I/A Court, Nadege Dorzema (the "Guayabin Massacre") v. Dominican Republic


Source: Wikicommons

We prepared an amicus curiae brief in this case pending before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

The larger context of the case is systematic discrimination against Haitians or persons of Haitian origin by the Dominican Republic. The case, in specific, stems from the massacre of a group of Haitians, in 2000. When Dominican Republic’s soldiers opened fire on a truck transporting dozens of illegal immigrants, seven were killed, and several others were wounded. The soldiers responsible for the shooting were prosecuted in military courts, even though family members of those executed had requested that the case be subject to the jurisdiction of the regular courts. After several years of proceedings, the military courts acquitted the soldiers involved. Also, some of the victims who survived suffered a violation to their personal liberty and violations to their right to a fair trial and their right to judicial protection because they were expelled from the Dominican Republic without having received due guarantees based on their status as migrants.

The victims are represented by the Human Rights Clinic of the University of Quebec - Montreal, Canada, with whom we worked and coordinated.

Our amicus curiae brief’s aim was to urge the Inter-American Court to closely examine three legal issues that had been neglected or had received little attention in the briefs submitted by the parties: the violation by the Dominican Republic of Article 3 of the American Convention on Human Rights (Right to Juridical Personality); the violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations; and the violation of Article 22.9 of the American Convention (Prohibition of Collective Expulsions).

Our brief, submitted in June 2012 in Spanish and English, has been endorsed and co-signed by twenty-five academics and human rights organizations from the USA, Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany, UK, Australia, Netherlands, Ecuador, and Greece.