b) granting concessions for, and authorizing bauxite mining operations in the territory
of the Lower Marowijne Peoples;
c) establishing three nature reserves (in 1966, 1969, and 1986) within the territory of
the Lower Marowijne Peoples, without the knowledge or consent of the alleged victims;
the Petitioners contend the laws that govern the reserves do not recognize the
indigenous rights of the Lower Marowijne Peoples, and expressly prohibit subsistence
activities like hunting and fishing.
5. The Petitioners claim that Suriname’s laws provide no adequate and effective remedies to
seek and obtain the recognition, recovery and protection of the indigenous property rights of
the Lower Marowijne Peoples. Accordingly, the Petitioners contend that they are excused from
the requirement of exhaustion of domestic remedies, under Article 46(2)(a) of the American
Convention and Article 31(2)(a) of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure.
6. In response, the State contends that the petition is inadmissible for failure to exhaust
domestic remedies and for duplication of international proceedings. With respect to the
exhaustion of domestic remedies, the State contends that there are remedies available under
the Civil Code of Suriname that the Petitioners have failed to invoke. With respect to
duplication of international proceedings, the State argues that the Petitioners presented the
same complaints to the UN Commission on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in
2002.
7. As set forth in this Report, having examined the contentions of the Petitioner and the State
on the question of admissibility, and without prejudging the merits of the matter, the
Commission has decided to: (a) admit the claims in the present petition with respect to Articles
3, 21 and 25 (in conjunction with Articles 1 and 2) of the American Convention; (b) transmit
this Report to the parties; (c) continue with the analysis of the merits of the case and; (d)
publish this Report and include it in its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the
Organization of American States.
II.

PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION

8. On February 16, 2007, the Commission received a petition from the Petitioners, the receipt
of which was acknowledged by letter of February 23, 2007. By communication of March 20,
2007, the Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of the petition to the State, and advised
the Petitioners of this step by letter of the same date.
9. By letter of March 22, 2007, the Petitioners acknowledged receipt of the Commission’s letter
of March 20, 2007. By note of May 15, 2007, the State requested an extension of three
months to submit its observations on the petition. By communication to the State of May 21,
2007, the Commission granted the State an extension to June 20, 2007. By letter of the same
date, the Commission advised the Petitioners of the extension.
10. By note received on June 19, 2007, the State submitted its observations on the petition,
the pertinent parts of which were transmitted to the Petitioners by letter of July 03, 2007, for
their observations. By letter of July 12, 2007, the Petitioners submitted their observations on
the State’s submission, the pertinent parts of which were transmitted to the State by note of
July 23, 2007.
III.

POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES

A.

The Petitioners

Background
11. The Petitioners are:

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