Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council at its 158th session
(Istanbul, 20 April 1996)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the outline of the case, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights Parliamentarians (CL/158/13(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 157th session (October 1995), concerning the case of Mr. Miguel Angel Pavón Salazar, of Honduras,

Taking into account the communication from the Special Human Rights Prosecutor, dated 26 March 1996,

Noting that, in his communication of 6 March 1996, the President of the National Congress stated that he had not received any of the correspondence addressed to him and that he had instructed the Human Rights Commission of Parliament to ascertain the current stage of the investigations into Mr. Pavón's murder,

Recalling that Mr. Angel Pavón Salazar, a member of the Honduran Congress, was shot dead on 14 January 1988, and that the initial findings of the investigations established a link between his murder and evidence he gave in October 1987 before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on three cases against the Honduran Government concerning disappearances in Honduras between 1981 and 1984,

Recalling that by 1991 the investigations into his murder had come to a virtual standstill and that the Council then came to the conclusion that the investigations had probably not been conducted with due diligence by the competent authorities, expressing its deep concern that the lack of progress in the investigations might result in impunity for the assassins,

Recalling that, in the face of the de facto impunity enjoyed by the culprits, the Council recognized over the following years the lack of resolve of the Honduran State to establish the truth and expressed the view that, failing information from the authorities indicating that measures were indeed being taken to complete the investigations, it would be led to conclude that the Government shared responsibility in that assassination by omission, neglect or incapacity to act,

Noting that only in 1994, following the publication of the report on "disappearances" by the National Commissioner for the Protection of Human Rights in December 1993 and the establishment of a Special Human Rights Prosecutor, were the investigations regarding the case reactivated by that Prosecutor,

Recalling, however, that no information on any progress made in the investigations was supplied and that, on 5 October 1995, one of the sources reported that the investigations had not progressed "because of the lack of interest of the previous as well as the new authorities concerned",

Considering that in her communication of 26 March 1996, the Special Human Rights Prosecutor stated that her Office, "despite the limitations and difficulties generated by the passage of time, has restarted the investigation process that had been virtually abandoned by the judicial authorities",

Considering also that, according to her, there have been significant developments in the judicial proceedings since last year; that, however, the Criminal Investigation Department (DIC) was at present trying to ascertain the whereabouts of the sole eyewitness of the event; that, likewise a number of suspects from the former National Investigation Department (DNI) were under investigation; that her Office had asked the First Criminal Court of Francisco Morazán Department to send letters rogatory to the El Canadá judicial authorities for the purpose of a hearing of the testimonies of four ex-members of Intelligence Battalion 3-16, Florencio Caballero, José Barrera Martínez, Fausto Reyes Caballero and José Valle, who will need to appear before the Judge of the locality where they live in El Canadá also in connection with the assassination of Mr. Pavón,

Noting that, apart from the name of Mr. Fausto Reyes Caballero, a former member of Battalion 3-16 who in 1988 denounced members of that Battalion as being Mr. Pavón's murderers, none of the names quoted by the Special Prosecutor appear in the documentary material before the Committee; that the material before the Committee instead mentions the names of four other ex-members of that Battalion wanted in connection with Mr. Pavón's murder,

Recalling that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, seized of the case of Mr. Pavón and Mr. Landaverde in August 1989, in its final report N° 13/94 on the matter established that "the Government of Honduras had failed to comply with its obligation under Article 4 (right to life), Article 8 (right to a fair trial) and Article 25 (right to judicial protection) which it undertook to respect according to Article 1.1 of the American Convention on Human Rights", that it had failed to carry out a full and impartial investigation into those crimes with a view to identifying the culprits, who remained unpunished, and that it had not paid any compensation to victims' families,

Recalling that the case has not been submitted to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, but rather referred back to the Honduran Judiciary,

Recalling that, according to one of the sources, the case is currently subject to a "friendly settlement" procedure before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with a view to obtaining reparation, including compensation; that this, however, does not preclude a proper investigation by national authorities to determine the truth and prosecute the culprits,

1. Thanks the Honduran authorities for the information they provided and hopes that the new resolve thus displayed will result in continuing co-operation with the IPU in this matter and hence in progress towards a satisfactory settlement of the case;

2. Welcomes the fact that the competent Honduran authorities have started to take action against military personnel suspected of being responsible for "disappearances" in the 1980s, but regrets that the resolve thus demonstrated to end impunity has so far had no bearing on the case of Mr. Pavón Salazar;

3. Notes, however, that investigative action is under way and would appreciate more detailed information thereon, in particular as regards the dates on which the relevant steps were initiated;

4. Notes that Fausto Reyes Caballero, Florencio Caballero, José Barrera Martínez and José Valle, all ex-members of Battalion 3-16 which is suspected of involvement in Mr. Pavón's murder will have to appear before the judge, and wishes to ascertain in this connection whether the investigations regarding four other members of that Battalion, namely Jordi Montañola Escobar, José Ramón Mejía Rodríguez, Jaime Rosales and Wilfredo Orellana, have been abandoned and, if so, why;

5. Emphasizes that, in accordance with generally accepted standards of human rights, the families of victims are in any case entitled to adequate material compensation;

6. Requests the Secretary General to resume contact with the competent authorities in order to convey those considerations to them;

7. Also requests the Secretary General to contact the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with a view to obtaining further details on the current stage of the procedure aimed at obtaining reparation, including compensation, for the family of the victim;

8. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining the case and to report to it at its next session (September 1996).

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