IACHR Congratulates the State of Mexico for Its Full Compliance with the Friendly Settlement Agreement Concerning Case 12,915—Ángel Díaz Cruz and Others

September 19, 2022

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to declare full compliance with friendly settlement report 2/20, concerning Case 12,915—Ángel Díaz Cruz and Others, Mexico—and will stop monitoring it.

This case concerns the international responsibility of the Mexican State for the death of Ángel Díaz Cruz, aged 9 at the time, and for injuries caused to Ricardo López Hernández, aged 11 at the time, and José Leonardo López Hernández, all of them Tsotsil indigenous persons. These events were allegedly caused by an explosive device that belonged to Mexico's Federal Army on December 17, 2000, in the municipality of San Cristóbal de las Casas, in the state of Chiapas. The petitioners further alleged that these events had been handled by military courts and that the individuals responsible for them remained unpunished.

On January 28, 2016, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement that was approved by the IACHR on February 24, 2020. During the process to verify the implementation of this friendly settlement agreement, the Commission assessed action taken by the Mexican State to ensure compliance with the commitments it had made in the agreement. The Commission found that the State had held an event to acknowledge its international responsibility, granted study grants to the victims, provided assistance to launch three productive businesses, and paid financial compensation as agreed. The State had also taken other measures to improve the provision of comprehensive healthcare and access to it, by registering the victims for social insurance and by implementing a healthcare service and a comprehensive healthcare plan in favor of the victims. Further, the Commission found that the State had handed over a full digitalized copy of the military criminal court record and paid the agreed amounts to the two beneficiaries of the agreement, as well as paying for the passports that were issued to them.

The most relevant effects of this friendly settlement agreement include State plans to hold training sessions for officers of the Armed Forces and the construction of the "Ángel Díaz Cruz" clinic in the El Aguaje community, in the municipality of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, to remember the boy who was killed.

The Inter-American Commission closely followed the implementation of the friendly settlement that was agreed in this case. The IACHR highly commended both parties on their efforts in negotiations and, later, during the monitoring stage of the friendly settlement agreement. Based on information provided by the parties during the monitoring process, the IACHR declared that full compliance had been attained, and consequently ended its supervision of compliance with this friendly settlement agreement.

The Commission commends the Mexican State on its efforts to solve cases that are taken before the petition and case system through its friendly settlement mechanism and congratulates it for its work to achieve the full implementation of this friendly settlement agreement. The IACHR further congratulates the petitioning party for all its efforts to contribute to improving the friendly settlement procedure.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 208/22

3:35 PM