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IV. VIOLATIONS OF THE RIGHT TO LIFE

26. In the context of violations of the right to life, the Special Rapporteur would like to refer to the case of the sinking of the tugboat 13 de Marzo, which took place on 13 July 1994 and was discussed in previous reports. 18/ The Special Rapporteur is seriously concerned about the fact that an event of this magnitude, in which 37 people died, has not been investigated. Moreover, the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions stated, in his report to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-second session, that he had transmitted allegations concerning that case to the Government of Cuba on 12 June 1995 but had not yet received a reply by the end of the year. In the same report, the Special Rapporteur said that those allegations must be properly investigated, the perpetrators brought to justice and the victims' families compensated. 19/

27. Another instance in which the Cuban authorities violated the right to life occurred on 24 February 1996, when Cuban Air Force pilots shot down two civil aircraft, registered in the United States, which were on a mission for Brothers to the Rescue, a volunteer organization based in Miami. The four crew members, all of whom died in that incident, were Armando Alejandre, Carlos Costa, Pablo Morales and Mario de la Peña. In recent years, Brothers to the Rescue has undertaken to fly over the waters of the Straits of Florida to search for persons leaving Cuban territory in precarious means of transport for the United States coast, in many cases helping to save their lives.

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