REPORT No. 30/13 CASE 12.761 MERITS GARIFUNA COMMUNITY OF PUNTA PIEDRA AND ITS MEMBERS HONDURAS March 21, 2013 I. SUMMARY 1. On October 29, 2003, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “Inter-American Commission,” “Commission” or “IACHR”) received a petition lodged by the Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (hereinafter the “petitioner” or “OFRRANEH”), against the State of Honduras (hereinafter the “Honduran State,” “Honduras” or the “State”) for violation of Articles 8, 21 and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter the “American Convention” or the “Convention”), in connection with Article 1.1 of this international instrument and, for purposes of interpretation, International Labor Organization Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries (hereinafter “ILO Convention 169”), to the detriment of the Garifuna Communities of Cayos Cochinos, Punta Piedra and Triunfo de la Cruz, and their members. 2. On December 19, 2003, the IACHR decided to sever the claims submitted by each Garifuna Community, and assign each one a separate case number. The petition of the Garifuna Community of Punta Piedra was assigned 1119-03. With respect to the Garifuna Community of Punta Piedra and its members (hereinafter the “Punta Piedra Community,” “Punta Piedra” or the “Community”), 1 on March 24, 2010, the IACHR issued Admissibility Report No. 63/10, finding that it was competent to hear the petition and deciding to admit the claim on the alleged violation of Articles 21 and 25 of the American Convention, in connection with Articles 1 and 2 of this international instrument. 3. In the instant case, the petitioner argued that even though the ancestral territory of the Punta Piedra Community has been recognized and titled by the State, the State has not ensured the Community’s effective and quiet enjoyment of its territory. This is because a group of individuals has been intruding onto the territory since 1993, and the State has not taken any of the necessary steps to clear the property title and the State’s inaction has given rise to a climate of conflict. 4. In response, the State claimed that it has not violated the rights of the Punta Piedra Community because it has granted two property titles in fee simple over an area totaling 2,314.18 hectares and has undertaken numerous efforts to clear title to the territory. Additionally, it asserts that investigations are being conducted into the crimes of violence reported to the relevant authorities. 5. In this report, after examining the positions of the parties and analyzing the evidence in the case file, the IACHR concludes, pursuant to Article 50 of the American Convention, that the Honduran State is responsible for the violation of the rights set forth in Articles 21 and 25 of the American Convention, in connection with Articles 1.1 and 2 of this instrument, to the detriment of the Punta Piedra Community and its members. II. PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE IACHR 6. On March 24, 2010, the IACHR approved Admissibility Report No. 63/10, finding the petition pertaining to the Garifuna Community of Punta Piedra and its members to be admissible. The report was forwarded to the parties on April 16, 2010, and in accordance with Article 37.4 of its Rules of 1 IACHR, Admissibility Report No. 63/10, March 24, 2010, Petition 1119-03, Garifuna Community of Punta Piedra and its Members, Honduras.