IACHR Welcomes Full Compliance with the Friendly Settlement Agreement in the Case of Gabriela Blas Blas and Her Daughter, With Regard to Chile

May 28, 2024

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to declare full compliance with friendly settlement report 138/18, concerning Petition P-687-11—Gabriela Blas Blas and her daughter C.B.B, Chile—and will stop monitoring it. This case concerns the international responsibility of the Chilean State for the arbitrary deprivation of liberty of Aymara indigenous woman Gabriela Blas Blas.

Gabriela Blas Blas was arrested after going up to Chile's Carabineros (national police) to file a complaint over the disappearance of her son D.E.B. When she was arrested, she was subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment to make her confess, which led to a criminal conviction and a prison sentence for abandoning her son and causing his death and also led her underage daughter C.B.B. to be subjected to an irregular international adoption.

In June 2016, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement that was approved by the IACHR in November 2018. During the validation process, the Commission welcomed the action taken by the State to comply with its commitments. The IACHR found, among others, that a private event had been held to acknowledge the State's responsibility and a lifetime ex-gratia pension and a suitable home had been granted to Gabriela Blas.

As an additional redress measure to ensure access to truth, the details of proceedings concerning the relevant petition filed before the IACHR were integrated into the adoption process involving the child C.B.B. The aim of this measure is to ensure that, when C.B.B. becomes an adult, she can access the full details of the context of her adoption and restore her ties with her biological family, should she wish to restore them.

One of the main outcomes of this agreement was the development of a training program for State officials on the rights of indigenous women and children according to the inter-American human rights system. A further outcome involved the creation of a working group of experts to develop proposals for a bill to amend Act 19,620, concerning the adoption of children and adolescents.

Finally, the agreement prescribed the removal of the criminal record attributed to Gabriela Blas Blas in the General Convictions Records. This removal was made possible after the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights issued Supreme Decree 250/17, extending the powers granted to the head of the Civil Registration and Identification Service to erase criminal records in keeping with the resolutions of international human rights organizations. This is structurally very important to enable the removal of the criminal records of other victims of human rights violations recognized in the decisions of international organization.

The Commission closely followed the implementation of this friendly settlement and commended both parties on their efforts in negotiations and during the monitoring stage of the agreement. Based on information provided by the parties, the IACHR declared that full compliance had been attained and ended its supervision of compliance with this friendly settlement agreement.

The Commission commends the Chilean State on its efforts to solve cases that are taken before the petition and case system through the friendly settlement mechanism and on its work to achieve full implementation of this agreement. The Commission further congratulates the petitioning party for all its efforts to take part in negotiations and to promote this friendly settlement.

Please click here to access the technical information sheet for this case.

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. 116/24

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