IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to approve the friendly settlement agreement concerning Case 12,289—Guillermo Santiago Zaldívar, Argentina—and to publish approval report 168/22. This case concerns the State's international responsibility for violating the right of Guillermo Santiago Zaldívar to judicial guarantees, in connection with the rejection of an appeal to the court decision by which he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, as well as for unjustified delays in the relevant criminal law proceedings.
On October 18, 2021, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement in which the State of Argentina acknowledged its international responsibility for violating Zaldívar's right to appeal to a superior judge or court, held in Article 8.2.h of the American Convention on Human Rights, in accordance with Article 1.1 of the Convention.
The State committed to adopting redress measures including the following: a) publicizing the agreement in Argentina's official journal and in two national newspapers, through a press release whose content should previously be agreed with the petitioning party; and b) creating an ad hoc court of arbitration that would establish the financial compensation due to Zaldívar.
In Friendly Settlement Report 168/22, the IACHR found that compliance with this agreement remained pending, so it decided to continue to monitor it until full implementation had been achieved.
The Commission acknowledges the efforts made by both parties to negotiate a friendly settlement agreement that is compatible with the Convention's goals and purposes. The IACHR commends the State on its efforts to develop a public policy concerning friendly settlements and alternative conflict-resolution. The IACHR invites the State to continue to use the friendly settlement mechanism to resolve other cases that are currently being addressed in the individual petition and case system. The Commission congratulates the petitioning party for all its efforts to take part in negotiations and to seek implementation of 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.