Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Committee Chairs

Ashley Madrigal
Yoon Gi Park

Committee Description

Topic A: Vicente Ariel Noguera vs. State of Paraguay

The case centers around the death of a teenager named Vicente Ariel Noguera, who passed away when he was 17 years of age, after serving two years of military service. The case was lodged by the mother of the Vicente, who alleged and blamed the Republic of Paraguay for mistreating her son and for having caused the death of her child. She claimed that she had seen a press photograph of him in which he was badly injured on the head and saw a bloodstain on his underwear. Furthermore, she had seen similar cases of CIMEFOR (Reserve Officers Military Training Center) where physical violence was evident on the cadets, similar to one of her son. On the other hand, the State of Paraguay had stated that Vicente died of a disease, and during the years of training in the military, he was in perfect health. They have further stated that they have gone through a medical investigation on his death; therefore, they have provided care and consideration. However, what bothered Vicente’s mother, María Noguera was the fact that through the medical investigation the causes of his death changed repeatedly, which rose suspicion. Evidently, the information on the death of Vicente first started with a 'sudden death',

which then altered to a hantavirus infection, at last to a pulmonary infection that couldn't

be specified. Therefore, it is important to consider that María Vicente has all the right to

defend her son’s rights and insist that it's the government's fault, but does she truly have

enough evidence to back her on this case?


Topic B: Yaqui Tribe v. State of Mexico  

The violation of indigenous peoples rights is no novelty to the American continent. The Interamerican Court of Human Rights has received June 4th of 1994 multiple cases regarding indigenous people from countries such as Paraguay, Surinam, Guatemala, and in this case, Mexico. Ever since 2011, the Yaqui Tribe has undertaken a defense through the Mexican institutions of Justice in which they seek to have their historic and ancestral rights recognized about the water from the Yaqui River. This will help them stop the continuing of the aqueduct Independencia, a project encouraged and impulsed by the ex-governor of Sonora, Guillermo Padres. On May 8, 2013, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) determined that the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) violated the right to consultation and the prior, free and informed consent of the Tribe, by which ordered that the consultation process be carried out in accordance with the legal provisions and international standards that are part of the Mexican legal order as established in Article 1 of the Constitution. However, the federal and local government has failed to comply with the request made by the SCJN, and the collective rights of the indigenous people continue being violated. The consultation process has been full of irregularities, which have been documented in the Reports of the Civil Mission of Observation of the Consultation to the Yaqui Tribe (Informes de la Misión Civil de Observación de la Consulta a la Tribu Yaqui), among which stand out; the violation of the principles of the right to consultation, since it was not prior to the approval of the aqueduct project; also, it was not informed either, since the necessary information was not delivered, nor culturally appropriate that the Tribe requested, besides that it was not free, nor in good faith for the harassment and criminalization of its spokespersons. The Inter-American Court of Human rights has taken the case and it is their responsibility to deliver judgment and provide final justice. It is up to the court to decide whether the Mexican state has protected the collective rights of the indigenous people accordingly, or whether they must be called out to respect and honor the human rights of their civilians.