Press Release

Progress on Friendly Settlements in petitions and ongoing cases before the IACHR concerning Chile

June 23, 2016

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Washington, D.C. — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) conducted a working visit to Chile to promote negotiations of friendly settlement agreements and compliance with IACHR recommendations and precautionary measures. Commissioner Enrique Gil Botero led the delegation, in his capacity as Country Rapporteur.

On June 11, 2016, Commissioner Gil Botero chaired four working meetings to bring parties to the petitions and cases together, to open up an opportunity for dialogue with the Chilean state, with a view to moving forward in the search for consensus toward signing friendly settlement agreements and compliance with Inter-American Commission on Human Rights decisions.

The petitioners and the Chilean state signed a friendly settlement agreement on Petition 946/12 (Cesar Antonio Peralta Wetzel) concerning marriage equality in Chile. That friendly settlement agreement is highly important to the process of recognizing the rights of same-sex couples in that country and in the hemisphere. In view of the foregoing, the IACHR appreciates the agreement the parties have signed, and urges the state to begin complying in order to ensure marriage equality and non-discrimination in Chile.
On the victims’ behalf, the Indigenous Rights  Observatory and Humanas Corporation signed a friendly settlement agreement with the Chilean state regarding Petition 687/11 (Gabriela Blas and G.B.B.). Fulfillment of said agreement had begun prior to the aforementioned instrument being signed – a demonstration of the state’s political will to compensate the victim and fulfill its international commitments. In this case, the signing of the friendly settlement agreement means an improved standard of living for the victim as well as rebuilding the facts of the events of 2010, when Gabriela Blas was tried without due process guarantees, causing her to lose custody of her daughter G.B.B. 

Commissioner Gil Botero also facilitated a working meeting on Case 12,904 (Chusmiza Usagama Aymara  Community) to promote negotiations for a friendly settlement agreement to uphold the community’s rights regarding sources of water in its ancestral territory. At the meeting, the parties signed a memorandum on the rationale for a friendly settlement agreement in the case, the IACHR will continue facilitating.

Furthermore, to follow up the IACHR’s recommendations in Merits Report No. 2/12, concerning case 12,799, Miguel Ángel Millar Silva (Radio Estrella del Mar), the parties held a working meeting, with the Commissioner and Rapporteur Country in attendance, where they briefed the Commission on the implementation of the  agreement on compliance, which they had signed on May 8, 2015.

Finally, Commissioner Gil Botero chaired a working meeting on the precautionary measures in  MC-46/14, re Juana Calfunao and et al.

The IACHR appreciates the efforts made by the Chilean government in building a policy to pursue friendly settlement solutions and settlement of pending matters before the petitions and individual cases system, which is reflected in the state's participation in the meetings, and in the respectful approach to victims and their representatives to reach joint solutions in the quest for comprehensive reparation. The IACHR also appreciates the petitioners’ willingness and openness to consider remedial measures through friendly settlement agreements and agreements  on compliance with IACHR recommendations. The Commission wishes to thank the Chilean government for its assistance in organizing the visit and for the Foreign Ministry’s and the Secretariat for Foreign Affairs’ support to conduct the meetings. The IACHR will continue to monitor compliance with the commitments undertaken by the state in the agreements signed during this working visit.

A principal, autonomous body of the 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 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. 085/16