Press Release

IACHR Carries Out Working Visit to Argentina

July 13, 2017

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Washington, D.C.—Commissioner Francisco José Eguiguren, Rapporteur of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for Argentina, conducted a working visit to that country on May 18-19, 2017, accompanied by IACHR Executive Secretary Paulo Abrão. The purpose of the visit was to engage in activities related to friendly settlement mechanisms and precautionary measures. During the visit, Rapporteur Eguiguren facilitated four working meetings on individual petitions and cases in friendly settlement proceedings and three on precautionary measures; he also met with government authorities and members of civil society in Argentina. The visit also included activities to promote the friendly settlement mechanism.

On May 18, Rapporteur Eguiguren chaired four working meeting in which he facilitated dialogue between the parties involved in petitions and cases, to encourage friendly settlements at different stages of negotiation. These involved the following matters: Case 13.011, Graciela Ramos Rocha; P-131405, Anatole Alejandro and Claudia Victoria Larrabeiti Yañez; P-675-06, Raúl Franklin Buganem; and Case 12.056, Gabriel Oscar Jenkins. The Rapporteur also held working meetings on precautionary measures—PM 700-15, F and Family; PM 496-14 and 37-15, involving six police stations in Lomas de Zamora and La Matanza; and PM 104-12, Units 46, 47, and 48 of the Buenos Aires Province Penitentiary Services—to monitor the Argentine State’s compliance with the protective measures.

The IACHR values the Argentine State’s efforts to further a policy of seeking friendly settlements in matters pending in the individual petition and case system. Likewise, the IACHR values the petitioners’ expressed willingness and openness to consider reparation measures in the context of friendly settlement agreements and agreements for compliance with the IACHR’s recommendations.

On May 19, the IACHR held the Fifth National Seminar on the Friendly Settlement Mechanism, which aimed to promote the use of friendly settlements as an alternative to litigation in the inter-American human rights system. This opportunity for dialogue allowed civil society representatives and Argentine government officials to learn about the impact of friendly settlement agreements approved by the IACHR, identify good practices, and understand the challenges that must be overcome to use this mechanism effectively and protect the rights of victims. Previous seminars on the friendly settlement mechanism were held in Mexico, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Colombia, and an inter-American conference on this subject was held in Antigua, Guatemala.

Speakers at the opening of the Fifth Seminar included the President of the IACHR, Commissioner Francisco Eguiguren; the National Secretary of Human Rights, Claudio Avruj; the National Public Defender, Stella Maris Martínez; and the Human Rights Secretary for the Province of Buenos Aires, Santiago Canton. The coordinator of the IACHR Executive Secretariat’s Section on Friendly Settlements and Follow-Up, María Claudia Pulido, gave a presentation on the friendly settlement procedure at the IACHR. This was followed by a panel discussion in which participants shared international experiences with friendly settlement proceedings and discussed the scope of this mechanism and the challenges involved. Participants on the panel included Angela Ramírez, adviser to the director of the National Legal Defense Agency of the State of Colombia; Carla Juárez, an official of the Embassy of Mexico in Argentina; and Beatriz Contreras, of the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Office of Human Rights, as well as moderator Mario Coriolano, head of the Public Defender’s Office for Cassation of the Province of Buenos Aires and member of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture of the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). The panel discussion on the Argentina experience with the friendly settlement process for petitions and cases before the IACHR included one section in which the State’s perspective was presented and another that offered the perspective of petitioning parties. The presenters representing the State were Javier Salgado, director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Office on International Litigation, and Ramiro Badía, case coordinator at the Ministry of Justice’s Subsecretariat for Human Rights. Presenters on the side of petitioners included Gabriela Kletzel, of the Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS); Gustavo Iglesias, of the National Public Defender’s Office; Sandra Chávez, a beneficiary of a friendly settlement; and Ana María Herrán, of the Comisión de familiares de víctimas indefensas de la Violencia Social-Policial-Judicial-Institucional (COFAVI), as well as moderator Liliana Tojo, director of CEJIL South. For her part, Sylvia Aguilera, of the Mexican organization Centro de Colaboración Cívica, made a presentation on tools to facilitate a friendly settlement. The final discussion, which included the participation of everyone who attended, looked at ways to increase the use of the friendly settlement mechanism in Argentina and examined lessons learned from the past and suggestions for the future.

The Commission appreciates the State of Argentina’s collaboration in organizing this visit and the support provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship to carry out the promotional events and working meetings with positive results.

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 defense of 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. 098/17