REPORT No. 158/19
CASE 12.921
REPORT ON MERITS
HERMINIO DERAS GARCÍA AND FAMILY
HONDURAS

I.

INTRODUCTION

1. On February 6, 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American
Commission,” “the Commission,” or “the IACHR”) received a petition lodged by Eustaquia García Alvarado
(hereinafter “the petitioner”)1 alleging that the Republic of Honduras (hereinafter “the State of Honduras,” “the
State, “or “Honduras”) bore international responsibility for the extrajudicial execution of Herminio Deras
García and for threats, illegal detentions, and acts of torture allegedly committed against member of his family.
2. The Commission adopted Report on Admissibility No. 56/13 on July 16, 2013.2 On August 1, 2013, the
Commission notified the parties of that report and placed itself at their disposal with a view to reaching a
friendly settlement. The parties were informed of the statutory deadlines for submitting additional
observations on the merits. All information received was duly relayed between the parties.
II. POSITION OF THE PARTIES
A. Petitioner
3. The petitioner argues that the State is responsible for the extrajudicial execution of Herminio Deras by
State agents in January 1983. The petitioner maintains that Mr. Deras was killed because of his work as a
member of the Communist Party and as a trade union advisor. It occurred in a context of State persecution and
serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, against leaders of student, trade union, and
grassroots organizations identified as opponents of the government at that time.
4. The petitioner claims that the State violated the rights to personal integrity and personal liberty of Mr.
Deras, in that, prior to his murder, he suffered illegal and arbitrary arrests, threats, and beatings by State agents.
The petitioner adds that Honduras also violated his rights to freedom of thought and expression, assembly, and
freedom of association in connection with Mr. Dears' work. The petitioner states that the criminal proceedings
suffered unwarranted delays and that Mr., Deras' legal representatives did not have access to the file. The
petitioner adds that the execution of Mr. Deras has still not been punished because, even though a member of
the military was convicted of the crime that judgment was never carried out.
5. In addition, the petitioner argues that the State violated the rights to personal integrity, personal liberty,
and privacy of several members of Mr. Deras' family, including children, Those violations involved illegal and
arbitrary arrests and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment allegedly inflicted by State agents, The
petitioner also maintains that Mr. Deras' right to family were also violated in that it was broken up as a result
of the above-mentioned facts of the case. It alleges that the State violated the right to freedom of movement and
residence of two of Mr. Deras' brothers, because they had found themselves forced to go into exile abroad
because of the persecution they suffered. The petition declares that even though these facts were denounced
the State never conducted the corresponding investigations to throw light on what had happened and to
identify the persons responsible.

Subsequently, the Comité de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos en Honduras [Committee for Relatives of Disappeared Detainees in
Honduras] (COFADEH) and Alba Luz Deras presented themselves as co-petitioners.
2 IACHR. Report No. 56/13. Petition 80-02. Admissibility. Herminio Deras García et al. Honduras. July 16, 2003. The Commission declared
the petition admissible as regards Articles 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 13, 16, 17, 22, 19 and 25 of the American Convention, in conjunction with Article
1(1) thereof;
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