REPORT Nº 11/04
TEODORO CABRERA GARCÍA AND RODOLFO MONTIEL FLORES
February 27, 2004
1. On October 25, 2001, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereafter "the
Inter-American Commission" or "the IACHR") received a complaint presented by Ubalda Cortés
Salgado, Ventura López, and the Sierra Club, Greenpeace International, the Miguel Agustin Pro
Juarez Center for Human Rights–PRODH, and the Center for Justice and International LawCEJIL (hereafter, referred to jointly as "the petitioners"), invoking the international
responsibility of the United Mexican States (“the State”) for the illegal detention and torture of
Rodolfo Montiel Flores and Teodoro Cabrera García, and for their imprisonment following a trial
that failed to respect the standards of due process, and included the use of a confession that
had been extracted under torture. The petitioners also invoked the international responsibility
of the Mexican State for failing to investigate and punish the deeds denounced.
2. Subsequent to submission of the complaint, on November 8, 2001, Teodoro Cabrera García
and Rodolfo Montiel Flores were released from prison by a decision of the Mexican Executive
Power. On August 14, 2002, the Second Circuit Court of Mexico convicted Teodoro Cabrera
García and Rodolfo Montiel Flores of bearing weapons that are exclusively for use of the Army,
while acquitting them of the crimes of carrying prohibited weapons and sowing marijuana. On
the date of approval of this report, Teodoro Cabrera García and Rodolfo Montiel Flores remain
in liberty by virtue of the aforementioned Executive decision.
3. The petitioners argue that these facts constitute violation of various provisions of the
American Convention on Human Rights (hereafter "the American Convention"): the right to
humane treatment (Article 5); the right to personal liberty (Article 7); the right to a fair trial
(Article 8); the right to judicial protection (Article 25), as well as the duty of the State to
respect and guarantee the individual rights of persons under its jurisdiction (Article 1(1). They
also argue that all the requirements of admissibility stipulated in the American Convention
have been fulfilled.
4. The Mexican State maintained in its first response that the decision to release Messrs.
Montiel Flores and Cabrera García safeguarded their right to pursue such further domestic legal
action as they deemed fit; that appeal proceedings were underway against the court judgment
that had confirmed the conviction; and that the charges of torture were being investigated by
the Military Prosecutor’s Office (PGJM). In its second communication with observations on the
matter, the State reiterated that petitions are pending decision in both the administrative and
judicial systems, and that domestic remedies have therefore not been exhausted.
Consequently, the State asks the Inter-American Commission to declare the petition
5. Without prejudging the merits of the case, the IACHR concludes in this report that the case
is admissible, because it meets the requirements of Articles 46 and 47 of the American
Convention. The Inter-American Commission therefore decides to notify the decision to the
parties and to continue its analysis of the merits of the case with respect to the alleged
violations of Articles 5, 7, 8 and 25 of the American Convention, in connection with Article 1(1)
of that instrument; and of Articles 1, 6, 8 and 10 of the Inter-American Convention to Prevent
and Punish Torture.
PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE IACHR
6. On November 2, 2001, the processing of petition P735/01 began, with the transmission of
the relevant portions of the petition to the State, with a request for information within two