Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Case of Godínez-Cruz v. Honduras
Judgment of January 20, 1989

In the Godínez Cruz case,
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, composed of the following judges:
Rafael Nieto-Navia, President
Rodolfo E. Piza E., Judge
Thomas Buergenthal, Judge
Pedro Nikken, Judge
Héctor Fix-Zamudio, Judge
Rigoberto Espinal Irías, Judge ad hoc
Also present:
Charles Moyer, Secretary
Manuel Ventura, Deputy Secretary
delivers the following judgment pursuant to Article 44 (1) of its Rules of Procedure (hereinafter
"the Rules of Procedure") in the instant case submitted by the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights against the State of Honduras.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Commission")
submitted the instant case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (hereinafter "the Court")
on April 24, 1986. It originated in a petition (No. 8097) against the State of Honduras
(hereinafter "Honduras" or "the Government"), which the Secretariat of the Commission received
on October 9, 1982.
In submitting the case, the Commission invoked Articles 50 and 51 of the American
Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Convention" or "the American Convention") and
requested that the Court determine whether the State in question had violated Articles 4 (Right to
Life), 5 (Right to Humane Treatment) and 7 (Right to Personal Liberty) of the Convention in the
case of Saúl Godínez Cruz. In addition, the Commission asked the Court to rule that "the
consequences of the situation that constituted the breach of such right or freedom be remedied
and that fair compensation be paid to the injured party or parties."
The petition filed with the Commission alleges that Saúl Godínez Cruz, a schoolteacher,
disappeared on July 22, 1982 after leaving his house by motorcycle at 6:20 a.m. and while in
route to his job at the Julia Zelaya Pre-Vocational Institute in Monjarás de Choluteca. The petition
states that an eyewitness saw a man in a military uniform and two persons in civilian clothes
arrest a person who looked like Godínez. They placed him and his motorcycle in a double-cabin

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