University of Minnesota

Velásquez Rodríguez Case, Order of the Court of September 10, 1996, reprinted in 1996 Annual Report of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights [209], OEA/Ser.L/V/III.35, doc. 4 (1997).





1.          The judgment on compensatory damages delivered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American Court” or “the Court”) on July 21, 1989 in the Velásquez Rodríguez Case, in which it established at seven hundred and fifty thousand lempiras the compensatory damages that the State of Honduras (hereinafter “Honduras”) must pay to the next of kin of Mr. Angel Manfredo Velásquez-Rodríguez and decided that the Court would supervise “execution of payment of [this] compensation ... and that only after it was settled [would] the case be closed.”

2.          The Court's interpretation of its aforementioned judgment on compensatory damages, which it provided on August 17, 1990, at the request of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-Americana Commission” or “the Commission”).

3.          The Inter-American Commission's brief of March 21, 1996 and its attachments, in which is informed the Court that it has received:

communications from the Government of Honduras and the representatives of the victims' next of kin in the “Velásquez Rodríguez” and “Godínez Cruz” Cases, indicating that it had made the compensation payments established by decision of [the] Court in its judgments of July 21, 1989 and December 27, 1990 [rectius: August 17, 1990].

4.          The brief presented by Honduras on April 12, 1996, in which it informed the Court “that the Constitutional President of the Republic, Dr. Carlos Roberto Reina-Idiáquez, [had] delivered [on February 7, 1996] the checks in payment of the compensatory damages due to the next of kin of the disappeared persons,” and submitted copies of a number of documents relating to the delivery.

5.          The brief of the Inter-American Commission of April 29, 1996, whereby it informed the Court that it had “no comments to make for the time being” on the aforementioned documents.

6.          The brief presented by the Commission on May 2, 1996, in which it requested “the entry of an incidental plea to allow discussion and clarification of the scope of the payments made by the Government of Honduras.

7.          The document prepared by the attorneys representing the victims' next of kin, submitted by the Commission together with its brief of May 2, 1996, claiming that the payments actually received did not fully accord with the Court's judgment on the compensatory damages and its interpretation of that judgment, inasmuch as the payment to Mr. Velásquez-Rodríguez's spouse and offspring reflected the amount due in January 1994 and not on the dates on which the payments were actually made, namely August 30, 1995 and February 15, 1996, respectively.

8.          The brief presented by Honduras on May 31, 1996, in which it claimed that with the delivery of the checks “it ha[d] now completely discharged its pecuniary liability” in respect of the judgments in the Velásquez Rodríguez Case.

9.          The brief presented by Honduras on June 21, 1996, in which it declared that:

[the] delivery of the outstanding amount of the compensation by the President of the Republic was the culmination of an Agreement between the parties establishing the final amounts and the form of payment of compensatory damages by the State of Honduras.  Payment in full was expressly acknowledged by the beneficiaries in the “RECORD OF DELIVERY AND RECEIPT”, and endorsed by the highest human rights protection authorities in Honduras,

and requested the Court “to consider the obligations imposed on it to have been fulfilled” in the instant case.

10.        The Commission's note of July 3, 1996, in which it withdrew the incidental plea in the case, “inasmuch as the petitioners and the Illustrious Government of Honduras have both informed the Commission that they do not which to proceed [with it],” and requested that the instant case “be struck from the list.


1.          That the Inter-American Commission and Honduras have requested the Court to close the Velásquez Rodríguez Case.

2.          That the Commission has notified the Court that the petitioners in the instant case had informed it that they had no wish to proceed with the incidental plea, the purpose of which had been to establish Honduras' compliance with the judgments on compensatory damages and the Inter-American Court's interpretation thereof.

3.          That the declarations by the parties and the documentation received show that Honduras has fulfilled the provisions contained in Article 68(1) of the American Convention on Human Rights, whereby States are obligated to comply with the judgments of the Court.



pursuant the Article 45(1) of its Rules of Procedure,



1.          To close the instant case.

2.          To communicate this Order, through its Annual Report, to the General Assembly of the Organization of American Sates at its next regular session.

Done in Spanish and English, the Spanish text being authentic, at the seat of the Court on this tenth day of September, 1996.


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