Press Release

IACHR Announces Publication of Report 39/21, on Petition P-245-03, Walter Mauro Yáñez, Concerning Argentina, and Congratulates State for Full Compliance with Friendly Settlement Agreement

April 21, 2021

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Washington, DC—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced its decision to approve the friendly settlement agreement relating to case P-245-03, Walter Mauro Yáñez, concerning Argentina, which was signed on July 29, 2020, by the State of Argentina and the victim's representatives.

On April 2, 2003, the IACHR received a petition submitted by Pablo Gabriel Salinas Cavalotti, Alfredo Guevara, and Diego Lavado on behalf of Ms. Norma del Carmen Yáñez, alleging that the Republic of Argentina is internationally responsible for the violation of the right to life and the lack of judicial guarantees and protection to the detriment of Walter Mauro Yáñez, who allegedly died on March 11, 2001, as a result of a gunshot wound that was allegedly perpetrated by an officer from the Mendoza Police Station who owned a grocery store in partnership with his father, into which four young men including the alleged victim had apparently entered illegally.

On July 29, 2020, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement through which the State of Argentina acknowledged its international responsibility for the human rights violations that were committed to the detriment of Walter Mauro Yáñez. By signing the friendly settlement agreement, the parties ratified full compliance with the reparation measures agreed upon in favor of the successors of Walter Mauro Yáñez, which included the creation of a Human Rights Prosecutor's Office, which will be responsible for conducting preliminary criminal investigations into crimes committed by members of the security and penitentiary forces.

On this point, in Friendly Settlement Report no. 39/21, the IACHR acknowledged that the the reparation measures contained in the friendly settlement agreement had been fully complied with, namely a public ceremony apologizing to the victim's relatives, training for members of the security and penitentiary forces, and economic reparation to the victim's mother, in addition to the high-impact measure described above concerning the creation of a specialist Human Rights Prosecutor's Office. As a consequence, the friendly settlement agreement was approved as having been fully complied with.

The IACHR monitored this friendly settlement process closely and deemed it to be compatible with the objectives and ends of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights. As a consequence, it applauded the efforts that the Argentinian State has made to reach solutions through the individual petition and case system's friendly settlement mechanism and congratulates the State on having fully implemented this friendly settlement agreement. It also wishes to congratulate the petitioning party on the efforts it made to play an active role in the negotiation and move the friendly settlement process forward.

Friendly Settlement Report No. 39/21 on petition P-245-03 is available here.

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

No. 095/21