the parties in light
of the requirements established in Articles 46 and 47 of the Convention, the IACHR decided to declare the
petition admissible for purposes of examining the alleged violation of the rights enshrined in Articles 4 (Right
to Life) and 13 (Freedom of Thought and Expression), to the detriment of journalist Santiago Leguizamón
Zaván. In addition, it decided to declare the petition admissible for purposes of examining the alleged violation
of Articles 5 (Right to Humane Treatment), 8 (Right to a Fair Trial), and 25 (Right to Judicial Protection) of the
Convention, to the detriment of the relatives of Santiago Leguizamón Zaván, all in connection with Article 1.1
thereof, to the detriment of the alleged victim and his relatives. The Commission additionally decided to give
notice to the parties of this Admissibility Report, and order its publication in its Annual Report to the General
Assembly of the Organization of American States.
II.

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION

4.
On January 19, 2007, the Commission received the petition and assigned it number 66-07. The
petitioner submitted additional information on November 26, 2007, and June 20, 29, and 30, 2008. On
September 7, 2010, the IACHR forwarded a copy of the pertinent parts to the State, giving it two months to
present its observations, pursuant to Article 30.3 of its Rules of Procedure in force at the time. On November 4,
2010, the Paraguayan State requested a one-month extension to reply to the complaint, which the IACHR
granted on December 1, 2010. On December 13, 2010, the Paraguayan State sent its reply, which was forwarded
to the petitioner on March 1, 2011. The State submitted additional information on February 7, 2011, which was
forwarderd to the petitioner on March 28, 2011.

1 In a communication received on October 22, 2015, the widow of Santiago Leguizamón, Ana María Morra, appointed Dante
Leguizamón Ariel Morra as a legal representative of the Leguizamón family in the present case.

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