Letter from the Department of State to
United States Department of State
Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Washington, D.C. 20520-7802
May 14, 1998
Mr. Patrick Shea
Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Department of Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.c. 20240
Dear Mr. Shea:
I want to thank you and your colleagues from Interior and
Justice for meeting with my deputy, Gare Smith, and other
State Department officials to discuss the request of the
Inter-American Human Rights Commission that the U.S. defer the
planned confiscation proceedings in the Dann case.
As you indicated, this is a complex and sensitive case that
has been under reciew for several years. It is also clear that
you and your colleagues consider the case to be strictly a
domestic issue and one that has already been decided by the
As your office considers how to proceed on the case,
however, I hope that you will keep in mind the larger foreign
policy issues discussed at the meeting. The Inter-American
Commission is the principal body authorized by the Charter of
the Organization of American States to promote human rights
among all member states, including the U.S. As a matter of
foreign policy we support its aims and want to avoid steps
that might undercut its credibility and undermine U.S. ability
to promote human rights among our Latin American neighbors.
Just recently, the President underscored the importance of
respecting regional human rights institutions and advancing
human rights at the Summit of the Americas, in Santiago.
My staff has faxed you a copy of the Inter-American
Commission request for a stay of the proceedings against the
Danns. I would like to discuss the issue further with you when
you have had an opportunity to review the Commission letter.
Cc. David Ogden
Chief of Staff
Office of the Attorney General
905 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
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