Press Release

IACHR Grants Protection Measure for Santiago Maldonado in Argentina

August 23, 2017

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Washington, D.C. – On August 22, 2017, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted a request for a precautionary measure to protect the rights of Santiago Maldonado in Argentina.

Having analyzed the allegations as to fact and the legal arguments presented by the applicants and the Argentine State, the Commission has concluded that the rights to life and humane treatment of Santiago Maldonado are at serious risk, in view of the fact that there has been no word of his fate or whereabouts since August 1, 2017.

The Commission has taken into account the allegations of the applicants, according to which, the proposed beneficiary has been forcibly disappeared since he was last seen on August 1, 2017, when he was allegedly being beaten and bundled into a white pickup truck belonging to the Gendarmería in the context of a police operation reportedly carried out at Vuelta del Río Pu-Lof, a Mapuche community in Cashumen Department, Chubut Province. The IACHR also considered that, in spite of the complaints filed and the time elapsed since the alleged disappearance, based on the briefs provided by both parties, there is no substantive information available at this time about Santiago Maldonado's fate or whereabouts.

Consequently, the Commission has requested the Argentine State (a) to adopt the necessary measures to ascertain the situation and whereabouts of Santiago Maldonado in order to protect his rights to life and humane treatment; and (b) to report on the steps taken to investigate the alleged facts that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure. 

The Commission has indicated that the granting of the precautionary measure and its adoption by the State do not constitute a pre-judgment about any petition that may be lodged with the inter-American system alleging violations of rights protected in the American Convention on Human Rights and other applicable instruments.

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. 125/17