IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to declare full compliance with friendly settlement report 16/16, concerning Case 12,986—Vicenta Sánchez Valdivieso, Mexico—and will stop monitoring it.
This case concerns the international responsibility of the Mexican State for violations of the human rights of Zapoteca indigenous woman Vicenta Sánchez Valdivieso, given the failure to enforce the decision made in her favor on August 13, 1999, in a labor dispute where her employer was sentenced to paying her 97,827.60 Mexican pesos. Given the lack of payment, an embargo was imposed on a car belonging to the employer. However, on March 2, 2000, a group of people violently took the car from the home of the person in charge of watching it. Vicenta Sánchez therefore pressed criminal charges for theft on March 3, 2000. Those proceedings led to an arrest warrant being issued against one suspect, but he was never arrested and was in fact protected from arrest after having become a candidate in federal elections.
On September 25, 2012, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement that was approved by the IACHR on April 14, 2016. 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 two checks had been extended in favor of Mrs. Sánchez Valdivieso, by the Oaxaca state government and by the federal Interior Ministry. On December 10, 2012, in the context of a self-employment promotion initiative, the Oaxaca state government handed the victim and her family a chicken grill and other equipment to launch their own business, called "Rosticería Ña Vicenta." Through this start-up program focused on developing productive projects by funding activities to enable them to get going, the State provided training that, in this specific case, sought to support the grill's launch, as agreed. Finally, the Commission found that several grants had been extended in the form of checks in favor of members of the petitioner's family, and that the petitioner had also received help to improve the state of her home.
The Inter-American Commission closely followed the implementation of the friendly settlement that was agreed in this case. The IACHR 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 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.