Press Release

IACHR Issues Precautionary Measures in Favor of Facundo José Astudillo Castro, Who Is Missing in Argentina

August 3, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 43/2020 on August 1, 2020, to grant precautionary protection measures in favor of Facundo José Astudillo Castro in Argentina, in the belief that he faces a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable damage to his rights.
According to this request for precautionary measures, the beneficiary has been missing since April 30, 2020, when he was travelling to a city and was arrested by police officers for violating the lockdown decreed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. His whereabouts remain unknown since then.

The Commission asked the State for information and was informed of several measures taken by State institutions to search for the beneficiary, as well as of the investigation into these events that is ongoing at both the provincial and federal levels. Despite the measures adopted by the State, the IACHR observed that, more than three months after Facundo went missing, no concrete details were known about his whereabouts or fate, so serious risks to his rights to life and personal integrity could be said to have been adequately established.

The Commission was also informed of a statement issued by the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances concerning the beneficiary’s situation. The IACHR stresses that Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure does not contemplate international collateral estoppel as a reason to refrain from requesting precautionary measures. Article 25 says that the Commission may request the adoption of precautionary measures whenever an individual faces a serious and urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm.

Consequently, in keeping with Article 25 of the IACHR’s Rules of Procedure, the Commission asked Argentina to: a) take any measures necessary to establish the whereabouts and condition of Facundo José Astudillo Castro, in order to protect his rights to life and personal integrity; b) ensure effective search actions through specialized, dedicated mechanisms and come to an agreement with the beneficiary’s family and representatives regarding any measures that need to be taken; and c) implement any actions necessary to investigate the events that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure, to prevent them from happening again in the future.
The fact that this precautionary measure has been granted and its adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the Inter-American system to allege violations of rights protected by 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. 188/20