admissible in Report No. 36/06, and on March 14, 2008, it approved Merit Report No.
24/08, according to Article 50 of the Convention. Such report included certain
recommendations for the State.4 Considering that the term granted to the State to comply
with such recommendations had elapsed without the State presenting information showing
satisfactory compliance with such recommendation, the Commission decided to submit the
case to the Court’s jurisdiction, pursuant to Articles 51(1) of the Convention and 44 of the
Commission’s Rules of Procedure. The Commission appointed Messrs. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro,
Commissioner, and Santiago A. Canton, Executive Secretary, and as legal consultants Mrs.
Elizabeth Abi-Mershed, Assistant Executive Secretary, and Mrs. Verónica Gómez, Débora
Benchoam, and Lilly Ching, as specialists of the Commission’s Executive Secretariat.
As indicated by the Commission, the application refers to the alleged “filing of a
criminal action before the military court due to the crime of Slander against the National
Armed Forces, to the detriment of Retired General Francisco Usón Ramírez […] and the
subsequent judgment of deprivation of liberty for five years and six months as a
consequence of certain [alleged] statements that Mr. Usón made in a television interview
about some facts that [allegedly] were the subject of controversy and public debate at that
In the application the Commission requested the Court declare that the State had
violated the rights set forth in Articles 13 (Freedom of Thought and Expression), 7 (Right to
Personal Liberty), 8 (Right to a Fair Trial), and 25 (Right to Judicial Protection) of the
American Convention, in connection with Articles 1(1) (Obligation to Respect Rights) and 2
(Domestic Legal Affects) of the same, to the detriment of Mr. Francisco Usón Ramírez.
Consequently, the Commission requested the Court order the State to adopt certain
measures of reparation pursuant to Article 63(1) of the American Convention.
On October 21, 2008, the representatives of the alleged victim, Messrs. Héctor
Faúndez Ledesma and Claudio Grossman and Mrs. Agustina del Campo submitted a written
brief containing pleadings, motions, and evidence (hereinafter the “writ of pleadings and
motions”), pursuant to Article 23 of the Rules of Procedure. The representatives requested
the Court declare that the State had committed the same violation of rights mentioned by
the Commission, particularly for “having deprived Francisco Usón Ramírez arbitrarily of his
personal liberty, […] having punished him for exercising his legitimate freedom of
expression, […] having tried and judgmentd him without the guarantees inherent in due
process, and […] not having provided him with an effective, simple, and rapid judicial
remedy that could have rectified the violations to his fundamental rights”. Likewise, the
representatives requested the Court order the State to adopt certain measures of
reparation and reimburse costs and legal fees.
On December 22, 2008, the State, represented by Mr. Germán Saltrón Negretti,
Agent, and Mr. Larry Devoe Márquez, Alternate Agent, submitted its plea to the claims and
observations in the writ of pleadings and motions (hereinafter the “Defendant’s plea”),
whereby it argued a preliminary objection based on the alleged lack of exhaustion of

In the report on the merits No. 24/08, the Commission concluded that “the State of Venezuela violated the
rights to freedom of expression, personal liberty, right to a fair trial, included in Articles 13, 7, 8, and 25 of the
American Convention on Human Rights, in connection with Articles 1(1) and 2 of the same, to the detriment of [Mr.
Francisco Uson Ramirez].” As such, the Commission recommended that the State “1) […] adopt all the judicial,
administrative, and other measures necessary to leave without effect […] all military criminal proceedings […]
against [Mr. Uson Ramirez] and his judgments, including omitting the criminal charges from the registrar and their
implications to all extents; 2) […] order a reparation for Mr. Francisco Uson Ramirez for the violation of his rights;
3) […] take all the measures necessary so that Mr. Francisco Uson Ramirez is granted his personal liberty
indefinitely without any conditions, and 4) […] to order their domestic legislation so it is in conformance with
Articles 13, 7, and 8 of the American Convention, in accordance with what has been established in the […] report.”

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