Press Release

IACHR Welcomes Signing of Friendly Settlement Agreement on Petition 1275-04 Regarding Juan Luis Rivera Matus in Chile

February 11, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed its satisfaction for the signing of a friendly settlement agreement between the petitioners and the State of Chile regarding case 1275-04 A, Juan Luis Rivera Matus.

On November 29, 2004, the IACHR received a petition alleging the international responsibility of the State of Chile for events relating to the arrest and subsequent disappearance of Mr. Juan Luis Rivera Matus by state agents on November 6, 1975. Specifically, the petitioners indicated that the State had failed to comply with its duty to provide adequate reparation for the harm that had been caused as the petitioners did not receive economic compensation, which constitutes a violation of articles 1(1), 4, 5, 7, 8, and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR).

The IACHR facilitated and provided support for the negotiation process between the parties, which resulted in the signing of a Friendly Settlement Agreement (FSA) on January 31, 2020, in the city of Santiago, Chile. In his speech, Commissioner Joel Hernández welcomed the progress made by the parties and noted that “the friendly settlement mechanism is an effective tool for providing comprehensive reparation for victims of human rights violations, particularly when States are willing to take action and comply with what has been agreed upon. In this case, we hope that the State of Chile will soon comply fully with the commitments it has taken on and provide the compensation that has been agreed upon, such that this petition can be closed in the best possible way—the friendly way.”

he agreement included a clause on monetary reparation, which ends the controversy that was brought before the IACHR regarding the lack of civil reparation made to the family of Mr. Juan Luis Rivera Matus as part of petition 1275-04 A. In the agreement, the State committed to providing this reparation within three months and to inform the IACHR once it has done so.

The IACHR appreciated the collaborative dialogue between the State of Chile and the petitioning party during the bilateral negotiations to design this friendly settlement agreement and it urges the relevant authorities to make headway on complying with the international obligations that derived from the agreement until it has been fully complied with. The IACHR also appreciates the good will of the petitioning party and the State in reaching an agreement that will allow the victim’s family members to close 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. 035/20