Press Release

IACHR Congratulates the State of Argentina for Achieving Full Compliance with the Friendly Settlement Report on the Marcos Gilberto Chaves and Sandra Chaves Case

March 27, 2019

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Washington, DC—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to declare full compliance with Friendly Settlement Report No. 102/14, which concerns Case 12.710, Marcos Gilberto Chaves and Sandra Chaves, which it will therefore cease monitoring of. The IACHR congratulates the state of Argentina for complying fully with the measures included in the friendly settlement agreement signed by the parties.

The case concerns the state’s international responsibility for the life sentence given to Marcos Gilberto Chaves and his daughter, Sandra Beatriz Chaves, for the alleged homicide of Sandra Beatriz Chaves’s spouse, following an investigation that entailed violations of due process and guarantees of judicial protection.

On August 5, 2014, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement that was approved by the IACHR on November 7, 2014. On July 24, 2014, July 31, 2014, and September 19, 2017, the parties signed three documents in which they committed to complying with the agreement.

The IACHR assessed the specific results of each of these and observed that the state commuted the life sentences given to Sandra Beatriz Chaves and Marcos Gilberto Chaves; provided Marco Gilberto Chaves, Sandra Beatriz Chaves, and her children Luz María and Marcos Nicolás González Chaves with the psychological and medical assistance they needed; implemented effective reintegration measures for Sandra Beatriz Chaves and Marcos González Chaves, particularly in relation to their return to the workplace; and advised Marcos González Chaves on how to comply with the requirements for applying for time off from work. At the petitioner’s request, the state then offered him employment at the Private Secretariat Program run by the Ministry of Government, Human Rights, and Justice of Salta Province. The government of Salta province also provided a training course for Luz María González Chaves to become a community mediator and subsequently offered her employment at the Ministry of Government, Human Rights, and Justice.

The IACHR also assessed the structural outcomes of the case and observed that a state of public emergency around gender violence was declared through Decree of Necessity and Urgency of the Governor of the Province of Salta No. 2.654/14, which became Provincial Law No. 7.857. Five courts that will focus specifically on intrafamily and gender violence were created in parallel with this declaration. The process of selecting and appointing judges on matters of intrafamily and gender-based violence was concluded. These judges have been in office since August 31, 2015. In the same vein, a new criminal prosecutor position was created, as were five ombudsman positions for intrafamily and gender-based violence. The Unit for Evaluating the Risk of Gender-Based Violence was also established at the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The state officially opened a temporary shelter for female victims of violence and their minor children, distributed panic buttons, and drafted a provincial plan for the prevention, treatment, and eradication of gender-based violence, among other measures. It should also be noted that, as a result of this friendly settlement agreement, the state also created the Observatory on Violence against Women through Act No. 7.863. The purpose of the observatory is to design and implement public policies to prevent and eradicate violence against women.

The other impacts of this emblematic agreement include the courses that the Ministry of Justice has run on intrafamily and gender-based violence and the gender perspective for provincial security forces, health workers, teachers, and the general public. These activities were held in and around the city of Salta and in various other municipalities. As part of this measure, workshops were arranged in partnership with other organizations and institutions that are working on this issue, and include the Agreement for Cooperation, Technical Assistance, and Complementation that the state signed with the National Human Rights Observatory on April 27, 2015. The activities that were organized as part of this agreement included the Workshop on Justice and Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation from a Gender Perspective, in which both government agents and members of civil society took part. Eighteen training sessions were held, 14 of which had a gender component. These were attended by around 1,400 participants from different state agencies, including included members of municipal police forces, the provincial police force, the federal police force, and the Argentine National Gendarmerie; staff at municipal health centers, airports, and the Office for the Rescue and Support of Victims of Human Trafficking; journalists and students from media studies programs; prison service personnel; and family court personnel.

The IACHR monitored the development of this friendly settlement closely and greatly valued both parties’ efforts during the negotiation process for the agreement and the subsequent follow-up stage. After reviewing the information provided by the parties and given that the petitioning party has expressed that they are fully satisfied that all commitments made in the friendly settlement agreement and the commitment documents have been complied with, the IACHR declared the friendly settlement agreement to have been fully complied with and consequently decided to end its supervision of compliance with it.

The IACHR applauds the efforts that the Argentine state has made to reach solutions before the inter-American system through the friendly settlement mechanism, and congratulates it on having fully implemented this friendly settlement agreement. It also congratulates the petitioning party on the efforts it made to further compliance with the friendly settlement agreement.

For more information on the friendly settlement procedure, please visit the friendly settlement website.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 081/19