REPORT No. 52/16
CASE 12.521
MERITS
MARIA LAURA ORDENES GUERRA ET AL
CHILE
NOVEMBER 30, 2016

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On July 14, September 3, and October 24, 2003 and on January 22, 2004, the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Commission," "the Inter-American Commission," or "the
IACHR") received four petitions presented by attorney Nelson Caucoto (hereinafter “the petitioner”), against
the Republic of Chile (hereinafter "the State", “the Chilean State” or “Chile”), for failure to make reparation or
compensate for the harm done to Maria Laura Órdenes Guerra, Ariel Luis Antonio, Marta Elizabeth, Augusto
Oscar, Gloria Laura Astris, and Maria Laura Elena Alcayaga Órdenes1; Lucía Morales Compagnon, Jorge
Roberto, Carolina Andrea, Lucía Odette, and María Teresa Morales Osorio2; Alina María Barraza Codoceo,
Eduardo Patricio, Marcia Alejandra, Patricia Auristela, Nora Isabel, Hernán Alejandro Cortés Barraza3; Mario
Melo Acuña, Ilia María Pradenas Pérez, and Carlos Gustavo Melo4; Pamela Adriana Vivanco5; Elena
Alejandrina Vargas6; and Magdalena Mercedes Navarrete, Alberto, Patricio Hernán, and Víctor Eduardo Reyes
Navarrete7, as a result of the kidnapping, murder, or disappearance of their next of kin, allegedly perpetrated
by State agents in 1973 and 1974, during the military dictatorship.
2.
The petitioner argues that application of the statute of limitations by Chilean courts to
lawsuits for damages brought by the alleged victims is a breach of the State's obligations under the American
Convention, since those actions or suits do not prescribe. He asserts that comprehensive reparation for a
serious human rights violation is a right, while the financial compensation received by some next of kin
through the administrative program for reparation established by the State amounts to welfare assistance
and does not constitute comprehensive reparation for the specific harm caused by the human rights
violations that were committed. He adds that, under the American Convention, family members are entitled
to a judicial assessment of damages, especially considering that the benefits awarded do not meet interAmerican standards for reparation in similar cases.
3.
For its part, the State argues that it has made an effort to make reparation to the victims of
political violence during the dictatorship, focusing on individual, collective, material and moral
indemnification, along with social welfare assistance and remembrance. It lists the corresponding laws and
programs enacted. It argues that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights assessed and Chilean reparation
policy and deemed it sufficient. It points out that in these cases the next of kin benefited from such reparation.
4.
After examining the evidence and arguments of the parties, the Commission concludes in
this report that the Chilean State is responsible for violating the rights to judicial guarantees and judicial
protection established in Articles 8.1 and 25.1 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter "the
Convention" or "the American Convention") in conjunction with the obligations established in Articles 1.1 and
2 of the same instrument.
Consequently, the Inter-American Commission made the following
recommendations to the Chilean State.
1

Next of kin of Augusto Alcayaga.

2

Next of kin of Hipólito Cortés.

3

Next of kin of Hipólito Cortés.

4

Next of kin of Mario Melo.

5

Next of kin of Ramón Vivanco.

6

Next of kin of Rodolfo Espejo.

7

Next of kin of Sergio Reyes.

1

Select target paragraph3