IACHR Welcomes Compliance with Friendly Settlement Concerning the Responsibility of the Argentine State for a Baby's Abduction During the Dictatorship

July 8, 2022

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has declared full compliance with Friendly Settlement Report 160/10, concerning Petition 242-03 and will stop monitoring it. The petition involved the international responsibility of the Argentine State for the abduction of the granddaughter of Inocencia Luca Pegoraro and Angélica Chimeno de Bauer, who was born at an illegal detention facility during the country's most recent military dictatorship.

The two women, grandmothers of Evelyn Vázquez Ferra, launched proceedings before the relevant national institutions. The Supreme Court of Justice later revoked the order for Vázquez Ferra to undergo a DNA examination to establish her identity, which prevented her identification and ended the chances for an investigation into the disappearance of Susana Pegoraro and Raúl Santiago Bauer, respectively the daughter and son of the petitioners.

In September 2009, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement that was approved by the Commission on November 1, 2010. During the implementation stage, the State acknowledged its responsibility for these events and published the friendly settlement agreement, as had been agreed.

The agreement's main aspects include structural outcomes linked to the following issues: 1) creating the Document Regularization Unit for victims of human rights violations in the context of State-sponsored terrorism; 2) adopting procedures to obtain DNA samples to identify grandchildren abducted during the dictatorship; and 3) creating, optimizing, and strengthening the Judicial Assistance Group, through Ministry of Justice and Human Rights Resolutions 1,229 and 1,209. As agreed, a protocol was adopted for cases involving the abduction of children in the context of State-sponsored terrorism, the Dr. Fernando Ulloa Center to Assist Victims of Human Rights Violations was created, and a protocol was drafted to prevent revictimization in dealings with victims and witnesses in judicial proceedings.

The State also planned training sessions for judicial officers on the adequate treatment of serious crimes, including a course on how to investigate crimes involving the abduction of children in the context of State-sponsored terrorism. The Commission notes the adoption of specific mechanisms to facilitate changes in documents and in public and private records for all individuals whose identity was stolen during the military dictatorship, to promote the restoration of that identity, as well as the creation of a roundtable that brought together the petitioning party, representatives of the Argentine Council of the Judiciary, and representatives of the Department of Human Rights, with the aim of conducting periodic evaluations of progress concerning the measures that had been agreed.

After monitoring developments concerning this friendly settlement and considering the information that was provided by the parties, the Commission declared full compliance with the agreement and decided to stop monitoring it further. The IACHR thanks the State for the measures it has taken to comply with the agreement and for using the friendly settlement mechanism to resolve matters that were being dealt with in the individual petition and case system. The Commission further highlights the tireless work done by the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, the petitioning organization, and welcomes their involvement in this case and their openness in the process of negotiating and implementing this agreement.

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. 151/22

12:35 PM