Last week, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights announced the schedule for its 61st extraordinary session, to be held from April 12 to 16 in Lima, Peru. The Court will hold hearings regarding three cases in order to emit the corresponding judgments on merits and reparations later this year.
Ibsen Cardenas and Ibsen Pena v. Bolivia deals with the enforced disappearance of a man and his son in the early 1970s; the Inter-American Commission issued its admissibility report in the case in 2005 and referred the case to the Court in May of last year.
The second case, Xakmok Kasek Indigenous Community v. Paraguay, deals with indigenous community property rights and right to live with dignity of the Enxet people, relating to a land dispute dating back to 1990. The Commission issued the admissibility report in the case in 2003 and submitted the application to the Inter-American Court in July of 2009 (press release).
In the case of Fernandez Ortega v. Mexico, the Commission’s application to the Court alleges inhumane treatment and denial of access to justice in connection with the arbitrary detention, rape, and torture of a woman from the Tlapanec Me’phaa community by Mexican soldiers in 2002, and the subsequent failure to investigate her allegations. The Commission issued the admissibility report in the case in October of 2006. Earlier this month, the Commission expressed its concern regarding threats to indigenous community members in Guerrero, Mexico which apparently stemmed from those individuals’ involvement as witnesses in the Fernandez Ortega case and a similar case brought before the Inter-American System by another Mexican woman (Valentina Rosendo Cantu, whose case was also admitted by the Commission in October of 2006 and was submitted to the Court in August of last year).
Although the Court sits in San Jose, Costa Rica, during extraordinary sessions it travels to other countries in the Western hemisphere in order to build awareness and closer relationships with local academics, petitioners and States. During this session, the Court will also hold a seminar on the protection of human rights from the Inter-American perspective. See the full schedule and more information here.